Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

All things bowl turning, hooks, lathes etc..

Moderators: jrccaim, Bob_Fleet, gavin, Robin Fawcett, HughSpencer

Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby Nicola Wood » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:07 pm

NB this is intended as help for individuals who are just starting out bowl turning - if you would like to use it anywhere else for any other purpose please ask my permission first!

Before you start think about how to stand so you can maximise your power:
* stand close to the lathe bed and keep your stance upright so your whole bodyweight pushes down on the treadle
* make sure you can push the treadle from its highest point to its lowest point on every stroke

Now to look at the three basic ways you can adjust the tool angle and the effect each has; twisting, side-to-side, up-and-down:
Image

Twisting
* the more upright the hook is, the finer the cut
* if the tool keeps digging in, twist it anticlockwise so it cuts less aggressively
Image

Side-to-side
* the tool cuts at 90° to the handle so you need to adjust the side-to-side angle as you cut from base to rim
* if the surface of your bowl is a series of steps concentrate on keeping the top of the hook in contact with the surface you have just cut
Image
Image

Up-and-down
* the tool should remain roughly horizontal for most of the outside of the bowl - you can hold the handle either under or over your arm depending which is firmer and more comfortable
* at the rim you will need to raise the tool handle, putting it on top of your arm
Image

Once you have practiced this on the outside of a bowl where it is easier and you feel you have a basic grasp of the movements, you should be able to transfer the principles to getting the tool to cut inside.

If you watch video of Robin turning here you'll see that he does other things too, like sometimes flipping the tool over so the hook points downwards. This is not a different technique it is just greater mastery of the tools. The reasons he does such things are often stunningly simple, like he's just looking for a sharper bit of the hook for a finer cut or he's adjusting the angle so shavings don't spray in his face or my camera.

New video here: In the first, distant shot notice how the tool handle starts almost pointing towards the camera as Robin cuts by the base then swings around to being side-on to the camera. In the second, close-up shot see how the tool takes an even layer off the surface of the bowl like peeling an onion. (You can watch this video in high quality by clicking on the link at the bottom right hand corner of it on youTube.)

Next time you're turning have a think about this and let me know if it helps!
Nicola
User avatar
Nicola Wood
Regular
 
Posts: 574
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:05 pm
Location: Peak District

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby Steve Byrne » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:10 pm

Brilliant. Very helpful and clear. I've a copy printed out and will be having a go later on. It answers several questions straight off.

Cheers
Steve
Steve Byrne
---------------------------------------------------------
website: http://www.woodi.info
email: steve@woodi.info
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/woodibowls
twitter: http://twitter.com/greenwoodi
User avatar
Steve Byrne
Regular
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:31 pm
Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby SteveW » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:43 am

Great tutorial and a nice video Robin thanks for that. I really do need to get started on a lathe now don't I...

In Edit...Opps, sorry Nicola I should have looked at who the poster was... :oops: I should have guessed it would be the brains of the outfit. :D
SteveW
Regular
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:23 pm
Location: North Cornwall

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby Nicola Wood » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:07 am

I was wondering if anyone has had a chance to have a go with this and if you found it useful? ... and if you had anything else to add? Rather than this being a static 'this is how you do it' I'd far rather it was a discussion about how other people do it and what they find helps them ...
User avatar
Nicola Wood
Regular
 
Posts: 574
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:05 pm
Location: Peak District

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby RangerKris » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:05 am

I will let you know more in the next few days its my last half day at work today until the weekend and then im off until the 3rd of January (this will be the first tme i have not done the new years day walk at work in the last 16years (im sure i will end up there).
Im not sure how im going to get on using the pole lathe set up for bowls but i will give it a go. Any tips on how i might set up the lathe or should i just use it as normal i guess i need to adjust the tools rest some how. Im looking forward to xmas this year as the children are so excited we are off to see santa this evening at Bluewater after Isobels Wriggly Nativity play at school.
RangerKris
Regular
 
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:27 am
Location: Capstone Country Park Gillingham Kent

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby jrccaim » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:42 am

I think you have made an excellent start on a book! The cartoon figures are wonderful -- they have just enough detail to be understood. In photographs, one is distracted by the clutter that the camera mercilessly reports. Now, if you would only provide a cartoon (and I do NOT mean this derogatorily!) sketch of the bowl truner's lathe -- I have looked at many photographs and I'm still not sure of how the tool rests go. Or how they are held down. I have made two pole lathes and used powered lathes before, including metal-cutting lathes, but a bowl lathe is a horse of a different hue. It would be very helpful if you showed the "turner's view" of the contraption; most photos show the lathe from the spectator's viewpoint (naturally enough). Thanks for the the information.
User avatar
jrccaim
Regular
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:53 am
Location: Willow, Alaska USA

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby RangerKris » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:15 am

JRC has taken the words right from my mouth it would be great to see drawings of a Bowl lathe
RangerKris
Regular
 
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:27 am
Location: Capstone Country Park Gillingham Kent

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby Nicola Wood » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:05 am

Interesting one that! Next time I'm up at the workshop I'll stand behind the lathe and see if I can think how to draw it. It's backed right up against the wall so I don't often see it from that angle.
User avatar
Nicola Wood
Regular
 
Posts: 574
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:05 pm
Location: Peak District

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby jrccaim » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:02 am

Nicola Wood wrote:Interesting one that! Next time I'm up at the workshop I'll stand behind the lathe and see if I can think how to draw it. It's backed right up against the wall so I don't often see it from that angle.


I don't need, or indeed want, a set of dimensioned drawings! Most unbodger-like. What would be nice is what Engineers call a "General Arrangement" drawing. Either side and top views or an isometric (sort of) drawing. I'm having trouble seeing how the toolrests go; it is not at all like a conventional spindle lathe. The cartoon sketches are wonderful, as I said before; so anything you do will be much appreciated.
User avatar
jrccaim
Regular
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:53 am
Location: Willow, Alaska USA

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby robin wood » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:00 am

Did you see the thread on making a bowl lathe from cleft wood It has these 2 picutres.

Image

Image

The right hand end sits on a little ledge, it has a hole drilled through and a 5" nail down into the poppit so that it pivots nice and smoothly.

The left hand end just sits on the tool rest suport, I used to stree about how to fix it there, some old lathes have notches all down that support so it locks in different positions. When I started I drilled holes ever couple of inches down the rest and popped a nail through one into the support. Now I rarely bother. Lailey had nothing to stop this end sliding. If your technique is correct all the force from tool to rest is directly downwards so it shouldn't slide but when beginning fixing it will help.
Last edited by Nicola Wood on Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: link to other thread
http://www.robin-wood.co.uk bowls, books and courses
User avatar
robin wood
Regular
 
Posts: 1670
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:21 am
Location: derbyshire

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby jrccaim » Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:05 am

Robin Wood said:

Did you see the thread on making a bowl lathe from cleft wood/ It has these 2 picutres.


Ahhh! Must have missed that one. I see, at last . Does the diagonal rest just sit in its notch or is it pinned with a metal pivot, i.e. (or is that e.g.) a nail ?
User avatar
jrccaim
Regular
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:53 am
Location: Willow, Alaska USA

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby Nicola Wood » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:10 pm

I has a nail as a pivot.
User avatar
Nicola Wood
Regular
 
Posts: 574
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:05 pm
Location: Peak District

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby jrccaim » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:37 am

Nicola Wood said:

I has a nail as a pivot.


Thank you. No drawing really required now; I think I've got it, as Prof Doolittle in "My Fair Lady" remarked (showing my age :)).
User avatar
jrccaim
Regular
 
Posts: 1082
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:53 am
Location: Willow, Alaska USA

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby Robin Fawcett » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:26 am

I think you'll find it was Prof Higgins & Eliza Doolittle . . .
http://www.facebook.com/GreenWoodwork?ref=tn_tnmn[url=http://www.treewright.co.uk/]
Green woodwork courses, treen, demonstrations & talks http://www.treewright.co.uk[/url]
User avatar
Robin Fawcett
Site Admin
 
Posts: 974
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: Essex/Herts/London

Re: Robin Wood's guide to using bowl turning hooks

Postby Derek Masselink » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:20 pm

Nicola, I just wanted to let you know that your guide images were very, very helpful to me - a distant, newby turner who doesn't have direct access to a mentor.

I am know trying to turn the inside of a bowl and am having trouble getting the tool position right. Any chance of you drawing some cartoons that show this aspect of the bowl-making process? I would also like to understand how the top edge of the bowl is turned.

A lot to ask I know - but you know what they say - if you don't ask...

Thanks again!

Derek
User avatar
Derek Masselink
new member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:36 am
Location: Pender Island, BC

Next

Return to Bowl turning

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests