turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

discussion of the niceties of turning on a bow, bungee or pole lathe.

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turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

Postby SeanHellman » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:13 pm

Its been done for centuries, okay it blunts your tools a bit faster and it takes a bit longer. I just wanted to show that it easy to turn non round and seasoned wood on a human powered lathe.

http://youtu.be/JaXPlKBwzMw

blog posty thingy here about the video http://seanhellman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/pole-lathe-turning-seasoned-square.html

So who else turns seasoned wood and what for on their lathes?
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Re: turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

Postby bulldawg_65 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:32 pm

Great video Sean! I enjoyed it very much.
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Re: turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

Postby AlexanderTheLate » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:50 am

Glad to see this. Particularly the up close video of the turning, it is always nice to see an experienced turner at work :) . I actually started turning (on a spring powered lathe) with seasoned wood, often relatively square- no shave horse, so all that roughing out is done with either a knife or an axe, usually I do not bother and just skip right on through. I was recently turning tuning pegs (10 of them, for a Kantele), which require very accurate fitting (other wise it is a bleeding pain to tune up). :D
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Re: turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

Postby jrccaim » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:22 am

Very nice video, Sean. Bravo. I myself have turned dry wood squares or semi-squares many times. However, what I do is to "octogonate" the wood with a plane and/or a spokeshave. Could even use a knife, I think. Extreme accuracy not necessary! This reduces the time taken to turn to cylinder. Harder the wood the more time it saves. Do the octogonation right on the pole lathe. Scribe the outline of the circle on the piece, rough octagon out with the shave. Take off the corners. If I had lignum vitae I would certainly do this. What you are doing with a square is taking an "interrupted cut." That means that for one-quarter revolution the tool does not cut at all. You can hear it in the video! Listen to the sound once it is roughed out to cylinder. If you octogonate -- pardon the invented verb -- you get 8 cuts per rev, or twice the speed (depth of cut per rev). You will also reduce the shock load on your tools. So far I have never gone past octagons. A 16-sided piece would trim down even faster. I do not find it necessary, but then again, I do not have all the exotic woods at my disposal! BIrch is the hardest stuff I turn. Then there is lilac, I use that a lot, it is much harder than birch when dry, but it's mostly branchwood from my own prunings and it is already kind of round. That's all I ask. When roughing out anything. branches included, you will always take interrupted cuts. No branch is straight, or even round.

Whether it is worth your while to octogonate (or even 16-side) is (a) up to your species and (b) up to you. I find it worth the trouble, but then I find roughing out to cylinder tedious work. Just me. I use carpenter's gouges for roughing out. I use the biggest gouge I own, 19mm. More bang for the buck, as they say here. More cut per quid perhaps in the UK? :)

And by the way, Sean, this is a sterling example of how to make a video for YouTube. No "er"s or "um"s and not one single "eh"in the dialogue. Near as I could tell. So many YouTube videos marred by poor dialogue. Anybody posting on YouTube, take this as an example. "Well, Ill make it up as I go along", you say. No! Put up a script off-camera if you must, with cues, and read from it. Better not to speak at all than to um and er and ehhh. That way the dialog does not distract you from the images. It is better not to speak at all than to speak poorly. If you have no script, then don't speak at all. Edit in captions, just like a silent movie. Lots of video edit programs on the market. Advantage of the silent film approach: you can accomodate your Rumanian customers (I use this purely as an example) by translating the captions. Very well done, Sean.
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Re: turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

Postby SeanHellman » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:16 am

Thanks guys. JR as I am turning only a small part of the wood then taking off the corners would be a pain in the ass and would increase the overall time. If I was turning the whole length the as you say taking the corners off would be a very good idea.
Thanks also for not hearing the ums etc, for my part there are way to many. I have been aware of this for some time and it is very difficult not to fill an empty space with some sort of grunt or err, as you say best say nothing. Easier said than done
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Re: turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

Postby jrccaim » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:23 am

SeanHellman wrote:Thanks guys. JR as I am turning only a small part of the wood then taking off the corners would be a pain in the ass and would increase the overall time. If I was turning the whole length the as you say taking the corners off would be a very good idea.
Thanks also for not hearing the ums etc, for my part there are way to many. I have been aware of this for some time and it is very difficult not to fill an empty space with some sort of grunt or err, as you say best say nothing. Easier said than done


Oh no, Sean. Compared to most YouTube Videos you are flawless. And I am a severe critic! You are obviously used to teaching. But for most people I urge either a script or to say nothing at all. There is a marvellous set of videos on YouTube by a gentleman called myfordboy. in the UK. Google on him. The videos have nothing at all to do with bodgering. They are in fact about metal casting and machining (another interest of mine). But pick one at random and see how he does it. No spoken words at all. I love it. The sound of an interrupted cut on a metal lathe, or for that matter a pole lathe turning wood are completely different to me from the sounds of turning round. I should say that my eyesight is not really up to scratch. For many years I perceived the world through my ears. (My ears are, in compensation, very good indeed.) Thus and such did not sound right to me. Or at least it sounded different. Now many people have ruined their hearing by playing music at excessive volumes. But if you have not done so, listen! An interrupted cut sounds snick-snick-snick. A continous cut sounds like shhhh. Making words up, but you can hear it in the video. As you approach round the snicks start to blend. Then you get the nice shhhh that says you are turning round.

If I were making strops I would probably not bother to round corners either! But at least in my experience for tool handles, just for example, it is worth the effort to octogonate. Don't have to be to fussy about it; but a spokeshave really does remove a lot more wood at one go than a pole lathe. Of course superman does this thing effortlessly, but some of us are not supermen and are in fact quite old, so the less work I have to do to do a tool handle (for example) the more I appreciate it. On the other hand pole lathe work is excellent cardiovascular exercise, so choose according to your circumstances. I will add that a pole lathe is a lot cheaper than most, if not all, machines sold for the purpose of "improving your health".
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Re: turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

Postby Ross Peters » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:44 pm

SeanHellman wrote:
So who else turns seasoned wood and what for on their lathes?


I've turned seasoned oak from time to time- my mate's a chippy and occassionly offers me lumps of timber he picks up on site- what a guy! I've got more oak stair spindles than I know what to do with. It's tough going and the chippings hurt, but you know it's not going to warp. I'm in the (long) process of making a Roubo- style workbench with a wooden screw for the vise. So I needed a perfectly round cylinder to start with before I started carving the thread:
Image

I also wanted to make a tapered reamer and rounder plane for when I finally start making chairs- the reamer was inspired by Curtis Buchanan's fantastic youtube series:
Image
Image

The rounder plane took a while to get round to finishing as I found it difficult to get the angle for the blade right- re-inspired by Mstibs post on his a while back. It works really well when tuned up. I want to get a longer blade to replace the spokeshave blade I used so I can take advantage of the whole length of the planes tapered hole.

Eventually I would like to turn some 4" square oak posts I got from the farmer I rent a stable from. These will be to make some table legs- it will be hard work, but I'm always up for a challenge!

Cheers,
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Re: turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

Postby mstibs » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:12 am

Beautiful work Ross!
Best!
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Re: turning seasoned square stock on the pole lathe

Postby jrccaim » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:59 am

Ross Peters wrote:
SeanHellman wrote:
So who else turns seasoned wood and what for on their lathes?


I've turned seasoned oak from time to time- my mate's a chippy and occassionly offers me lumps of timber he picks up on site- what a guy! I've got more oak stair spindles than I know what to do with. It's tough going and the chippings hurt, but you know it's not going to warp. I'm in the (long) process of making a Roubo- style workbench with a wooden screw for the vise. So I needed a perfectly round cylinder to start with before I started carving the thread:
....
Ross


I echo mstib's comment. Very nice work. Keep those posts coming!

This isn't even a quibble. You have obviously cut the threads with a wood die (which goes with its accompanying wood tap). I have such a die. It is I think 3/4" or 19 mm and what the pitch may be I do not know or even care. Probably aruond 2mm. Pitch is the amount the screw advances per revolution. When I use this gadget I tap the threads with the acompannying tap. So it fits. Just for the benefit of people who have not tried their hands at this sort of thing before, I have a thread cutting threads on pole lathes. Very difficult. You have to chase them. Amd then you have to chase the female thread. Even more difficult. Not quite up to that yet!! Much easier on a screw-cutting powered lathe, but then we bodgers anre not allowed to have one! Indeed, I have no such animal!

Only trouble with these wood taps and dies is that I find them extremely expensive, especially in the larger sizes. For a Roubo bench you want about 25mm diameter and the taps and dies are quite exorbitant! But I have not found anything better. I have learned how to cut male threads on a pole lathe, I think, but not the female matching threads. Indeed I am getttig off topic. If what you want to do on the pole lathe is to turn to a given diameter, inded you can do it, dry or green. I do recommend a pair of inside calllipers. They make the diameter-measuring business very easy.

Ross Peters wrote:I also wanted to make a tapered reamer and rounder plane for when I finally start making chairs- the reamer was inspired by Curtis Buchanan's fantastic youtube series:
...


Your tapered reamer looks good to me. I use keyhole saw blades. I do not grind off the teeth, my reamer does not seem to mind. These days keyhole saws are hard to come by. Still made in Japan.With a keyhole saw, you takes whatever taper the keyhole saw has and makes do with it.

Rounder planes are very useful things; hardest part is finding a castoff plane blade to use in them. May I recommend block plane blades, still made, may have to grind off some portions of the blade. More I think about it, more I think the best tool for a modern bodger is a grinder of some sort. We must improvise our own blades because they are no longer made.

Ross Peters wrote:...rounder plane took a while to get round to finishing as I found it difficult to get the angle for the blade right- re-inspired by Mstibs post on his a while back. It works really well when tuned up. I want to get a longer blade to replace the spokeshave blade I used so I can take advantage of the whole length of the planes tapered hole.


Aha. You are into the bedding angle riddle. This is really the subject of a lot of debate. Most planes are (a) bedded at 45 deg (b) sharpened at 25 deg. Difference is the angle of attack, 45 (minus) 25 deg or 20 degrees. A rounder plane is no exception. If you have to start somewhere, use 25 deg as a sharpening angle and 45 deg as a bed angle, then tune it! I make my rounders according ro Roy Underhill's recipe. This is again 25 deg on the blade, but 30 deg on the bedding angle. Angle of attack very shallow, in fact 5 deg. Works like a charm. I have a lot of grounding in physics. I cannot explain all this, but it works, and so maybe a 30 deg angle bed is worthwhile. I suspect this is species-dependent. Can't prove it. Do note that with a rounder plane you are shaving, not hewing or chopping , so the small angle of attack is probably a better deal. In fact if you are using rounders my advice is to do as much as you can by eye off-rounder, and use the rounder only as the last few passes. Use the instrument that removes the most wood first. Spokeshave for instance. Even a knife!

Good grief. What a monster post. Well, some concerns I had to address.
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