grainproblem

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grainproblem

Postby roosstoi » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:29 pm

Although having read the "end grain problem" topic and similar others I think I still need help:
My problem are the fluffy or even broken structures of the grain inside and outside my bowls.
I think my edges are sharp (if I take a look at my really long shavings) and my tools have the right sized blades, (we made at least 10 different
tools with different hooks and the edge as well on the inside as on the outside, for a try)
The problem shows up in the two quarters where I work against the grain and with none of our tools and with
no cutting tricks by turning the blades in different ways I was able to produce a sliding cut, like shown in
Nicolas or Robins video.
Working with the grain works satisfying - for my first bowls.
So I think its more the moisture and the material, I worked with green alder, cut 2 months ago and kept swimming
in a big well. For the pole lathe this is an excellent material which produces kind of a velvet shiny surface but on the bowl lathe
its has obviously to loose much of its moisture.
So:
1: does this problem show up especially with alder?
2: are my tools still not sharp enough?
3: when preturned as green wood, how much seasoned should the bowl be before "endturning"?
4: do you regularly sand your bowls?

So thats for today, BUT with all the recorded problems above I really did enjoy turning my first 3 or 4 bowls
and am looking forward the coming weekends to improve both my skills and my bowl lathe and tools and this joy and fun working with my own hands
( not to forget my feet on the lathe) came only by you all guys, as you share your knowledge and fascination in all these topics, time to say "Thank You"
with greetings from a sunny Bavaria, Germany
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Re: grainproblem

Postby gavin » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:57 am

Try a harder species than alder e.g. beech or ash. I reckon the problem is that because alder is so soft, it shatters.

If you want to go the high-tech route like power turners, use cellulose thinners (? I am not certain of the chemical's name) to stabilise & strenghten the alder. Personally I think that is barking mad.
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Re: grainproblem

Postby robin wood » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:40 pm

don't worry this is normal when you have made 3 or 4 bowls, when you have made 3 or 4 hundred you will no longer have the problem. It is partly technique and partly sharp tools getting a really good slicing cut. Alder does need a finer bevel than harder woods so a tool can be sharp but if the edge angle is too steep then it will still tear out. When I started I did sand my first bowls but that did slow my learning process. As soon as I decided to not sand I started to improve much more quickly.
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Re: grainproblem

Postby SeanHellman » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:09 pm

I find that Alder does tear out a bit more than other woods. I also would say that only after 20 bowls you will see a great improvement after 50 bowls I had sorted out most of my problems. You will soon improve.
"Scarcely anything is original- it`s very hard to be totally inventive, so I am not terribly interested in originality. Vitality is all I care about" Clive James
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Re: grainproblem

Postby dervishcarving » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:32 pm

I have the same problem when i am turning Elm. the elm is not particularly green by the time i get to it and i often see this 'tearing' effect. I figured it was me not doing it right plus maybe tools not sharp enough so im glad its not just me :) I guess i have only turned 15 or so bowls so im encouraged that its something that will improve with practice
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Re: grainproblem

Postby roosstoi » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:25 pm

Last week I had to cut down a locust tree, which bent over already too dangerous in front of my workshop, so I had a pile of real
"hard" wood for a try this weekend.
I took time for trying all my hooks and I am looking forward for continuous improvements in my 50 or 100 future bowls, which could take a while.
Anyway, locust brings a better result than alder.
Now greetings from a no more sunny but snowy Bavaria
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two small areas - on the picture on the very left and right, where the bark had sat, splitt off, obviously too much power while cutting
bowl 17 cm wide, 5 cm hight
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Re: grainproblem

Postby SeanHellman » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:56 pm

Great grain and figure on that bowl. Try and use as many woods as you can, they all work differently. I would try and make the bottom a bit smaller in diameter, say about 5 to 7 cm. When I first started I had huge bases which can look chunky and ugly. They also dry out so they can wobble more than a smaller base.
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