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Turning reel seats wood types ?


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#31 Dave-G.

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 04:42 PM

Thanks everyone for ideas, tips etc. I didn't even realize this thread continued ! I have some broad grained ash and just well figured ash that measures a tad under 1" and I'm going to give that a try as soon as I get a mandrel in. I have cherry and maple of about the same thickness. No burl though to speak of. I've been turning candle sticks, have done them straight up and with glue ups. I'm getting sharpening down pretty well now ( I've sharpened tools of various sorts for decades so it comes pretty naturally to me). I've really taken to the skew, of which I have two sizes in HHS. My fault that I'm finding to be my greatest fault is not stopping and resparpening soon enough. As a rookie I'm learning quickly that just sharp isn't sharp enough, especially on smaller work.

 

With that in mind, do you guys have a favorite gouge, scraper or skew that you use for reel seats ? I know that's a loaded question, like what's your favorite ice cream !! But thinking in a generic sense ( size matters type thing and obviously keep them sharp what ever you use). Does anyone use carbide ? I'm sure I'll feel my way along but it's good to know when you're on the right track.

 

Next up, is turning speed. I assume with these small diameters you must spin them up fairly fast ? I found in doing end grain on these candle holders that was a big factor in cutting the end pocket for the candle to sit in.

 

I have not tried CA finish yet. Mostly mixing oils and shellac or using lacquer or water based poly so far. All has turned out quite well. I've turned on the finish on the lathe , burnishing and polishing with paper towels. My favorite finish for the candle holders is walnut oil and shellac which I know will  betoo fragile for a reel seat concerning water contact when the rod is built ( IE in use)..

 

You guys probably figured I died here, sorry about that !! Been busy, lot's of prep stuff for my daughters up coming wedding in Aug.



#32 Dave-G.

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 04:47 PM

My bottom line minimum is 3/4 X 3.5 for the smaller seats( better be spot on when drilling) but preference is 1 X 4, as some of my larger seats need an OD of .812. 

Thanks for this, I too was curious.



#33 Gnossos

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 08:57 PM

Dave,

     Reel seats are a very basic spindle project, which teaches some important lessons in turning.  Using a simple spring caliper set to the desired diameter is very helpful, (or a open end wrench with the 'points' rounded off). 

     I was too dumb to realize that the skew is supposed to be scary, so I just started out using one and eventually got comfortable.  The big advantage is that it leaves a very nice finish, so your sanding time is reduced.  On reel seats, it's also very easy to get the nice uniform diameter usually desired.  On the negative side, if you have really squirrely figure or a really hard wood, sometimes the skew digs or lifts and doesn't give you that nice clean cut.  Ash can be one of those, as can maple.  Walnut and cherry are pretty bomb proof.

     The fingernail grind spindle gouges are less likely to catch, so most turners start with them and continue with them.  In my experience, it's harder to get a smooth surface and uniform diameter with a gouge, but I don't exclusively use one, so I haven't maybe got as much practice. 

    It's terrific that you're already comfortable sharpening, as that is a critical skill for improving your turning results.  I would strongly encourage you to get a hone (the diamond credit card ones are fine) and hone your skew after sharpening.  You can restore the edge with your hone a few times before you have to go back to the grinder, so it save you expensive steel, too.  Personally, I really like the 'radius' end on my skew and think it's a big advantage for novice turners.  Between the 3/4" and the 1", there's not much difference for reel seats; smaller and larger are harder to use.  I am also a big fan of Alan Lacer's The Skew: the Light Side and the Dark Side DVD.  It's that rare turning DVD where you can actually see what's going on and learn what you need to do to be effective.

  Finally, 30 minutes with an experienced turner will save you months of aggravation in your learning curve, whether you use a skew or a fingernail spindle gouge.



#34 Dave-G.

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 03:05 AM

I watched a video that was over an hour long about the skew. It's on youtube and it's a couple of Brits I believe, puting it on. The guy describing the sharpening and why the use of the angles used and the same guy doing the turning. The how too and why for various moves is priceless. The other guy is there to pose questions. I learned a lot from that video and have come to be quite comfortable with my skews. Once in a great while it takes a digger but much less damaging than when I started and usually because I dropped my guard for a second when placing it against the work or forcing because ultimately I should have sharpened it..

 

I own a couple of spindle gouges and slightly recontoured the 3/8 gouge so it became my favorite one. I do not own a true fingernail gouge nor true bowl gouge. Even in end grain work I learned to use a skew to good effect, especially if I have a starter hole to begin with.

 

Thanks for reminding me of the diamond hone. I'm using an old oil stone as the hone right now. It's the one I used to sharpen my hand planes with, the fine side is 800 grit, the course side 400.. With hand plane blades I then went to 1200-1600 grit paper with oil on a piece of glass as the surface.  My grinder is variable speed but the wheel is 60 grit. So on my turning tools I use a lot of water, go real easy, very light passes and then hone for a finer edge, thus far to 800. Is that fine enough ? I'm getting there, my skews are sharp sharp and when they are in that state cut like absolutely like butter.. My roughing gouges leave a little to be desired, I think because I don't have the same respect for them lol ! I figure they just lob off bunches of wood, where the skew does fine detail work or capable of such work.

 

Thanks much for your response, Gnossos ! Think I'll get myself a fingernail gouge and if diamond is better than oil then a hand hone as well. Guess I didn't mention that I'm really coming to like wood turning. The problem I see and I'm sure everyone faces, is having a supply of good well dried wood. At least reel seat and pens etc are small, you don't need huge pieces. I have presently: oak, ash, cherry, maple and birch. I have some magnolia drying and a piece of something I picked up in the woods, not sure what it is but it's very fine grained and so far has dried 4 months. I have a lot of locus, tough to dry without cracking it seems. We are limbing/pruning an apple tree soon. I know from experience it takes ages to dry to a point where it's stable.



#35 Gnossos

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:15 PM

I stand in awe of anyone who can use a skew for endgrain hollowing and live to tell of it.  I don't think a diamond stone is inherently superior to your oil stone, it's just easier and quicker.  A few strokes on each side of the skew and you're good to go.  Regarding the grit to hone to, I think only a carver would put as much effort into the honing as you do.  A skew doesn't have to have such a perfect edge, but if you like it that way, then you should have it the way you like.  The type of wood you picked up in the woods is undoubtedly Fog wood.  (Found on Ground)  We all have and use mystery wood sometimes, and more than occasionally get spectacular results.  You might want to do a search on the forum for burl wood reel seats (Goduster has had a few pix lately, and there are several other guys who periodically post pictures)  That might give you a new path to go down.  The larger pen blanks that you can buy in burls and more exotic woods can produce more sophisticated results than you'll get with domestic hardwoods.



#36 Dave-G.

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 03:47 AM

Ever turn a brake drum  ? End grain hollowing with a skew is similar, you don't use much of the edge, not in candle stick end pocket making anyway.. It's how you feed it, not using a whole lot more than the pointed corner of the cutting edge . Starting at an edge it cuts like a razor blade. The risk comes as you try to feed in more blade if you will, or the broad part of the cutting blade.. I was getting some chatter at first and in watching a video of a guy demonstrating to a club turning a box cover, that wow he was really spinning the lathe up. I tried more speed and won. Turning out several pieces that way at this point. I'm 65 yo, been around various types of tools my whole life, wood lathes are just the latest iteration. I'm a quick learner of things I do with my hands.

 

I really do like burl, indeed I do ! Never used it a whole lot, not much, but it makes a nice reel seat. And yes I've seen Godusters supply, it's just awesome !

 

Thanks for the tips on the stones. Oil can be a pain, I may pick up a diamond hone so I can do it dry and not clog up the surface.. I just touch up the cutting edge basically on the hone, it's my hand plane blades that get all the treatment in my other post. for now I will continue as is.



#37 John T.

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:25 AM

Favorite ice cream????  Cold! 

Remember- one good turn deserves another!

Go to youtube and do a search for John Lucas.  He is a friend and a great wood turner.  I have been to his home and seen goblets that are 1/4 inch high. He makes his tools out of piano wire.  Also, visit www.aawforum.org for a trainload of information on turning.  You will be amazed at what people do with a lathe.


John T.

 

 

Marriage is like a deck of cards- in the beginning, all you need is two hearts and a diamond.  In the end, you wish you had a club and a spade.


#38 Dave-G.

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 09:27 AM

I hear ya ! Yes I've been to that forum.

 

In every  video I've watched from this guy I've found something useful, even if he keeps a cluttered shop and has a unique way of expressing himself:

 

Unfortunately at the moment I can't seem to locate the two guys that put on the hour long video on the skew though. And anyway, I suppose this is getting off topic for this forum LOL !!



#39 Dave-G.

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 10:42 AM

Here it is for those interested, and if the link brings up more than one video then it's the one that's about 54 min long with Alan Batty. I'll drop the topic of skews after posting this message unless people continue it:  https://search.yahoo...a&hsimp=yhs-001

 

Edit: Also if the moderators want to move this thread to the grip and reel seats forum feel free. When I first posted this thread I thought I was posting to that forum, my mistake.





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