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Thread: Your Best Nifty Shop Tip?

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Colby, Washington. Just across the Puget Sound from Seattle, near Blake Island.
    Posts
    478
    My friend George passed on this suggestion via email, asking me to post it for him:

    "When turning rather rustic wood (lots of bark, cracks and knotholes) I often will encounter a major void, especially when the heartwoods begin to dry and shrink. The quickest way to fill these is actually with a piece of natural cork, like the ones that come from a wine bottle. It's flexible, fits snugly, and will accept both a stain and a finish. Last week I had a knothole fly out, and in two minutes I had it patched and ready to continue without waiting for glue to dry. Truth is, it looks like the original knot."
    Russell Neyman.

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    President, Olympic Peninsula Woodturners Guild
    West Puget Sound, Washington State


    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Green Valley, Az.
    Posts
    1,161
    Spend an hour with me in my shop and I'll pass along more tips than you can remember...75 years of turning worth of them.

    My saying is...Use sandpaper like your rich uncle or your brother-in-law was paying for it.

    When examining the profile of a bowl or hollow form, hold a contrasting colored piece of paper behind it. White paper for dark colored wood, black emery paper or sandpaper for light colored wood. Easy to see those little flat spots in an otherwise nice curve.

    I have a 1 inch ID piece of pvc pipe of the right length to slip on the post of each of my tool rests. Always the right height, and never changes when I adjust the angle of the rest.

    I use DS tape quite a lot. How to remove the piece? Just turn a 1/2 inch deep piece of wood that'll slip inside a faceplate. To remove the turned piece, slip the little piece of wood inside the threaded part of the facplate, thread the faceplate on the spindle and Voila...it easily pushes the turned piece off the faceplate.... no muss no fuss. I got $75 from Wood Mag several years ago for that tip....you get it for free!

    I turned a plug with a hole bored in it to fit into the hose on my shop vac. I inserted a 12 inch long, 1 inch dia soft plastic hose. I prefer to vac the chips out of a HF rather than blow them out. I already have enough airborn dust in my shop.

    Some of you may remeber the oversize wood handwheel that I posted a while back...much better than the small handwheels lathes are equipped with.

    When using a screwchuck, most of the time you don't need the full length of the screw...I use a 1/4 inch plywood shim with a hole in th center to slip over the screw.

    A tip I learned from Ray Allen. He used it before glueing on the next segmented ring...I cut 1 inch wide x 12 or more inches long piece of 3/4 inch plywood. Using a thin line of yellow glue, I apply a strip of 80 grit sandpaper to both sides of the plywood. I make several at a time. Flattens out the bottom of a bowl blank to glue on a glue block in seconds. I do the same using 320 sandpaper to prepare a HF rim for a collar.

    To apply finish on a piece I pour a small amount of finishing oil or Deft in a bathroom paper cup. The cup is held securely in a 4 x 4 piece of 2 x 4 wood with the correct size hole bored part way through. I use a fresh paper cup to clean the brush with solvent.

    I bought a 3/4 x 10 tap from Enco for about $20. It fits the threads on my Oneway live center. PM has the same. I've made threaded hardwood caps of various sizes to hold turned pieces without damaging them. Works great to finish the bottoms of bowls.

    I have a lot more..that'll do for now.

    When''s that book coming out Russell?
    Last edited by Wally Dickerman; 02-17-2012 at 9:48 PM.

  3. #63
    lazy susie.jpgOld PC hard drives make great lazy suzies for spraying up finished pieces, I have several of these so I can do a multi spray at ther same time, they are beautifull balanced units & can take a supprising load, just make up a MDF disk & attach a cut out to sit over the bearing housing which is raised
    Pete

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    North central Pa Tioga Co.
    Posts
    691
    I placed a piece of velcro with stickey one side and put it on my headstock. When I sand I stick each velcro grit in line . easy to keep it organized and clean. You can buy velcro by the foot at hardware store. G

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    4,975
    Blog Entries
    1
    1-When turning square pieces, rap the edges with green masking tape. This will make them easier to see when it's spinning.
    2-Use a diamond hone in your flute to make your gouge razor sharp. For that matter, use a hone on everything after your done sharpening.
    What you listen to is your business....what you hear is ours.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    4,975
    Blog Entries
    1
    Wally ain't lying, He knows his stuff everyone. He's been turning since Christopher Columbus landed here. All kidding aside, he's one smart guy, listen to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dickerman View Post
    Spend an hour with me in my shop and I'll pass along more tips than you can remember...75 years of turning worth of them.

    My saying is...Use sandpaper like your rich uncle or your brother-in-law was paying for it.

    When examining the profile of a bowl or hollow form, hold a contrasting colored piece of paper behind it. White paper for dark colored wood, black emery paper or sandpaper for light colored wood. Easy to see those little flat spots in an otherwise nice curve.

    I have a 1 inch ID piece of pvc pipe of the right length to slip on the post of each of my tool rests. Always the right height, and never changes when I adjust the angle of the rest.

    I use DS tape quite a lot. How to remove the piece? Just turn a 1/2 inch deep piece of wood that'll slip inside a faceplate. To remove the turned piece, slip the little piece of wood inside the threaded part of the facplate, thread the faceplate on the spindle and Voila...it easily pushes the turned piece off the faceplate.... no muss no fuss.

    I turned a plug with a hole bored in it to fit into the hose on my shop vac. I inserted a 12 inch long, 1 inch dia soft plastic hose. I prefer to vac the chips out of a HF rather than blow them out. I already have enough airborn dust in my shop.

    Some of you may remeber the oversize wood handwheel that I posted a while back...much better than the small handwheels lathes are equipped with.

    When using a screwchuck, most of the time you don't need the full length of the screw...I use a 1/4 inch plywood shim.

    A tip I learned from Ray Allen. He used it before glueing on the next segmented ring...I cut 1 inch wide x 12 or more inches long piece of 3/4 inch plywood. Using a thin line of yellow glue, I apply a strip of 80 grit sandpaper to both sides of the plywood. I make several at a time. Flattens out the bottom of a bowl blank to glue on a glue block in seconds. I do the same using 320 sandpaper to prepare a HF rim for a collar.

    To apply finish on a piece I pour a small amount of finishing oil or Deft in a bathroom paper cup. The cup is held securely in a 4 x 4 piece of 2 x 4 wood with the correct size hole bored part way through. I use a fresh paper cup to clean the brush with solvent.

    I bought a 3/4 x 10 tap from Enco for about $20, to fit the threads on my Oneway live center. PM has the same. I've made threaded hardwood caps of various sizes to hold turned pieces without piercing them. Works great to finish the bottoms of bowls.

    I have a lot more..that'll do for now.

    When''s that book coming out Russell?
    What you listen to is your business....what you hear is ours.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Colby, Washington. Just across the Puget Sound from Seattle, near Blake Island.
    Posts
    478
    Quote Originally Posted by Wally Dickerman View Post
    Spend an hour with me in my shop and I'll pass along more tips than you can remember...75 years of turning worth of them.... When's that book coming out Russell?
    This particular thread is coming up on five thousand visits, and not a one of them has more substance than this one by Wally. If you're smart, you'll read what he has to say carefully.

    As far as the book, it's at the publisher now, and will soon be available. I'll let you guys know.
    Russell Neyman.

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    President, Olympic Peninsula Woodturners Guild
    West Puget Sound, Washington State


    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    254
    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Neyman View Post
    It's the small things that often make the biggest difference. I've found that the crafty veterans seem to know a little trick here or there that make turning better, safer, faster, or easier. So I'm throwing out a challenge: give us your best "nifty" and when this thread is done, it will make a great starting point for noobs.

    What I'm suggesting/requesting here are the simple, everyday practices; things that don't require major investment of time or energy.
    Thanks for starting this thread Russell and thanks to all for the great ideas submitted.

  9. #69
    Old PC hard drives are a great source for STRONG magnets. A pita to remove from the housing but very handy. Place about 5 of them on a piece of mdf or ply and you have a nice moveable platform to attach to your lathe bed. Only problem is that you might need a prybar to release it! Also consider using these magnets in front of your floor sweep vacum pickups to catch metal objects before they strike the impeller!

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Bangor, PA
    Posts
    1,759
    When I'm finished turning the outside form of a hollow vessel, I wrap it in several layers of industrial stretch wrap. That keeps the moisture in the wood while I hollow and adds a layer of security in case I go too thin. I wrap right over the chuck and all.
    faust

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Colby, Washington. Just across the Puget Sound from Seattle, near Blake Island.
    Posts
    478
    The very subtle elements to a design catch my eye, and this week I colored some beads by apply amber shellac only to that area, with clear on the remainder of the vessel. After a light sanding and steel wool, I proceeded with my regular finishing process. Wow, what a difference!
    Russell Neyman.

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    President, Olympic Peninsula Woodturners Guild
    West Puget Sound, Washington State


    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Chandler, Az
    Posts
    163
    Problem: Knowing the depth of the inside of a bowl or vessel.
    My solution: Mount your 4 jaw chuck on the spindle. Place the end of your tailstock flush with the end of the bed. Rotate the quill as far into the tailstock as it will go. Measure from the ends of the jaws of the chuck to the tip of the quill. That dimension will never change so you can use it to determine how much material is left at the base of your piece. I have a scale on my quill so I rotated the quill until I had an easily remembered dimension from the chuck to the zero reading on my quill.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ellicott City, Maryland
    Posts
    3
    Waste block reattachment
    Occasionally, a catch will separate the turning from the waste block and it is very tough to replace it accurately. I like to drill a 1/4 inch hole in the center of the waste block. This does two things. It helps me center the block on the piece by sighting through the hole to the center mark on the piece and then after the waste block is glued onto the piece, I drill a very shallow 1/4 inch hole through the existing hole in the waste block into the bottom of the piece. If the waste block should become separated from the piece, it can be re-glued correctly by temporarily sliding a dowel rod through the center hole of the waste block and into the shallow hole in the bottom of the piece. After this alignment, remove the dowel rod and let the glue dry. The shallow hole in the piece is removed when finishing the bottom.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hanover, Ontario
    Posts
    251
    Pen makers desk set "hole for the nib"
    This is a difficult hole to drill so, a solution.
    For the 8mm Round Top European Style Pen - Grind a 11/32" twist drill bit and regrind it to the shape of the nib.
    For the 7mm Slimline Style Pen - Grind a 21/64" twist drill bit and regrind it to the shape of the nib.

    Note: Grinding a twist drill to a near point is not difficult but getting a cutting edge all the way down might be tricky. I focused on the trailing edge of each flute and thereby getting a positive angle on the sharp edge. It worked out real well and will allow me to drill a nib holder in desk pen sets or at one end of a Pen Box for use as a desk set.

    Great thread and I hope the collective book of TIPS will be available as a PFD download when complete.
    thanks
    Peter F.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Colby, Washington. Just across the Puget Sound from Seattle, near Blake Island.
    Posts
    478
    Applying a finish to the outer rim of a natural edge bowl before turning it serves several purposes. First, it just plain looks better, especially if you add a coat of shellac, paint, or CA glue. I've even seen people blacken it with a torch and then apply one of the aforementioned sealers. Having a nice dark rim dramatically enhances the "natural" part of that bowl. The second advantage is it tends to stabilize otherwise loose and sometimes punky wood, improving your chances of keeping all of it intact. Finally, if you can harden these areas, they'll usually cut more cleanly.
    Russell Neyman.

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    President, Olympic Peninsula Woodturners Guild
    West Puget Sound, Washington State


    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

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