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Thread: Hollow form orientation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Northern Illinois
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    Hollow form orientation

    Quick question - I was given a couple 8x8x10” sections of maple (still fairly wet) without pith. I would like to try my first hollow form and wonder if one of these would work to practice (I know it may warp or even crack but just want to give it a shot). What orientation should I do - end grain hollow (like a spindle) or side grain (bowl) orientation? Or would either work?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  2. You can turn them either way, but the majority of HFs are probably turned end grain. That's how I do most of mine, although I've done a number of them face grain. You'll get a different look to the piece if there's contrasting sap wood and heart wood. Since you have a couple of the blanks, why don't you try one each way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Fredericksburg, TX
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    With the green wood, turning end grain hollow form will have less distortion. Side grain will almost certainly go oval due to side/end grain in wall. I'd vote end grain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Northern Illinois
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    Thanks. Will do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Harvey, Michigan
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    20,419
    I normally use end-grain when turning elongated forms (vases) and use face-grain when turning SW style pots. You can twice turn a form if you wish to turn something you want to keep or you can turn to finish thickness and let the piece warp. No matter, just have fun with it!!
    Steve

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Walworth, NY
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    Steve, what does SW mean? Still wet? sideways? south west? some where?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Harvey, Michigan
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    Glenn, SW is short for South West. Sorry, should have just written it out.
    Steve

    “You never know what you got til it's gone!”
    Please don’t let that happen!
    Become a financial Contributor today!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    You might look at the articles on the other John Jordan's web site. He is well known for his hollow forms. He has an article on orientation and others with related information.
    https://www.johnjordanwoodturning.com/articles.html

    Part of the orientation decision is based on how you want the figure and rings to look and the type of shrinkage and warping you prefer if you don't turn rough then dry before finish turnings. In most maple the rings are not prominent but the figure can be. Some people turn forms with the pith down the center which can minimize or eliminate the out-of-round shrinkage.

    JKJ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Asheboro,NC
    Posts
    129
    Thanks for asking, I was wondering the same thing. Abbreviations that are common in one area are not necessarily used in another.

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