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Thread: Small Crotch Bowl

  1. #1
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    Small Crotch Bowl

    Was cleaning up the yard and found a crotch log that had been sitting but covered for several years. I don't turn a lot (yet) since other projects and flatwork keep getting in the way but couldn't believe how much I still remembered how to turn a bowl from Bob Bergstrom (club mentor) and Stuart Batty. My wife likes the heart pattern.

    I know the wood is wet but there are tear-out/fuzzy spots but don't really seem to be soft - is it rot? Will it sand out when dry?

    Thanks
    Mike


    IMG_0511.jpg


    IMG_0512.jpg

  2. #2
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    Nice bowl Mike! Don't see to many end-grain bowls but that is why you got the tear-out. Good chance that you will be able to sand the bowl smooth after it dries. Good luck with that. Looking forward to seeing the bowl once finished!
    Steve

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Schlumpf View Post
    Nice bowl Mike! Don't see to many end-grain bowls but that is why you got the tear-out. Good chance that you will be able to sand the bowl smooth after it dries. Good luck with that. Looking forward to seeing the bowl once finished!
    Thanks Steve.

    Should have mentioned how I turned this. Don't think it's an end grain turning, I cut the crotch log in half and turned it from the outside (bark side). I saw on a crotch to do it this way otherwise you will just cut away the nice crotch pattern. Maybe you get more end grain doing it this way?

    Mike

  4. #4
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    Mike - thanks for the explanation - my thinker wasn't working!
    Steve

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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Goetzke View Post
    I know the wood is wet but there are tear-out/fuzzy spots but don't really seem to be soft - is it rot? Will it sand out when dry?
    What size is the bowl? What wood? The prominent ring figure reminds me of some magnolia I have, although I've seen others similar, including some maple. Some wood is more prone to tearout.

    Unless you can dent the wood easily with your thubmnail at the tearout it's probably not rot or soft enough to cause tearout .

    Any on the outside? It looks clean elsewhere. If on the inside bottom only perhaps it is in the tool or technique. In that case, what tool did you use for finish cuts? (Smoothing with a flat-top carbide or other scraper can sometimes be a problem.) Light cuts with a very sharp and honed bowl gouge with a fairly steep "bottom" grind might have taken care of it. In some cases following the gouge with a negative rake scraper can help.

    It looks like the the tearout may be fairly deep in which case sanding may be difficult and need to start with fairly coarse grits after it's dry. It may help to apply sanding sealer first.

    What I usually do instead of coarse sanding is remove tearout (and toolmarks) with curved hand scrapers. A sharp scraper can smooth the surface quickly and without causing the unevenness sanding can cause on the curved surface. And eliminate the cloud of dust!). Might be a good technique to add to your kit.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Schlumpf View Post
    Mike - thanks for the explanation - my thinker wasn't working!
    Steve - I'm having hard time getting my head around this crotch turning. I turned it from the bark side so pith would be on the bottom - which you see. Does this mean you cut more end grain turning from the bark side?

    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    What size is the bowl? What wood? The prominent ring figure reminds me of some magnolia I have, although I've seen others similar, including some maple. Some wood is more prone to tearout.

    Unless you can dent the wood easily with your thubmnail at the tearout it's probably not rot or soft enough to cause tearout .

    Any on the outside? It looks clean elsewhere. If on the inside bottom only perhaps it is in the tool or technique. In that case, what tool did you use for finish cuts? (Smoothing with a flat-top carbide or other scraper can sometimes be a problem.) Light cuts with a very sharp and honed bowl gouge with a fairly steep "bottom" grind might have taken care of it. In some cases following the gouge with a negative rake scraper can help.

    It looks like the the tearout may be fairly deep in which case sanding may be difficult and need to start with fairly coarse grits after it's dry. It may help to apply sanding sealer first.

    What I usually do instead of coarse sanding is remove tearout (and toolmarks) with curved hand scrapers. A sharp scraper can smooth the surface quickly and without causing the unevenness sanding can cause on the curved surface. And eliminate the cloud of dust!). Might be a good technique to add to your kit.

    John- It's about 6" in diameter and sycamore. There is a little tearout on the outside but not inline with that on the inside. Doesn't seem soft to me so maybe not rot. I took picture of the outside and looks like tearout to me (looks like user technique?). Smooth on one side of pith and rough on other:

    IMG_3919.jpg

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Goetzke View Post
    John- It's about 6" in diameter and sycamore. There is a little tearout on the outside but not inline with that on the inside. Doesn't seem soft to me so maybe not rot. I took picture of the outside and looks like tearout to me (looks like user technique?). Smooth on one side of pith and rough on other:

    IMG_3919.jpg
    Yes, it should be a lot smoother than that unless punky. (If punky, I have been known to stabilize the wood with thin CA glue between cuts if the wood is worth it - I once used an entire bottle of CA on a 16" bowl with spectacular spalting but flaky soft!)

    One thing that really helps me is to make lots of "finish" cuts as I work my way down to the final surface. I like to experiment with different tools, grinds, and types of cuts long before I reach the target thickness. This way I can discover what works best for that particular piece of wood with its particular grain orientation. (I do this for bowls, platters, spindles, everything.) Then when I get close, I practice finish cuts with the chosen tool so when I get to the final finish cut my hands and arms and legs have memorized the movement needed! I'm obviously not a speedy production turner.

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