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Thread: Lesson learned the hard way

  1. #1

    Lesson learned the hard way

    Today, I got some free time to spend in the shop. Back in October, I rough turned a green piece of oak into a bowl. I stored the blank in a brown paper bag filled with shaving from the rough turning. Today, I decided I would finish turning the bowl and just accept any warping that would occur as it finished drying. I got the bowl turned down to a finished thickness and sanded and then reversed it to place in my cole jaws. Well, it was too big to fit inside my cole jaws. So, I placed the bowl over the fingers of the cole jaws and expanded the chuck to hold the bowl. I knew this wasn’t a great solution but I reasoned that I would apply only as much pressure as needed to hold the bowl and take very light cuts on the bottom. As soon as I turn on the lathe, the bowl exploded and sounded like a gunshot went off. One piece went flying forward and another backwards. One piece caught my arm and left me with a small cut to remind me not to try to take short cuts. 8DAB8995-5C2B-4E11-B6B4-F4EA031F3C14.jpeg643CCB09-4706-4509-A0B9-CCD2F63D1ABF.jpeg7A4FAC00-D4ED-42B8-A6A6-A311A991C7F7.jpegEBD85342-F810-4C74-9818-C73D9E778B22.jpeg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Elmodel, Ga.
    Posts
    487
    I had that experience once as you did where the bowl was placed on the outside and the jaws and expanded. I did not feel safe doing it that way so I took some masking tape and wrapped it all around the bowl and jaws. Did not look pretty, but it worked. The tape was a heavy duty masking tape from 3M if I'm not mistaken. It is designed for concrete and brick work and other heavy applications. A little bit pricey but not bad. I've since then have reached for it many times for similar situations. Works well.
    SWE

  3. #3
    When I'm turning off the bottom of a bowl with the jaws on the inside I put just enough pressure on to center the bowl and use a couple strips of tape (sometimes 4) to secure it. I use Gorilla Tape which is very strong and sticky. To prevent any possible damage to the finish when pulling off the tape I first put a layer of green painters tape on which peels off easily. This method holds the bowl securely and works well especially for spalted wood.

    CAM00624.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Palm Springs, CA
    Posts
    979
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry McFadden View Post
    When I'm turning off the bottom of a bowl with the jaws on the inside I put just enough pressure on to center the bowl and use a couple strips of tape (sometimes 4) to secure it. I use Gorilla Tape which is very strong and sticky. To prevent any possible damage to the finish when pulling off the tape I first put a layer of green painters tape on which peels off easily. This method holds the bowl securely and works well especially for spalted wood.

    CAM00624.jpg
    Great suggestion. I filing this away in my turning tips folder. Thank you for the photo.
    Dick Mahany.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    9,142
    Put me in the tape camp too - whether on cole jaws or jam chuck or whatever. I used to use reinforced strapping tape (incredibly strong) but now I almost always use the green 3M Scotch masking tape for hard-to-stick surfaces:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MHNG47G

    This sticks very well to wood (and almost anything else) and leaves no residue when removed. This is not to be confused with the green painters tape from the big box or hardware stores.

    JKJ

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    cleveland,tn.
    Posts
    371
    The last time I used 3 - 4 inch stainless hose clamps hooked together, just be careful it will eat you and your lunch if it gets you. maybe tape over clamps would help with this some. but plenty strong enough.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Harvey, Michigan
    Posts
    20,502
    Russell, just an opinion here but the bowl looks like it was punky. The extremely light colored wood usually means the wood is punky (soft) and often it is not as strong as the rest of the wood. I have turned some punky wood before but always try to keep it close to the rim instead of the center mounting area. Glad you were not seriously hurt!
    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 2012
    Location
    Haubstadt (Evansville), Indiana
    Posts
    1,182
    I haven’t used my Cole jaws since I set up my vacuum chuck several years ago. For me it was well worth getting the vacuum system
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

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