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Thread: Resin and Spalted maple turning

  1. #1
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    Resin and Spalted maple turning

    I recently finished only my second resin turning and it was a huge learning experience.
    I started an earlier thread asking if people thought the jug i was using for casting would melt in the curing process, I did not. It did go slightly out of round and the height was pushing the boundaries of my pressure pot. With a weight on top it was hitting the fittings on the bottom of the cover. Have any of you removed those fittings?
    I realized that carbide tools are a huge advantage when turning resin. I love a sharp bowl gouge but my Badger #5 was great at hollowing the inside, a good sharp scraper is also a must IMHO.
    Finishing resin to a nice polished finish is all that easy, I either have to sand better or leave less tool marks. The marks are hardly noticeable ( and my wife thinks I'm crazy but that's nothing new) and we're our own worst critic.
    All in all I'm pretty happy and have already started pouring more.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    I like it, looks good. When sanding did the different materials cause problems? That is, the resin/maple. Did one sand easier than the other causing an uneven edge?

  3. #3
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    Bob, in my experience, and it is by no means expert, is that carbide tends to catch a lot more than HHS tools. I've been told that the negative rake carbide is much more forgiving than the standard. I tend to like HHS tools over carbide, so that's generally what I use. Negative rake carbide tools are relatively new to the scene, and not many companies make them at this time. I'm sure that will change soon.
    BTW, nice job.
    SWE

  4. #4
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    I got the maple at a perfect time, it hadnít started to get punky yet and it was as hard as the resin. I think I should have started with a higher grit (I started at 100) because it was pretty smooth off the tool.
    I think I caused my own problems.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Eure View Post
    Bob, in my experience, and it is by no means expert, is that carbide tends to catch a lot more than HHS tools....
    Steve, I'm not sure what you mean by "more forgiving than the standard." Do you mean "standard" carbide tipped tools such as the flat-topped Easy Wood tools? If so, I agree. The carbide Hunter tool Bob mentioned is a different animal. The bit Mike Hunter uses is extremely sharp and can be used just like a gouge or alternatively as a scraper - I use a variety of Hunter tools for turning all kinds of wood, plastics, and metals. And Mama don't 'llow no catches round here"! I probably use the Hunter tools more than anything these days except where I need a skew or a spindle detail gouge.

    For example, I turned this a couple of days ago almost entirely with a 3/8" Hunter Hercules tool, and smoothed the inside with a mini Sorby teardrop scraper and hand scrapers, only a little sanding required.

    blackwood_box_IMG_8158.jpg

    Yikes, I've never heard of carbide negative rake scrapers. I grind all my NRS from Thompson 10V HSS, in a variety of profiles. I can't imagine some carbide company making the exact profiles I want, there are so many!

    On the other hand, if you meant something else and already know all about the Hunter tools, key SNL from decades ago: "Never mind!"

    Bob, that looks like an interesting process! I want to try resin casting some day. Is it expensive? I love the colors you got and the surface looks great. (How big is that piece?) BTW, good negative rake scrapers and hand scraping have changed the way I smooth turnings - usually 400 paper is enough for most "good" wood, sometimes 320, rarely 220.

    JKJ

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Bob, that looks like an interesting process! I want to try resin casting some day. Is it expensive? I love the colors you got and the surface looks great. (How big is that piece?) BTW, good negative rake scrapers and hand scraping have changed the way I smooth turnings - usually 400 paper is enough for most "good" wood, sometimes 320, rarely 220.

    JKJ
    Thanks John, piece is about 10 inches tall and I was pretty happy with the colors too.
    Like you I’m a big fan of the Hunter tools, they are solid and very sharp. I put a reference mark on my handle, I find they cut best if I rotate them to about 45 degrees and when I’m hollowing deeper pieces it’s hard to tell how much I’ve rotated the handle because of the round shaft.
    My only other complaint (more of a suggestion) is their name is nowhere on the tool. I bought it quite a while back and it sat for a bit before I starting using it. When I finally did I fell in love with it and wanted to buy a swan neck version, there are so many brand out there I had forgotten where I got it and had to do some research.
    To answer your question, yes casting can be expensive. The set up to buy a pressure pot and set it up with the proper fittings will run about $100. The resin ran about $100 for about 1 1/2 gallons so I try to fill the areas I’ll hollow out with a waste block. I’m looking for some less expensive brands to try next time.
    On the positive side , you can make some really interesting turnings and I’ve seen some beautiful pieces made with inexpensive fillers like scrap wood, shavings or pieces of wood I’d probably otherwise burn. My next piece will be another scrap from the spalted maple, black walnut shell halves and some beechnut husks.
    I’d be happy to send you a small casting to turn so you can decide for yourself if you like it.
    Last edited by bob pfohler; 02-19-2020 at 5:49 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob pfohler View Post
    ...
    Like you I’m a big fan of the Hunter tools, they are solid and very sharp. I put a reference mark on my handle, I find they cut best if I rotate them to about 45 degrees and when I’m hollowing deeper pieces it’s hard to tell how much I’ve rotated the handle because of the round shaft.
    My only other complaint (more of a suggestion) is their name is nowhere on the tool. I bought it quite a while back and it sat for a bit before I starting using it. When I finally did I fell in love with it and wanted to buy a swan neck version, there are so many brand out there I had forgotten where I got it and had to do some research....
    That's interesting about the name. I mostly use Thompson and Hunter tools and Thompson's don't have his name either. Well, except for one I have, the 5/8" spindle roughing gouge with Mark StLeger's name etched on the shaft.

    I use a mark on some of the Hunter tools too (and hollowing tools) when cutting where I can't see the bit. Since most of mine are without handles I put the mark on the shaft, sometimes hard to see when the metal is dark! I've thought about scratching a line on some.

    Hey, have you tried the Hunter Adjuster? http://huntertoolsystems.com/product/adjuster-tool/ I got the 3/8" one and am starting to use it more. (The light-colored metal with a matte finish makes a red sharpie line show up nicely!)

    Do you ever turn in reverse? I like to on occasion since I can better see inside some pieces without leaning over the lathe and/or where the tool position can be awkward. A few months ago I got the Hunter reverse Badger swan neck, perfect for piece where the opening is fairly wide but closes in just a bit. (If you ever get down this way stop for a visit - I have most of the Hunter tools and you would be welcome to try them if you want.)

    Do you attend a club in your area? Mike Hunter was in the area and stopped in to visit at a weekend event and was invited to talk a bit about his tools. With his talk and my demonstrating (I like to think!) a bunch of club members were interested - we ended up making group order and having all the tools shipped in one package. If your club might be interested, you might check with Mike and see if and when he might be in your area. (He is also very good about answering questions on the phone.)

    Your piece is a lot bigger than I imagined from the picture! Sorry if you mentioned this and I missed it: if you have a shape in mind do you still cast one large turning blank or can you make/use a mold that has two walls and much of the inside already empty space (and use less resin)? Seems like that would be good when casting with loose things like shavings and such. I've never read much about the process so I don't know how people approach this. There is one gentleman who attends the Knoxville club on occasion who does resin casting - maybe I can catch him and pick his brain. He would probably give me a piece to play with.

    Have you ever turned cast acrylic? The look is perhaps a little boring compared to what you are doing but varieties with pearlescent swirls in various colors are available. Most of mine is clear. Turns and polishes easily. (I've posted these before, sorry if they are old hat.)

    acrylic_top_yellow_small.jpg acrylic_ornament_green_bell.jpg acrylic_ornament_green_IMG_5716.jpg acrylic_IMG_5667.jpg acrylic_ornaments_A_IMG_554.jpg Ring_keepers_olive_IMG_7555.jpg

    JKJ

  8. #8
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    Well John I measured it today and itís closer to 7 3/4 ď then 10Ē.
    Thatís the first Iíve seen of the adjuster, looks interesting. I live in a pretty remote area and itís hard to find a group within a reasonable drive. I might look into starting one myself or at least see if there is interest in a group.
    I have cut quite a bit of acrylic with my engraver but Iíve never seen anyone turn acrylic. Looks pretty cool.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Do you ever turn in reverse? I like to on occasion since I can better see inside some pieces without leaning over the lathe and/or where the tool position can be awkward.
    Just noting that one can turn "in reverse," even on a lathe that doesn't have a reversing motor, simply by standing on the back side of the lathe (assuming the machine isn't up against a wall so you have room to do so...). I've done it, to good effect.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Thorpe Allen View Post
    Just noting that one can turn "in reverse," even on a lathe that doesn't have a reversing motor, simply by standing on the back side of the lathe (assuming the machine isn't up against a wall so you have room to do so...). I've done it, to good effect.
    That's a good point. I've done that too on a lathe with enough space on the other side even though it did have reverse rotation, but for the way I like to work with the lathe right against a wall it's not possible without maybe losing a lot of weight!

    lathe_PM_Jan17_IMG_5751.jpg

    I could reverse the headstock and tailstock but then I might need take up lifting weights. For a year or two.
    I keep two lathes in my turning "alcove" with a workbench between them so moving one out from the wall isn't practical for me. If I primarily turned large vessels or bowls I'd figure out how to arrange things differently, maybe even get rid of the second lathe.

    Most of the tools I use work fine on either side except for when the opening of the form or bowl is closed. The reverse swan neck tool may require a short reorientation. If anyone in the area wants to try it give me a shout.

    If the lathe has a sliding headstock another good way to work is to slide it down and stand right at the end of the lathe - I think that allows better control than standing on either side. (Again, this assumes there is enough space at the end.)

    JKJ

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