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Thread: endgrain

  1. #1

    endgrain

    I'm relatively inexperienced with woodturning but enjoying in greatly. One task I don't enjoy is getting rid of endgrain tears and marks which happen with irritating regularity. Any tips and tricks for dealing with this?. Presently I'm turning some 6" bowls using Basswood and I spend far more time sanding and resanding than turning. It takes the fun out of it. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Have you tried a negative rake scraper? That could possibly help with your tool mark problems. Light cuts will help eliminate those nasty catches and tear outs on end-grain.
    My Dad always told me "Can't Never Could".

    SWE

  3. #3
    Soft woods like basswood are challenging for a beginning turner and don’t make the most functional bowls. Very sharp tools, ride the bevel and always cut downhill on the grain.

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  4. #4
    Thanks Steve and John, much appreciated. If I buy one more woodturning tool I'll be sleeping with the dog. So I'll use a trick I learned from my dear old Dad - I'll buy my wife a new sewing machine before I buy any more tools for wood. John I don't think I understand " cut downhill on the grain"The grain on these bowls is horizontal.

  5. #5
    On a face grain turning (horizontal) like your bowl, on the inside cut from the rim toward the bottom of the bowl. On the outside, the opposite - from the base to the rim.

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  6. #6
    2" thick poplar might be less problematic and not very expensive, most likely less expensive than basswood. I think knot free 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 1 1/2 blocks of 2x6 is excellent practice material.

  7. #7
    I am fairly new to woodturning as well (couple of years with only 1-2 times turning per month) and I was really confused about the terms “cut downhill” “supported cuts” etc., even after watching several YouTube videos. I finally bought Richard Raffan’s woodturning book and he has some diagrams that made it really clear. Does a book count as a tool?

    Good luck - I’m still far from competent and on some pieces still have to do a lot of sanding but the better I get, the more enjoyable turning becomes.

    Tom

  8. #8
    Thanks All. John, I'd never had that explained to me like that, it's very understandable now and I'm going to try it first thing tomorrow. Much appreciate your thoughts

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson80 View Post
    ...I finally bought Richard Raffan’s woodturning book and he has some diagrams that made it really clear. Does a book count as a tool?
    If books count as tooks I have at least 100 more tools in my shop than I thought I did!

    The combination of #1, extremely sharp tools used with good technique, #2, negative rake scrapers and/or shear scraping, and #3, hand scraping has reduced my tearout and sanding tremendously. I haven't power sanded with my close-quarters drill for years. I do more sanding with the lathe off than with it on.

    Raffan, Darlow, Clewes, Penta, Rowley and others have another bit of advice - to advance quickly start with by earning spindle turning before you go to face turning (bowls, platters, etc). I start every beginner with the simplest edged tool in the kit, the skew chisel then move to the spindle gouge. Developing proficiency with turning spindles teaches the fine tool control that will let you turn anything.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    sykesville, maryland
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    790
    spindle turning is harder. And if you can master a very smooth finish on a 2x4 pine cut spindle, you can do anything after that. Turn dozens of spindles from pine and concentrate on cut quality - smooth, even, shaped as you intended. Then do some spindles in hardwoods. I thought I had masters the pine spindle but then found I digressed a bit when I went to hard woods that required sharper tools and better techniques to get them to cut nicely. I am also in favor of warming up on scrap before diving into something expensive to mess up.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom lucas View Post
    ...I am also in favor of warming up on scrap before diving into something expensive to mess up.
    I keep a bunch of "practice" wood on hand for students and beginners. A big variety of woods, mostly different size spindle blanks, but not pretty. At a silent auction at the turning club I was surprised at how much people paid for two big piles I'd labeled practice wood.

    JKJ

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Northern MN
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    Since you aren't "allowed" to buy tools, and I assume you're already using a bowl gouge, do a Google search for "shear scraping bowl gouge" and take a look at some of the approaches. There are several different tool presentations that people show, but they all have the goal of presenting the cutting edge to get a more shearing cut, and thereby less tearout. You are working with a challenging wood, but this will help.

    Some shear scraping videos use a flat(ish) tool like a scraper or even skew chisel, but others show it using a bowl gouge, so include "bowl gouge" in your search. Because there are many ways of approaching it, watch videos by different presenters.

    This video has some nice slow-mo that helps you see better what's happening in the cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gReYf_CY8WU

    This one has a lot on the tool presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDIvtr7StuA

    One last thing -- shear scraping doesn't remove a lot of wood, so if you have deep tearout on the endgrain, it will take a while to cut it all out (faster than sanding, but still slow). Before you shear scrap, sharpen your gouge, then take one or two very light passes with a conventional cut. That will leave tearout, but it won't be as deep. Then remove that with a shearing cut of one of the flavors.

    If you already have the basswood, go ahead and use it, but if you have an opportunity to try a different wood, do so -- it will fight you less.

    Best,

    Dave

  13. #13
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    Basswood

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mount View Post
    ...
    If you already have the basswood, go ahead and use it, but if you have an opportunity to try a different wood, do so -- it will fight you less.
    Yes, save the basswood and take up chip carving! I did that a while back and ordered basswood just for carving. I started gluing it up with different woods, turning then carving. People warned me the basswood was so soft I might have difficulty turning them together but that proved not to be the case.

    As mentioned above, the biggest thing (besides cutting with the grain, "downhill") is sharp, sharp, sharp tools. These are some of the things I've turned from basswood and carved (or gave to someone else who chip carves):

    chip_carved_goblet_c.jpg chip_goblet_basswood.jpg

    penta_pl_basswood.jpg

    chip_carved_ornaments3.jpg chip_ornament_CU.jpg

    BOC_A_CU_IMG_5374.jpg BOC_C_Jack_01_IMG_6687.jpg

    And not turned, but a sign that reflects the normal state of my shop!

    chip_mess.jpg

    Practice on something else, maybe, but don't give up on the basswood!

    Good clean fun.

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 07-15-2020 at 3:53 PM.

  14. #14
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    On another similar thread, JKJ (I don't want to steal his idea) mentioned making little ultimate super scrapers. (Hand scraping) I got some air hardened flat stock 1/8 x 1 x 36" from Grainger 39 bucks, and cut and fabricated several scrapers. Since you not allowed to buy "tools" you could buy flat stock, and make your own tools. (?) Those scrapers work really well. Also, a set of cabinet scrapers on sale is cheap, 14 bucks. I use the gooseneck all the time inside bowls.
    On the other hand could sleeping with the dog be that bad if you did buy a few new toys, uh, I mean tools? (Just kidding)

  15. #15
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    Hand scraping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Iwamoto View Post
    On another similar thread, JKJ (I don't want to steal his idea) mentioned making little ultimate super scrapers. (Hand scraping) I got some air hardened flat stock 1/8 x 1 x 36" from Grainger 39 bucks, and cut and fabricated several scrapers. Since you not allowed to buy "tools" you could buy flat stock, and make your own tools. (?) Those scrapers work really well. Also, a set of cabinet scrapers on sale is cheap, 14 bucks. I use the gooseneck all the time inside bowls.
    On the other hand could sleeping with the dog be that bad if you did buy a few new toys, uh, I mean tools? (Just kidding)
    I tried not to complicate things too much in one message but I'm always glad to jump back on my hand scraping soapbox! The hand scraping has revolutionized the way I smooth things.

    Tony, you can sometimes find used card scrapers at yard sales and such for almost nothing. I grind them into curves to get into bowls, platters, and such, even use them on thin spindles on occasion. (To shape them I use a coarse grit on a belt sander which keeps the metal cooler than a bench grinder, then sharpen them on a fine CBN whee, file, hone, and burnish a burr for use.)

    With the hand scrapers I avoid all power sanding with coarse grits and even most hand sanding. The remove any tearout and tool marks, even those from the negative rake scrapers. I can often start with 320 or finer paper, sanding by hand. And even more important, they will easily take out any dimples, raised central bump, and concentric ripples that can make a bowl or platter look so unprofessional (IMO!)

    I made my first hand scraper almost 20 years ago by cutting off the end of a gooseneck scraper (with a cutoff wheel on a dremel) to get a small curved scraper for inside of bowls. Following the instruction of a bowl turner, I was sanding a cedar bowl while spinning it on the lathe, using a lot of pressure. The heat from the sanding started making a bunch of horrifying heat checks in the wood! I decided to try scraping instead of sanding and cut the first one small to fit in a tight spot. It worked very well and I thought I had really come up with something but years later I found a comment in a book published in 1956 about using hand scrapers on woodturnings!! Nothing new under the sun...

    scraper_PB054025_s.jpg

    I've since bought sets of curved scrapers and shaped a bunch into a variety of curves. Some of the collection and a few of my favorites. I also bought 1/8" tool steel stock and still intend to make some of my own shapes based on the success with the two thicker scrapers on the left in the second photo. I bought those from Stewart MacDonald who caters to people who make musical instruments from wood. They need no burr and work amazingly well. I sometime use them and sometimes the thinner scrapers. The problem with the StewMac scrapers is the cost, about $30 each I think! (BTW, Kyle, have you ever tried Online Metals for stock? Usually cheaper than Grainger. I buy almost all my brass, aluminum, and steel stock from them for machining.)

    scrapers_.jpg scrapers_favorite_IMG_7870.jpg

    In use on a small squarish dished platters. I have scrapers with different curves and can almost always find one that fits the curve nicely with just a bit of clearance. I also curve the ends of scrapers or use smaller ones for spot scraping of trouble spots.

    _scrapers_IMG_7818.jpg _scrapers_IMG_7819.jpg _scrapers_IMG_7827.jpg

    Scraping is always "downhill", with instead of against the grain. Sometimes I scrape with the figure or at an angle with the grain. I try different ways until I find what works for that particular place on a given piece.

    Not for bragging but simply fact, I turned this piece with a Hunter Hercules tool, smoothed with a curved negative rake scraper, took it off the lathe and smoothed further with the hand scrapers, then started (and ended) sanding with 600 grit paper. That was a little unusual compared to most of my pieces but that's all this one needed. Eight or ten coats of "danish" oil.

    penta_platter_cedar_IMG_7434.jpg

    JKJ

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