Turning Archive 2005
Mike Schwing from Md.
>I was turning a bowl this afternoon and thought it represented a good opportunity to show my tool rest height for exterior work and tool presentation. Sorry Russ, I did not fuss over the pic. (wink)
On the lathe is a pretty large, very figured silver maple bowl with grain changes every 1/8" or so throughout. Silver maple is prone to tearout on its own, figured is doubly so.
You can see in the photo that my highly polished toolrest is set as low as it will go, easily 2" below centerline. The round, well maintained, ding free rest allows for continuous, finish quality turning that no dinged up rest ever could. I take a drywall screen and drag it back and forth on my rest every few minutes to keep it this way. I find it well worth it and the drywall screens last a long time.
The tool presentation is ala "Terry Daniels style". Tool handle held low against my hip, flutes pointing mostly back at me, one bevel rubibng the work and the cutting edge just barely making contact at one point. The cutting edge is making contact about 1/2" below centerline. This gives a flawless cut and with practice makes for a surface better than a lot of folks achieve through sanding. You can see the surface of that bowl as it exists presently needs nearly no sanding at all, but I will still start at 180 grit, or lower if it was needed. If near the rim of the bowl, where grain change takes place, the bowl starts to chatter, I reverse my handhold and pull from the other direction.
Astute observers will also notice the flutes are pretty bright - I usually hone the cutting edge on a leather wheel before making final finishing cuts. MOST of the time it improves cut quality.
Hope that helps someone! Try it, you'll like it!