Turning Archive 2005

Subject:
A lesson it took too long to learn

David
>I think I finally learned a lesson. I knew the mistake when I made it, but I've basically ignored the same mistake in the past without much consequence. Last night I lost a really nice piece of Boxwood Elder, and I think I've finally learned. This is a bit of an embarassing one, but in the spirit of the message board, I'll pass along my lessons eventually learned for those newer than me.

I decided to make a cone-shaped bowl with this piece last night, and was going to let it warp in paper bags, and had all these great plans. Shaped the outside of the bowl, it was just the way I wanted it (which means I'm getting better with the bowl gouge), and then cut a recess for the talon. Pause here:

IN FUTURE, DON'T BLOW OFF DRY FITTING THE TALON CHUCK AT THIS POINT.

I blew off dry fitting the chuck. Took the piece off the lathe, popped off the facelplate, spun it around and - at its smallest size, the talon jaws were barely too big. maybe 1/16". No problem, I'll just the smaller jaws. At their widest setting, the jaws were just barely too small to grab the wood. Prefekt. So I remounted the faceplate, and back to the lathe, where it was, as I knew it would be, slightly out of round. Well, I could reshape, but hey, all that smoothing work I just did, I would just ruin it, I'm impatient, so lets just open the recess. Pause here:

DON'T JUST OPEN THE RECESS UP. TRUE UP THE PIECE. THIS IS YOUR VERY LAST CHANCE TO DO THAT!!!

I just opened up the recess a bit, mounted up with the talon chuck, and started on the inside. I figured, as had happened with one or two mistakes of the past, that the wall thickness would be a little fatter on one side than the other.

Well, I can't really call it an explosion, but I now have a pretty good idea of what that would look like. (I did confirm with the busted up pieces that my toolwork has improved - the thickness was even and the work was pretty smooth. To my credit, I didn't even say bad words. I've never gotten overly upset about a lathe loss, because I'm still new, and am seeking the lesson out of every creamed piece. Pause here:

ALWAYS WEAR A FACE SHIELD!

I do! Didn't have to learn the hard way, just paid attention to posts here early on when I started turning.

Shame to lose the wood though. There was lots of blue streaking mixed in with the typical red. But, I extended an engraved invitation for a blow out, and got exactly what I asked for. The boxwood RSVP'd to my party.

It is safe to say I won't be making that particular mistake of laziness again. I'm done with that one. On and upward to the next mistake.

So, if you're a newbie - pay attention to this one, don't get lazy in your work: 1) Measure your chuck fit in advance, and when you know you need to fix something to be successful, fix it.

Sincerely,

A dummy

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