Turning Archive 2006

end-grain spindle turning *PIC*

Keith Tompkins
>Here is a photo of my end-grain spindle turning technique. The project shown is a lidded box, the box is hollowed, the lid is jam-chucked, and the tailstock is there only for support. The lid is turned, and I am beginning to turn the knob. The wood is mahogany, reportedly hard to cut cleanly.

Notice my tool is pointing straight into the center, the flute is facing away from the turning.(can be done cutting to the right or left.) The tool rest height isn't the important factor; the fact that the tool is cutting at center is the key. This method won't work if the tool is at a tangent to the work, it must be cutting right at center. Here is the advantage of this method.

I don't have to roll the tool while raising the handle to keep the bevel rubbing as in conventional spindle turning. My handle remains on the same plane throughout the cut. The tool is easy to control, and catches are a rarity. I can make these cuts with one hand. Also, the tool rest is no longer a factor in the shape I can obtain. There is nothing obstructing the shape I can achieve. I can easily cut as far into the turning as I want. I can brace the tool handle against my hip, and use my whole body for control.

I am cutting , not scraping the end grain; if you look closely, you can see the cut this tool is producing. The grind is approaching the wood at a nearly 45 degree angle, producing a clean shearing cut.

This cut can be done straight into end grain,and will cut clean coves and beads. The same method works with a skew chisel, long point down works better for me.

Most spindle turners cut near the top of the turning with the flute straight up, so this method has more in common with bowl turning than conventional spindle turning. Not a spindle turner? If you turn hollow forms, goblets, lidded boxes, and similar items, you ARE a spindle turner!

I would be interested in any feedback....especially if you are getting torn end grain. try it, and let me know.

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