Woodturning Reference and Information Site
WOODTURNING TOOLS & MACHINERY PAGE
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|ANTIQUE TOOLS Union Hill Antique Tools site dedicated to the use, preservation, and extension of antique tool knowledge.
ARKANSAS STONE see OILSTONES below
CHUCKS This is the device that holds the wood in the headstock end of the lathe when faceplate operations are carried out such as bowl turning. There are now many different chucking systems available to woodturners and the more versatile types are based on the engineering self centering chuck systems that have been used by engineers for many years. The adjustable jaws usually allow the wood to be gripped by expanding into a prepared hollow or contract on to a prepared dowel or foot. The following link lists the main chuck systems available together with contact details. Chuck Systems
CUP CHUCKS Cup chucks are usually used for turning items such as egg cups, knobs, finials, and many other relatively small parts that require access to the right hand end of the item such as hollowing the egg cup. The fixing is method is rather like the action of a Morse taper that is used in the lathe tailstock, the piece of wood has to be spindle turned beforehand to enable a tight fit into the cup.
It is possible to do this work with other types of chuck such as a 4 jaw self centering chuck and this is often the case.
However the advantage of a cup chuck is that it is small, compact and round with no protrusions and therefore safer and if you have a number of knobs for example to make it may be a bit quicker.
CUTTING THEORY A number of basic principles apply when using cutting tools such as gouges and chisels and the main points are as follows.
1. There is a large reduction in the velocity of a severed shaving compared with the velocity of the revolving piece of work, this means that unless the tool is sharp and smooth energy will be wasted in the process.
2. High cutting speeds reduce the expansion of the shaving and save energy.
3. The angle of cut is very important.
4. Wood strength is related to temperature, there can be up to 50% loss of strength at 160degF. Temperature is mainly effected by the cutting speed.
|DEPTH GAUGE |
|GOUGES Gouges are generally used to remove wood quickly whereas Chisels are for achieving a good smooth surface although this is a very generalised statement and exceptions will abound this is the fundamental basis for turning work and many woodturners often forget this. There are of course many other special tools now available, but in the main the same cutting principles apply and the idea is to keep the bevel surface in contact with the wood. |
Gouges come in a number of different formats but the first variant and the beginners starting tool is the Roughing Gouge. This is the tool that is used to carry out the largest removal of wood and used to bring the piece of work into a workable diameter from the square or other irregular shape.
The bevel angle will cause the gouge to move to the right, but you should not have to grip the tool tightly as the only way to feel how the tool is working is hold it firm but loosely and let the tool do the work.
It is possible to get a very smooth cut with the roughing gouge and it can be used for turning curves that are not steep sided, but it cannot be used for curves with radii close to the flute angle where the tool becomes unstable and will catch and flip over. There has been some debate as to whether the profile of the Roughing Gouge should be square (as normally supplied) or slightly beveled, a more detailed explanation of this can be found in Mike Darlows excellent book The Practice of Woodturning or The Craftsman Woodturner by Peter Child.
As stated above the Roughing gouge cannot be used for cutting angles close to the flute radius, as a result there is a wide range of detail gouges sold by tool suppliers to enable a wider range of work to be accomplished. From a pure cutting requirement the cutting edge should be pointed with the tip of the tool doing the work, however the bevel contact area would be so small causing the tool to be more difficult to handle and the resultant cut would be uneven and corrugated. The result is a compromise and the cutting edge is curved which gives rise to the well known standard ladyfinger nose.
It is not always easy to get an understanding from sketches or drawings of how a gouge is used on curved surfaces when making a bowl or similar item. My advice on this is get an existing bowl, cup, or basin. (Preferably when your wife mother or girlfriend are not looking), and your turning gouge and just sit and experiment by moving the gouge as if turning and keeping the bevel in contact as you sweep around the surface, using this technique you will soon see how the direction of the handle needs to be adjusted as you navigate across the curved surface remember the secret is to keep a maximum bevel contact at all times.
In practice I always bring the edge of the bevel nearest the handle into contact with the wood first and gradually raise the handle until the front cutting edge starts to cut. Buy
Gouges Here USA
HEADSTOCK This is the part of the lathe which is driven by the motor and where the Chuck is mounted to hold the wood when face plate turning. The headstock bearings should be sufficiently robust to handle the high speeds encountered when woodturning.
The spindle diameter should be reasonably large and hollow with a Morse Taper inside bore at the right hand end to enable the use of Morse Taper centres. Sometimes the left hand end of the headstock spindle will have a threaded nose to allow bowl turning, however most modern lathes will have a facility to swivel the head round to enable bowl turning.
HEIGHT OF TOOL REST A question often asked by newcomers to woodturning is what is the correct height for the rest, my answer to this is whatever suits you best as long as the bevel of the tool rubs against the wood. The height for the lathe centre should be close to your elbow height.
HOLLOWING TOOL Swan Necked Hollowing Tool. This tool enables access to inside bowl areas etc. BCWA 93 Park Way, Coxheath, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 4EX, Tel 01622 747325
|LATHE The lathe is the machine that rotates the item to be turned and has either a pulley or electronic control system to enable the operator to change the rotational speed to suit the particular operation. Very often the headstock can be swung around to clear the lathe bed and give a wide angle of access to the item being turned at same time increasing the workable diameter that can be worked. |
It is very important to choose the right lathe for the work that you want to do, especially if your work will be mainly Spindle turning or Bowl turning but in most cases ones budget will be a major factor.
The following link provides a list of available lathe types with contact information. Lathe Types
LATHE SPEED CALCULATION For information relating to the calculation of lathe speeds and pulley dimensions follow the link Pulley Speeds
LATHE STEADY This
is a device that is fixed to the lathe to support long slender turned
pieces such as Billiard and Pool Cues a plan to make one of these for
yourself can be found on the jigs page of this LINK
LONG HOLE BORING TOOL This is the tool used to bore a long hole which is much longer than the normal drilling methods such as required for the electrical cable to pass through in a a lamp-stand. The following points should be remembered when using this type of tool
1. Turn the piece to a cylinder and then bore the long hole to ensure concentricity after final outside profile is turned. Its also less costly if it does go wrong.
2. Has the cutting edge of the Auger been damaged or modified. Used correctly they should very rarely need to be sharpened.
3. Keep the lathe speed down to between 350 to 750 rpm.
4. Take very short cuts between 1/2 and 1 inch depth at a time.
5. Do not push to hard (except initially to get the bore started).
6. Clear the tail stock of sawdust with every 1/2 to 1 inch withdrawl of the auger.
7. Bore halfway and then turn the wood around and bore from the opposite end. (put an elastic band on the auger to indicate the halfway point).
8. General comments.
There is a new type of open hollow live centre now available from APOLLO which enables the sawdust to be extracted before it gets into the tailstock mechanism and although I have not used one of these it seems a very good idea.
Ensure that the headstock drive is very firm and positive, at the tailstock end get a good centre and ring mark on the wood before removing the centering pin.Then put a bit of beeswax on the wood and tighten up the tailstock very tight and back off about half a turn. (this may vary between lathes). To save time if you are producing a number of items the centering pin can be replaced with a home made rod that can be passed through the tailstock, this saves fiddling with the small Allen key that holds the conventional point in place (which invariably falls on the floor among the workshop shavings).
|NYLON JAWS BCWA 93 Park Way, Coxheath, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 4EX, Tel 01622 747325 |
|OIL STONES As the name suggests oilstones are a stone or slate surface which is used to create a sharp cutting edge to the tool, a very thin coat of oil is placed on the stone to improve the process and the oilstone is moved back and forth across the cutting edge. There a number of different types of oil stones which are often mounted in a wooden box with a cover some of the best types are Arkansas and Washita from the USA. There are many other sources including Welsh Slate and the most useful size is an 8 in. by 2 in. by 1 in. |
The best way to use an oilstone on a turning tool is hold the tool against the lathe tool rest on its edge if it is a chisel and move the stone which is also supported by the rest backwards and forwards across the cutting edge. Not the other way round for woodturning tools its the stone that moves not the tool. A good indication of how well an oilstone is working is that the oil should turn black this indicates that the action is actually removing metal.
|PARTING TOOL |
POWDER METALLURGY Special process that produces a very hard tool steel with good retention properties utilising a compressed atomised molten steel See Crown Tools Pro-Pm range of tools.
PULLEY SPEEDS Follow this link for information relating to Pulley Speeds
|QUICK GRIP HANDI-CLAMP Record Tools Tel 0114 244 9066 see tool suppliers for address etc. |
|RINGCUTTER Turning an item from a solid block of wood usually involves a lot of wastage in the form of shavings. A number of methods and devices have been developed to reduce this wastage, but the Ringcutter is quite a different approach in that it allows bowls, vases and similar items to be turned from thin board stock, such as the off-cuts from joinery shops or building sites. A full explanation of this tool can be found on http://www.edfac.usyd.edu.au/staff/leadbeam/Woodturning.html
|SAW TOOTH CUTTERS |
SEGMENTED RING PRESS Plans
to make one of these can be found on the site of Kevin
Neelley or the jigs
the site of
SKEW CHISEL This is the tool with the greatest possibilities and potential as it can be used for a very wide range of applications such as cutting spheres, beads, coves, parting off and it can be used to plane a very smooth finish in fact professional turners obtain finishes with the skew that hardly require any further attention before polishing. However the skew chisel has a reputation for being difficult and it certainly is very unforgiving as a slip with the skew usually spells disaster but the problem usually lies in the fact the basics are not being followed. As in most turning the bevels of skew must be kept in contact with the wood and the skew must be ground correctly and the sides of the skew must be parallel to the cutting edge.
The skew has its cutting edge ground at an angle to give two points one acute angle known as the long point and an obtuse angle known as the short point, each side has a bevel which is normally ground to the same angle but not always. Both points should be at 90 degrees to the sides, it is an advantage to have the short edge ground slightly convex and the corners of the long edge to be just lightly ground back.
The skew angle should be about 70 degrees and the two bevels the same length at 12.5 degrees a very good further explanations of this can be found in Mike Darlow's book The Practice of Woodturning listed in Essential Reading or his illustrated article on the web at http://www.woodturningplus.com/Mike%20Darlow/mike_darlow1.htmor in the Fine Woodworking publication on Spindle Turning under his article titled The Taming of the Skew.
Other Skew articles http://www.rtpnet.org/~twnc/programs/prgm9401.html
See also Published articles.by
SHARPENING (Tools) In my opinion far to much time is spent pontificating about techniques and trying to sharpen tools with fancy jigs and equipment, all I use is a water cooled slow speed grinder to avoid ruining the steel temper. This is caused by overheating and results in a tool that does not stay sharp (if the tip turns blue the chances are that you have destroyed the temper).
Its better to experiment to get the cutting edge correct and having developed the feel for this on the grinder you should only need to give the tool a quick 5 second touch up every 15 minutes or so. Some very hard pieces of work might need a more frequent regrind but you will soon get the feel of when this required.
Remember take it steady, do not overheat the tool tip and keep in mind that you require a nice smooth bevel to keep in contact with the timber as well as a sharp cutting edge.
Watch the professionals at demonstrations most of their time is spent turning and not sharpening.
SPOKESHAVE How to make a shave http://www.shavings.net/TEACHSHAVE.HTM
SUPPLIERS See links Tools Machinery
|TOOLS Although nowadays there is a wide range of special tools available there are really only four basic groups of woodturning tools each having a specific area of use. They are Gouges, Chisels, Parting Tools and Scrapers. |
So you do not need to buy lots of fancy tools. To begin with restrict your purchase to a good quality 1 inch Roughing Gouge, a large and medium Bowl Gouge, Skew Chisel and a Parting Tool and from thereon if possible buy future tools without the handles as they are a) Cheaper and b) Making the handles is a good exercise for beginners and gives them a very personalised touch.