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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Still Learning

I mentioned some time back that I was going to try to get into segmented turnings. I have been reading and getting advice everywhere and anywhere I could on the subject, along with doing a lot of reading. I felt I was ready to start a simple bowl to see how it would go.
Things got off to a rocky start right from the beginning. While trying to make an eight piece segmented ring, I happen to discover that my Incra sled was one half a degree off from square. This had never presented itself as a problem to me before now and therefore went undetected. However, when you consider a half degree per side of each joint piece, times eight pieces, this made for an eight degree gap overall in the ring. Now, a half a degree is tiny, but eight degrees, well, let's just say that glue is not going to cover that gap.
Anyway, after fiddling with the sled for a couple of days, I was finally able to get it to where it was accurate enough for the segments. The Incra sled is a great piece of equipment, but I have found out that if it ever gets a tiny bit out of square, is is a pain in the rearend to get it perfect again.
The bowl press I made a while back made the glueing up of the stacks of rings much easier.
I allowed this to set up overnight and was ready for the turning to begin.
The biggest difference I found with doing the segmenting over simply turning a bowl from solid wood is that there is nothing in the middle on one end to keep everything securely on the lathe until you get everything balanced well enough to spin safely.
You may also notice I glued a piece on the bottom for no other reason that to have something to attach to the chuck without having to get into the material of the bowl itself. This I planned on turning off later.
Here is the bowl. Well, here is what is left of the bowl.
Everything went fine until I started turning the inside. I had nothing but problems, catches, and disappointment when I tried doing the inside. My tools were sharp, but I ran into other issues. The biggest of them being I need a better technique for getting into these smaller diameter bowls. When I work off the end of my tool rest, I'm kind of out there in no man's land because there is not enough room for my rest, my tool, and my hand to steady the tool. There has got to be a better way to do what I'm trying to do. I just need to do some more research and watch some more videos to figure it out. As usual though, it's always a learning process and I will get it one day.
The bowl isn't a complete waste. Since all my past "reject" bowls that I put next to my bench to hold small tools always seem to get snatched up by family members, I needed a new small tool catch-all anyway. 

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