Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pet Urn, continued: Finishing the outside and hollowing the inside

Hi Everyone,

I'm back in the shop this morning and I'm continuing to work on the lathe. Here are some photos and comments.

I took the blank off of the lathe to take a look at it and I've decided to narrow the bottom just a little more and to turn a section of the bottom a little bit narrower. The long walls of the blank need to be broken up a bit. I'm also going to shorten the overall length of the blank:

And so that is what I did:

Here I've sanded it to 150 grit and smoothed it overall. So far, so good:

Now for the scary part-hollowing a long cylinder with only the base attached to the late. Hollowing will create a lot of vibration in the piece and it's easy to knock the blank out of the chuck. And we all know how difficult it can be to re-mount a blank and have it spin in a perfect circle after you've done that:

To help the hollowing portion of the turn a little, I drilled a 1/2" pilot hole in the center. The center always turns more slowly than the exterior and it's easy to get a catch and twist the blank out of the chuck. This will eliminate that from happening:

And here is the hole. I'm going to be cutting the end grain exclusively here. This calls for a narrow, very sharp gouge and a lot of patience:

Rather than cut across the face of the blank/wood fibers, I'm cutting into the blank at an angle. This will help to keep the blank seated in the chuck:

 I was gently turning away, enjoying the morning and I stopped to see what the blank looked like and if you look carefully you'll see a crack at 12 o'clock! Oh no, this is not a good development:

I've wrapped the blank with tape and stopped turning for now. I may continue turning with a gouge but I might hollow this out with a larger Forstener bit. I also have to repair the crack so I have some additional steps to consider in the turn.

Stay tuned,

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