Mounting Wood On The Wood Lathe: Using A Glue Block {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

While one of the great advances in woodturning in recent years has been the development of the four jaw chuck to mount wood for turning, the price tag on a good chuck is a shock to many turners. In fact the price for a decent four jaw chuck often accedes the price of many starter lathes. One of the things that a wood turner needs to remember when going into faceplate turning is the use of the old fashioned glue block for holding wood.

The use of the glue block arises from the desire to not have screw holes observed in the bottom of such items as bowls and platters. Generally such an item is made by first rough turning it from green wood and then letting it dry in the shop for some time. Later it is remounted to the wood lathe and finish turned. It is during this remounting that it may be screwed to the faceplate, thus leaving holes in the finished product. These holes then have to be filled or covered in some way. In addition, the length of the screws determines a certain depth of wood that cannot be used or the tools would hit the screws themselves.

A simple solution, and one centuries old, is the use of a glue block to hold the wood to the lathe. First the bottom of the bowl is flattened using a plane or other tool. Second, a waste block of wood is screwed to the faceplate. Third the waste block is flattened. Third, the waste block is glued to the bottom of the bowl using carpenter’s white glue.

Generally a piece of craft paper is glued between the waste block and the bowl. This enables the bowl to be finish turned and then a chisel blow between the block and the bowl splits the paper down center. Then the waste paper can be sanded from the bottom of the bowl and the bottom finished. If desired, the paper could also be removed from the waste block and it could be used again.

There are a few draw backs to this system. While glue has a great hold but it needs to be clamped and let dry for at least eight hours. Also, the wood used has to be dry so this can not help with green turnings. In addition there is the fuss of sanding away all that glue and paper, a combination known for quickly clogging sand paper.

Thankfully, a couple of modern glues rise to the occasion. When turning dry wood such as a dried bowl blank, hot glue can be used to glue the wood block to the bowl. Withing a couple of minutes it is ready to mount on the lathe and turn. Either the block can be parted from the blank with the lathe running or the whole assembly can be taken off and the waste block removed with a a sharp rap of a chisel at the glue line. Any remaining glue is easily pealed off.

Similarly a medium thick cyanoacrylate glue can be used to bond a green blank to a waste block. The glue is applied to the waste block and accelerator to the blank and the two are pressed together. Again, a couple of minutes are sufficient to hold the work for turning and again a sharp blow at the glue line will separate them after the turning is done.

Modern adhesives simply allow the old methods to work in today’s shops. While the technology advances us a little we are still working in the historic fashion. The old ways may not always be the best, but they certainly work and work well.

Source by Darrell Feltmate

Basic Wood Turning – What Tools Do You Need? {awesome|amazing|Great|Special}

One of the strange things about turning wood as opposed to most other forms of woodworking, is the buying of equipment to get started. If you were buying a table saw it would come with at least one blade. Most drills come with a sampling of drill bits these days. Lathes almost always come alone. Oh there will likely be a tail center and spur center and a face plate to hold the work on the machine but no tools for the most basic of cuts. In other words, there is still a lot to get in addition to the lathe for the most basic work to be done.

One of the best ways to get basic wood tuning tools is to buy a starting set. Some lathe workers will advise buying tools one by one so as to only get what you need, but that only works if you know what tools you like most or need most and that comes with time and practice. A starter set will likely have all that is needed for the basic cuts.

Wood turning is roughly divided into spindle turning and faceplate turning. Some think of it as spindles and bowls but the diversity of objects far outreaches these categories. For spindle turning one needs a roughing gouge; a couple of spindle gouges, one larger than the other; a parting tool; a skew chisel and perhaps two of different sizes; and possibly a scraper. Faceplate work calls for a bowl gouge. It will be longer than the spindle gouges and more strongly built. High speed steel tools are the norm these days and are what the beginner should purchase for both beginning and long term crafting.

Each type of these tools has a different profile and different requirement for sharpening. Thankfully there are a good many sharpening jigs on the market for lathe workers. In days past circumstances in basic wood turning required new comers to the craft to learn the art of sharpening tools as well as making the basic cuts and some would argue that sharpening was the harder of the two to learn. Good jigs along with high speed tools that hold an edge much longer than the old high carbon steel tools make life much easier for the beginner and for that matter the advanced practitioner as well.

Incidentally, the basic sharpening tool for a wood turner is a grinder with an extra fine aluminum oxide wheel and that may be needed to be purchased as well.

Perhaps as intrinsic as the tools is the need for safety at the wood lathe. While it is one of the safest tools in the workshop, it is still throwing material at a person’s face at twenty-five miles or more per hour. A full face mask is needed. Lung protection during sanding can be taken care of with a good sanding mask. Hearing protection for those times when the lathe is turning, an electric drill is used for sanding and the dust collector is running should be on every turner’s must use list.

Basic wood turning calls for more than the wood lathe itself but the enjoyment is more than worth it for most people who stand and craft. A beginner’s set of high speed steel tools, a grinder and sharpening jig and the lathe itself will last for years of incredible, creative fun at wood turning.

Source by Darrell Feltmate