Woodturning workshop on how to texture bowls.

The local woodturning club, Chapel Hill Woodturners, hosts workshops on various woodturning topics. I went to a workshop on Texturing turnings yesterday and was amazed at what you can do with this technique. I had seen texturing tools before but was skeptical on how versatile they were.

Well! Let me tell you, with just one or two tools you can turn out some fantastic stuff (If you know what you’re doing)!

I learned that you can create quite a wide variety of patterns by controlling various factors when using the tools. The resulting pattern depends on:
1. the tool – there are a few basic tools in a range of sizes. Each tool has its own range of patterns.
2. WHERE on the workpiece the tool is applied. If close to the center of workpiece then you can make things like flowers or snowflake patterns. If placed on the out surface you can get narrow bands of patterns. If you move it while texturing then you get a wild array of patterns!
3. How fast the workpiece is turning. This will affect the texture spacing to some degree.
4. How hard and how long you apply the tool to the workpiece.
And probably a dozen other factors that I probably missed during the full day session.

In any case, one of the things we did, besides tear up a whole bunch of wood, was to create our own bowl with whatever texture design we want. Being unsure of how reliable I could do something interesting, I was conservative and made the bowl below. But, even with this, the bowl stands out from anything I’ve made so far, so this new technique is very promising indeed!

Click to view larger image.

Side of textured bowl. A nice decorative band around the outside of the rim.
I didn’t texture the inside since I figured we might actually use this for something!

Click to view larger image.

Bottom view showing the texturing on the base and the overall shape of the bowl. This was actually surprisingly easy to do, although a bit daunting as it is very easy to mess up the texturing.

Click to view larger image.

Here is the bottom detail. Even the ‘flower’ was cut with the same tool as the other two bands. It’s all a matter of how and where you hold the tool and how fast the piece is turning. It will take a while before I can do this consistently!

More Woodturning…

Here are my latest turnings.  The photos are captioned and should be self explanatory.

Starting with the most current…

Click to view larger image.

I decided to try a serving platter as a birthday gift. This is made from sections of Red Grandis separated by progressively thinner layers of hard maple.

Click to view larger image.

Side view showing the profile and layering.

Click to view larger image.

Bottom profile.

Click to view larger image.

And signed, of course! I didn’t use my laser cut medallions here because I didn’t want to accidentally cut through the bottom. There ‘may’ have been enough thickness left, but I wasn’t taking any chances!

Click to view larger image.

What do you do with a pile of pine boards glued together?

Click to view larger image.

Why, you make a bowl, of course!

Click to view larger image.

Side view.

Click to view larger image.

I love the grain pattern that the stacked boards make!

Click to view larger image.

Gotta sign it, right?
By the way, this was before I was confident enough to turn off the bottom tenon…

Click to view larger image.

I got a nice collection of Maple chunks that my sister saved from her fallen tree. I decided to give a piece of it back to her…

Click to view larger image.

Maple Bowl, side view.

Click to view larger image.

I got a slice of a butternut tree that was sitting in a friend’s pile of firewood. It seemed, if nothing else, it would be a good practice piece of wood. Note that I’ve marked into sections that could be isolated into turnings. The piece in the foreground has already been cut to a rough cylinder.

Click to view larger image.

I used a sawzall to cut it into sections I could put on my small bandsaw so I could cut them into rough cylinders…

Click to view larger image.

Next section isolated and cut on the bandsaw. Note that the slice of tree wasn’t cut neatly parallel. I’ll have to speak to my friend about how to cut firewood!

Click to view larger image.

These last two sections are going to be a problem. Finding the tangent line to cut them apart and leave enough wood in both of them took some study.

Click to view larger image.

Finally, the last piece wouldn’t fit in my tiny bandsaw so I had to ’round’ it by chopping off the corners with the sawzall.

Click to view larger image.

Four chunks from the original slice. Not bad. Now, let’s see what I can do with them!

Click to view larger image.

I started with one that was the second smallest. The smallest was too severely wedged for my confidence level…

Click to view larger image.

Roughed down to something resembling the outline of a bowl. Pretty good start considering how much bark still remained.

Click to view larger image.

Looking pretty good. Still have to do the inside, but this is promising.

Click to view larger image.

Wow! It actually came out! The outer bark and finish has a lot of CA glue holding it together, but it looks good.

Click to view larger image.

Ok, let’s try the ‘wedgie’ one!

Click to view larger image.

Highly wedged and lots of bark! Don’t know about this one…

Click to view larger image.

Gosh, maybe it will be ok! Lots of bark, but it is interesting!

Click to view larger image.

Now on to the midsized one… this one is fairly ‘civilized’, but took a lot of CA glue to seal the large cracks in it. You can see the masking tape on the surface to keep the CA glue from running out before it cured!

Click to view larger image.

Yup, looks like this one will come out too!

Click to view larger image.

Another view showing the bark and cracks.

Click to view larger image.

Finally on to the big chunk! Hmmmm, this may be a problem for this little lathe! That chunk is pretty heavy and it is NOT balanced!

Click to view larger image.

Well, I managed to get it round, but it was still out of balanced so I couldn’t get the speed high enough for me to get a good finish.

Click to view larger image.

So, I brought it back to HIW workshop to finish on the big lathe. Note more CA glue to fix cracks that occurred since rough turning.

Click to view larger image.

I had to use my big faceplate and big screws to mount it as I wasn’t confident that it would hold together with all the cracks.

Click to view larger image.

I’ve heard that you know that you’re cutting correctly when the shavings come off in streamers. Well, this pile was from one pass where the streamers literally flew over my shoulder while turning. It was quite thrilling!

Click to view larger image.

And it came out! I decided to make the mounting foot a ‘design detail’ because I didn’t have the set up to turn it off reliably.

Click to view larger image.

Butternut is a lovely wood. I’m glad I rescued this piece from the firewood pile!

Click to view larger image.

Another side view

Click to view larger image.

Laser engraved and cut ‘signature’ medallion.

Click to view larger image.

More lovely character of this piece.

Click to view larger image.

One final view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upgrade to CNC Router

In my previous posting on updating my CNC Router, I replaced the mechanical system with a whole new system that was more stable structurally than my original home brew system.  I mounted the new mechanical system on the old system’s frame (as it was mobile and could be folded up for storing) and kept the old system’s electronics.

I soon found that the old electronics were not going to work very well with the new mechanicals.  The new mechanism had a lower resolution movement per step of the stepper motors (to allow faster movement), but this meant the electronics had to be modified for finer steps per revolution (microstepping) and the old electronics were implemented with low cost stepper drivers and could not drive the motors fast enough with the increased stepping rate.  I concluded that it was time to totally redesign the electronics to meet the improved stability of the new mechanicals.

I purchased the electronics in the Winter of 2016 but only recently got around to working on it.

The results are SPECTACULAR!  Not only is the new system a lot faster (3-5X), it is also a lot quieter with the faster switching electronics.  The resolution and accuracy appear to be excellent and MUCH smoother!

Here is the old hybrid system with the new electronics sitting on the table next to the router.  I did this to make sure everything was tuned up before I tore apart the old electronics.

Click to view larger photo.

CNC Router after previous upgrade and readying for new electronics.

The results were very promising but only after I also replaced the Z Plate in the Shapeoko mechanicals.  The old Z Plate had too much flex and would not be able to handle the work loads I have in mind.

Here is the new system with the new electronics and enclosure with the wiring cleaned up and routed through cable carrying drag chains.

Click to view larger photo.

System upgraded with new electronics and cleaned up wire routing.

Here is a closeup of the new electronics in the enclosure.  The drivers are much more powerful and the power supply for the motors was doubled in voltage (48V) to increase the stepping speed.

Click to view larger photo.

Closeup of the CNC Router upgraded electronics.

Here’s the new unit stowed.  It tucks into its spot a lot closer now since the platform closes to full vertical now and I got rid of the attached display and keyboard.  The new system uses Virtual Networking Console (VNC) so I can run the system from my laptop without any wired connection.

Click to view larger photo.

CNC Router stowed away. Fits much better than the previous two versions!

Finally, for the first test, I decided to try the Pottery Stamp I’ve made with my original router. I checked in with Matt and asked if he wanted any changes before I made another one.  As it turned out, he wanted a smaller version, which made this new one much more challenging!  Happily, the new router was up to the task and produced a very high quality cutting with walls as thin as 18mil and wall height of 187.5mil (10:1 aspect ratio)!

Having made some progress on my wood lathe, I couldn’t stop there and simply HAD to turn a better handle on the stamp.  Here ya go:

Click to view larger photo.

Closeup of first test of the new CNC router electronics. Excellent detail. The wall thickness is 0.018″ (0.457mm) with a height of 3/16″ (10:1 aspect ratio!)

Click to view larger photo.

Side view of the first test of the CNC Router, turned on my wood lathe.

 

 

 

 

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.12