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Episode #2: Turning Tool Handling…

In this week’s episode I discuss the principles of turning tool handling.

1. Match the speed of the lathe to the size of your work piece

-Under 2 1/2″ square: 2000 rpm, over 24″ long: 1500 rpm
-2 1/2″ – 4″: 1500 rpm, over 24″ long: 1000 rpm
-over 4″: 1000 rpm, over 24″ long: 750 rpm
-up to 8″:1000 rpm, over 2″ thick: 750 rpm
-8-12″: 750 rpm
-over 12″: as low as it goes.

2. Tool should be supported and resting on tool rest before it touches the workpiece

3. Rub the Bevel

-the bevel should be supporting the cut directly behind the cutting edge. In this photo (sorry for the focus here) you can see the bevel supporting the cut.

4. Scrapers should be used in a downward presentation or “tailing” mode.

-the bevel is so short due to the high angle (70-80 degrees) so the cutting edge should be presented first instead of the bevel.

5. The portion of the tool doing the cutting should have direct support from the tool rest
Here the roughing gouge is turned to engage the left side of the tool but that side is not supported by the tool rest.

In this photo the same left side of the gouge is presented to the wood, but the tool is rotated to support the cutting edge.

6. Always cut downhill

Finally, don’t forget safety. Exotic wood can be very irritating to the eyes, lungs, and skin. Wear a respirator and a turning jacket to keep the shavings out of your shirt and off your arms.

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