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Old 02-10-2010, 05:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lake Saint Louis, MO
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Default Newbie Question

I have been having problems with my wood exploding (Buckeye Burl particulally) And was wondering if anyone has some tips so that I can quit blowing up my blanks? I glued the ends on my last (happy accident) and still lost the blank. I have found that I really like the burls and spalted wood, but they seem to be the most fragile to turn. Since I can't just run down the street and get another I would like to keep this to a minimum.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I do not have experience with spalted woods or a lot of burls however I have found that when I drill I use smaller strokes (to clear debris and reduce friction) and for many "touchy" blanks I never drill all the way through the blanks but rather set my depth stop just short of going all the way through to prevent bottom blowouts
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Grant, I'll give you my 2 cents worth. I use a lot of spalted and some burls, when drilling make sure the bit is nice and sharp, drill slowly and clear the ships frequently. Make sure you have good glue coverage when gluing the tubes. When turning I do best turning over 1,800 RPM's with a very sharp gouge taking non-agressive cuts, then I switch to the skew. Most of the problems I encounter are when I get too aggressive with the drilling or turning. Also, on soft and spalted woods, after drilling I soak over night in a mixture of 50% clear gloss lacquer and 50% thinner, which tends to stabilize them a bit.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Good comments on drilling blanks.

Another thing you need to do on any blanks is always turn from the center to the edges. Meaning on a pen barrel start roughing from the center to the right edge and then back to center and then to left. and so on. The will prevent you from go against the grain and not have much tearout.

hope that makes sense.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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SHARP TOOLS! this will eliminate a lot of problems along with light cuts..Ive blown up my share and most if not all were my fault due to inexperience. I hope I am getting better.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I always recommend that this type of wood be professionally stabilized. I do believe you will have far fewer - if any - blow outs, especially with the burls.
Fred ...

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Old 11-22-2011, 11:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't tool down close to the barrell....I'll leave some room and let the sanding do the rest.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with everything said by other posters, and I would add that if all else fails, stop frequently and give the blank a coating of CA-both on the face of the turned blank, and on the ends.

That, and a really sharp skew, works well for me, both on burls and on cross grain blanks. I like my gouges better than my skew, but even if you are only average like me with your skew, I find that you get fewer "explosions" on touchy blanks when you use it. For instance, on cross grain blanks I force myself to use only the skew, and sandpaper.

Good luck.
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