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Old 05-17-2017, 06:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Guelph, Ontario
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Default Hi from Guelph (& St Petes FLA in winter!)

Hi! I,took a penturning class in February and have been trying to learn everything I can since! I bought a lathe but haven't tried it yet (life gets in the way). I'm waiting for my chisels to arrive in the post, and hope to try some turning this weekend.
Question -should I just start trying to turn a pen, or practice with the chisels on just a pen blank first? I was thinking of just putting a block of wood on the lathe and seeing how the chisels feel. Is that a good idea?
Also, are there certain woods I should start with? I bought some cheap pen blanks while in Florida (I think some of them or Acacia. Don't recall the others), and just wondered if these would be ok to practice on. Are there any woods I should avoid to start with?

Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Don't bother with pen blanks you bought start with a chunk of 2x4. It will give you a feel for the tools and what you can do with them. You can get a lot of practice with an 8 ft 2x4. Enjoy the hobby.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowla View Post
Hi! I,took a penturning class in February and have been trying to learn everything I can since! I bought a lathe but haven't tried it yet (life gets in the way). I'm waiting for my chisels to arrive in the post, and hope to try some turning this weekend.
Question -should I just start trying to turn a pen, or practice with the chisels on just a pen blank first? I was thinking of just putting a block of wood on the lathe and seeing how the chisels feel. Is that a good idea?
Also, are there certain woods I should start with? I bought some cheap pen blanks while in Florida (I think some of them or Acacia. Don't recall the others), and just wondered if these would be ok to practice on. Are there any woods I should avoid to start with?

Thanks everyone!
G'day, and welcome to the IAP family...!

In my opinion, I would suggest you start with a piece that is not too long (6" or so) and preferably round or rounded in the stock is square, you can remove the corners with a plane, plane, bandsaw and even an axe, rough is OK.

The reason to this is that you may feel a little scared with the action and jumping of the chisel/gauge on the square corners, after you get a little more familiar with your tools, starting with square wood becomes a little easier.

Also, remember that most new chisels/gauges you buy new, may not be as sharp as they can be so and unless they have carbide inserts, you may need to consider the regular sharpening they may require and what you need to sharpen them. Sharpening tools is another art altogether...!

Best of luck,

Cheers
George
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Welcome from Mississippi, Lowla.....
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Welcome aboard.
There is no place like this place near this place... this MUST be THE place!

The key here is to participate! Ask questions when you have'm, answer questions when you can, and make friends!

oh yeah, POST PICTURES!! lol
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Welcome Lowla.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Welcome to the forum! My first turning was on a used lathe. with a one inch dull wood chisel. The wood was a piece of 2X4 cut to about 1X1 on the tablesaw. It's been downhill ever since. My wife keeps asking when I'm going to get a cheap hobby. I mentioned dating again but that was overruled.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Welcome, neighbour! Lots of good advise and information on this site - enjoy!
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Welcome from South Carolina.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Welcome Lowla, from Sydney Australia.
I would support the comments already made, just use any piece of wood you can, after you have spent quite a few hours looking at You Tube, there are many posts that show the correct way to use the Chisels, and what they are for. That is if you can't get to a Woodshop, Tool store or Turning Group, that gives lessons or demonstrations.
The main tip is to always rub the bevel first, then SLOWLY Raise the handle until it starts to cut, then slide it across the Tool Rest, along the Timber.
Regards,
Brian.
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