Hot chips

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FGarbrecht

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Aug 22, 2019
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Pretty new to this so bear with my dumb question. I'm turning a stabilized maple burl blank on a mandrel with bushings using a carbide scraper and the dust and chips coming off are really hot; hot enough to be uncomfortable when they hit my hand. I haven't noticed this before (just some moderate warmth), but I've only turned about 10 pens, so my experience is very limited. I assume that I probably just need to turn the carbide to get a fresh cutting surface, but I actually just turned it yesterday and it has only about 30 minutes on the current surface. Turn it again? I'm not sure what is going on.

I'm also getting a little chatter with this one too. I'm turning a two blank pen and have both on the mandrel for the initial roughing; the blank closest to the tailstock is the one giving me chatter. I have the mandrel-saver snugged up firmly enough to spin the blanks but not too tight, I don't think. I noticed that the bushings have a tiny bit of play in the blanks (I used the bushings specifically for this kit). Once these are roughed close to size I'll put them between centers for the final shaping so hopefully it won't be an issue at that point.
 
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elyk864

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Jun 12, 2017
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You will get resins hot when turning them, that is not unusual. Just keep the carbide sharp for the best results. But for the chatter I suggest only turning one blank at a time. I stopped turning the second blank at the same time because of the movement at the end of the mandrel. I also use a mandrel saver.
 

magpens

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I think it is the resin in the stabilized maple blank that is causing the heat .... not unusual, in my opinion, and I have experienced this.
However, as you have indicated, the heat may be a bit excessive ... perhaps from a little bit of chatter.
You don't say what shape your carbide cutter is ... if it is a squarish shape the large contact edge may be a factor. . Try round cutter for roughing.

Not a dumb question, by the way ! . I always enjoy the insights you offer, and your questions too !!
 

SteveG

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Dec 21, 2009
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The experience of most pen turners is that a carbide cutter will stay sharp well beyond the number of pens you have turned to date (10), unless you were working very tough stuff.
 

FGarbrecht

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Aug 22, 2019
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NY
I think it is the resin in the stabilized maple blank that is causing the heat .... not unusual, in my opinion, and I have experienced this.
However, as you have indicated, the heat may be a bit excessive ... perhaps from a little bit of chatter.
You don't say what shape your carbide cutter is ... if it is a squarish shape the large contact edge may be a factor. . Try round cutter for roughing.

Not a dumb question, by the way ! . I always enjoy the insights you offer, and your questions too !!
I switched over from a flat edged cutter to the round and the roughing went much faster and without too much heat. I also took one of the blanks off the mandrel, that helped too. Thanks!
 

dogcatcher

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Jul 4, 2007
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TX, NM or on the road
The more you work with the hot chips hitting your hands and arms, the less you will notice the. Kind of like cooking, the pot handles are hot, but after awhile you fail to notice the extra heat, but become fully aware of the "Hey this is TOO HOT".

Gloves; I am old schooled, took my first shop class in 1961, gloves were a safety hazard, I wear gloves when dealing with dyes, chemicals, welding and working with extremely hot stuff.
 

Lucky2

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Mar 2, 2012
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New Brunswick/ Canada
I never wear gloves when I'm turning something at the lathe, but sometimes it does get very hot on the hand at times. When this happens, I stick a piece of duct tape on the side of my hand that's feeling the heat. It's not much, but it is enough protection I find, to finish up a turning.

Len
 

penicillin

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Feb 27, 2019
Messages
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The heat must be from the friction of scraping and cutting.

For me, the heat from sawdust and chips was one of those unexpected things that you notice and learn about when you do something new. Nobody tells you to expect it, so it is a surprise when you notice it. The generated heat seemed like a natural byproduct of the turning process, so I did not give it much thought beyond that. It was scientifically interesting to me, but I never said anything about it.

I bet every woodturner knows about it, but it never comes up in conversation. I never mentioned it to any of the new woodturners I ever met, so I bet it was the same surprise for them, too. Some things you have to learn for yourself, I guess.

I have seen discussions about heat damaging plastics, and your stabilized blank fits in that category. The heat concerns are mostly about drilling, but I have also seen comments about heat from turning too "aggressively." Plastic softens, bends, and melts under heat. Anyone else remember leaving a vinyl record album in the sun?

P.S. I agree with the others: No gloves. They are a safety hazard. If it is a real problem, then toughen up or try the tape trick. :)
 
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