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Old 01-11-2012, 12:36 PM
turn2 turn2 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5
Can't round my 4x4x6 Walnut

I really want to learn this lathe. I have successfully turned wooden tops, have been practicing for a few weeks on Poplar 6/4 wood. I just made a rolling pin. I wanted to make a larger base centerwork piece so I glued some 4x4 Walnut 1" thick together - stacked and tried to round it out as centerwork the next day once the wood was good and dry from gluing. I had my speed low and proceeded to round the wood and it kept grabbing the tool - the wood was not chipping off like Poplar for example. I realize the Walnut is much harder than Poplar but it took chunk-like pieces off instead of shaving-like size. The tools are sharp - I don't understand why the wood chunked off ( approx 1/2" wide - 2" long piece) I am hoping someone may be able to enlighten me as to why I can't get this chunk of wood to round. Should I use a different species of wood? What may be a good species to learn on regarding rounding 4X4 blanks? I thought it would be the same as 6/4, 8/4 but it acted alot different. Any advise will be helpful. I don't know if its the wood, my speed, or the length of stock - I was thinking maybe I needed a higher speed since the stock was shorter ... 4x4x6 vs the pieces I turned were 2X2X24. Is there a certain direction the grain of the wood should go?
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:07 PM
Crawdaddy Crawdaddy is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 55
With something that big, I would start by knocking the corners off of it on your table saw.

You should be able to get it much closer to round and not have to work so hard at knocking the corners off of it.

I'm no expert, but I know of no reason why your walnut blank should cut any different than what you've used in the past.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:41 PM
Rinn69 Rinn69 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1
I'm no expert either, but have done some woodturning. Made a set of nun-chuks in High School...started with a piece od 2x2x12 hard maple. If you are getting alot of "grabbing", knock the corners off with a table saw as suggested by crawdaddy. Draw a circle centered on the end of the blank, and remove as much as you safely can. Also, make sure the tools are sharp, held at the correct angle---the gouge should contact the spinning blank at the center---ensure the tool rest is positioned the same and as close as you can get it---~1/2" at the most. Now, you can increase your RPM's...a little more will actualy help and should greatly reduce the amount of grabbing.

Let us know how it goes....and if ya get some time, watch the master --- Norm Abram on New Yankee Workshop --- he IS the man when it comes to woodworking !!!
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