A different technique for rotary work

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A different technique for rotary work

Postby Fleming » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:21 pm

I have been carving a lot of bowls lately with the indexer and one issue is trying to make the walls thin by making the inside shape parallel to the outside shape. This is a technique that I tried and was successful but not one that I would recommend for most users.

It consists of attaching an Easy Wood Pro Easy Finishing gouge with a round carbide cutter to the underside of the X carriage such as seen here:

Cutting setup.jpg
Gouge attached to X carriage to feed bowl on lathe motor


I modified the post processor to only use the XY coordinates as the Z axis in not used and is fixed to the center point of the lathe setup. Here it is cutting:

Cutting inside.jpg
Cutting inside the bowl


Here you can see where the inside of the bowl was shaped:

Inside bowl carving.jpg
Cutting the inside shape to mirror the outside shape


(Exterior carving is done on the indexer.)

There are several caveats to these technique. First, the toolpath generation is very important as the cutting edge cannot be "lifted" out of the way and when it moves from one location to another it must be in previously cleared space. Second, the process is VERY SLOW as only minute cutting can take place - the speed is 1 inch per minute with a 1/100" step-over and the lathe motor turning CW at about 1500 rpm. Third, roughing out the inside on a lathe is necessary so the XY cutter has an entry point. Fourth, a lot of damage can be done to your machine and possibly to you if something goes wrong.

So, in summary I don't recommend this setup unless you are expert with both software, G-code, and your machine. In any case try at your own risk.
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby mtylerfl » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:06 pm

Looks like something Gary Campbell might do. :D

Different and a little dangerous! Whatever it takes to get the job done.
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby Leo » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:43 am

Looks intriguing
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby IslaWW » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:13 am

"Looks like something Gary Campbell might do. :D "

After some thought, I am taking this as a compliment! :lol:

Fleming: Good job, it appears that most anything done on a rotary axis is out of the box.

"Fourth, a lot of damage can be done to your machine and possibly to you if something goes wrong"
Sounds like a perfect reason to try it, at least a few times!
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby 4DThinker » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:29 am

Brilliant. I just had to say it. Love to see a video of your lathe tool in action.

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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby mtylerfl » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:41 am

IslaWW wrote:"Looks like something Gary Campbell might do. :D "

After some thought, I am taking this as a compliment! :lol:


Yessir, it is!
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby Fleming » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:04 pm

Thanks for the comments :)

4D - I thought about a video but the process moves so slowly you would fall asleep before you saw it move :wink:
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby dealguy11 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:06 am

That is very cool. Not for production work, but for onsie-twosies I can see this as an interesting addition to the arsenal.
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby TReischl » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:04 pm

Very cool. But I do not have the patience for that sort of thing.

As I type I am debating purchasing a lathe hollowing system with a laser attachment to control wall thickness.

I have a 1944 Delta lathe that works great but I am not the world's greatest turner.
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby Fleming » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:42 pm

Let me know how that works out as I have considered the same thing. I am not a very good turner either! :oops:
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby TReischl » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:34 am

Flem, there are a lot of good reviews over on Sawmill Creek about a system called Simple Hollowing System.

I am trying to hold the cost down a tad, some of those captured tool systems are pricey as all get out. They do not seem too bad until you add in about 3-4 of the actual tools.

Been using some of the Easy Tools to do the bowl work. They are pretty good because they are basically scrapers which is about the easiest way possible to turn. Of course, a lot of real turners scoff at scrapers because they do not produce that sliced finish. Myself? Sandpaper works good for me on lathe! Plus, I want to try some of that epoxy finishing using West Systems and then have a go at airbrushing. Another pricey little tool, sheeesh.
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Re: A different technique for rotary work

Postby Fleming » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:38 pm

I couldn't get along without the Easy tool and its carbide cutters. Makes turning a lot easier for a novice like me :)
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