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Turning Speeds (Read 1,105 times)
 
Ron Sardo
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Turning Speeds
Mar 29th, 2008 at 8:27am
 
Here are some of the speeds I work with. I'll admit though, I don't look at the read out for the speed I'm working at, if it feels to fast, I'll slow it down, if it feels to slow, I'll speed it up.

These are guidelines and are not set in stone

Burnishing - As fast as I dare - up to 3200
Pens - 2400-2600 RPMs
Boxes - 1800+ RPMs
Finishing Bowls under 12" 1000-1500 RPMs
Finishing Bowls over 12" 400 - 1200 RPMs (the bigger they are the slower I turn)
Roughing out small bowls -400-800 RPMs
Roughing out
big
bowls 50-350 RPMs (step by step, slowly I turn)
Chasing Threads - 150 - 200 RPMs
Sanding 200-300 RPMs
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« Last Edit: Mar 29th, 2008 at 8:30am by Ron Sardo »  

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E. Bud Gillaspie
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Re: Turning Speeds
Reply #1 - Mar 29th, 2008 at 11:53am
 
Yep, Ron, ya have'um about right for 90% of turners. Then there are us speed freaks.  Shocked  Depending on the balance of the blank, I rough @ 450-1,200rpm. The size of the blank doesn't matter that much but the weight must be considered.

Once I have the blank "round" I start shaping by turning up the revs 'til the lathe starts to shake then decrease the revs 'til the shaking either stops or is managable. This takes both practice & experience=trial & error. You'd best know how to mount the blank as well. I've launched 20lb blanks. Rule #2: Never stand in front of a mounted blank when you start the lathe.

Speed can be a wood turner's friend as well as an enemy. The faster one spins a blank the smoother the cut.

Turning square pieces is a different game=high revs are you friends. It "shortens" the time between tool to wood contact. Again be sure of your mounting and obey Rule #2.

Rule #1 is: Turn safely=stay in your "comfort zone" but work upon broadening that zone.
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E. Bud Gillaspie Umpqua Turning Club
 
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Turning Speeds
Reply #2 - Mar 29th, 2008 at 12:32pm
 
Thanks Bud

I'm assuming when you say square pieces you are rounding spindles. This is a different story, because you are using the tailstock. I crank up the speed for this also, depending on the size, maybe around 1800-2000rpms.  Faster if they are pen blanks or small spindles.

If you are talking about a small square bowl, than I agree with you also. I never turned a large square bowl, but lately, most of the large bowls that I've turned have a natural edge. Turning a 18" natural edge bowl at 500rpms is about the fastest I dare. Do you turn blanks faster that are this size?

When I'm roughing out a blank I start out slow, but once it's "round" I turn up the speed as well.

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Re: Turning Speeds
Reply #3 - Mar 29th, 2008 at 4:20pm
 
I turn large platters (18" to 24") between 950 & 1,200rpm AFTER they are "true." My 1442 has limited speed ranges so I have learned to be somewhat "adventuresome." If I had a nice 3520 or Robust Amer. Beauty (drool) I might do things a bit differently.

The largest square bowl I've turned is 14" x 4" and I've not turned a large, NE, bowl. I did turn a 27" x 3.5" salad bowl for a new restaurant's centerpiece. That's too much for a 1442, it was an experience.  Lips Sealed
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Mike Baber
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Re: Turning Speeds
Reply #4 - Mar 29th, 2008 at 7:06pm
 
Thanks Ron, this will be a big help, that is if I can get this hard head of mine to follow it and if for some reason I don't and I do have an accident, ya'll can tell me... "We tried to tell you ya Twit" or "I told you so!!!"

Now... The Rule's I live by...

1 - Safety first... Always! I always ware a face shield on a new piece... especially if its got bark on it. I learned this in my younger days running a medal lathe, getting steel drilled out of one's eye isn't all that painful, but after the sedative ware off... its a ball buster, let me tell you!!! I never stand in front of a new piece when I start up the lathe and I often check to make sure all is secure till it is turned round.

2 - Remember how I anchored the piece, regardless of it being a face plate w/eight stainless steel screws deep enough to secure the piece or a worm screw or between centers. I start out slow and make sure the piece is stable, turn it till its balanced and no wobble. If it want balance, don't run the lathe any faster than need be to prevent vibration. I run my lather most often pretty fast, that is as long as I'm comfortable with its, for me faster is better, that is as long as their is No Vibration or a balance problem. Like some of you, I have had some that were just so out of balance weight wise I didn't crank it up, but that was the only reason for turning it slow.

3 - I often check the piece before increasing the speed to make sure its still secure, I don't like turning a piece if its gotten lose regardless of how I mounted it. I can tell you from experience that a blank will work its self lose during the ruffing stage if you missed something when mounting it. If you use a face plate, make sure you use a good grade screw and are long enough to secure the piece you intend to turn. If I use my worm screw, I drill my hole a tad smaller instead of one that allows the screw to screw in fairly easy. Too small of a hole you stand the chance of cracking the wood, to big and you get a sloppy fit.

4 - My "comfort zone" depends on what it is I'm turning, most often is a pretty thick ruff cut board, but I do turn some other stuff too. The boards are turned at a fairly high rate of speed and the regular blanks like most of you turn are turned at slower speeds for the simple reason their cut out of logs or something similar and most times way out of balance and no where near being round, you see I do have a bandsaw, but its not big enough to cut round blanks, I can cut or trim a ruff cut log some what, but not all the way round. So I do turn these a lot slower because they scar the crap out of me trying to round them out. So far I've turned small bottle stoppers to large platter, the biggest being 17" across and 3/8" thick and yea... I had it cranked up as always.

5 - Safety, When I feel myself getting tired, its time to stop and call it for the night, their is no need in hurrying up so I can go ahead and finish what it is I'm working on. When your tired and you run your lathe as fast as I do, you can really screw up alot faster by not paying attention and letting your "Speed" get the best of you. I guess I'm really lucky, to date I've not been hurt running my lathe as fast as I do, but that is not to say its not going to happen. I do listen to what ALL of you have to say, but that doesn't mean I do what you recommend, which is stupidity on my part for the simple reason, you've been doing this alot longer than I have and..... "You have already been where it is I'm going."

Thanks for your time and all of your information.
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Re: Turning Speeds
Reply #5 - Mar 29th, 2008 at 7:53pm
 
OK wizzy I am going to high jack this and then back out, I didn't know you could type that many words in one setting  Grin Grin Grin
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Turning Speeds
Reply #6 - Mar 29th, 2008 at 9:36pm
 
Mike

When working with machinery these are excellent rules to live by.

Every one is spot on, Thanks.
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Mike Baber
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Re: Turning Speeds
Reply #7 - Mar 30th, 2008 at 2:55am
 
Thanks Ron, tonight I turned 10 bottle stopper piece's and one bowl and I tried your speed setting and I've found a NEW comfort zone believe it or not. The first two or three bottle stoppers I went at it as always... wide open and then started slowing things down like you suggested and I now have curl's coming off the lathe more often and I noticed something else, its actually easer to ride the bevel and I also noticed I don't tire out as fast either because I'm not fighting the tools as often.

I turned the bowl last because I wanted to see the speed difference from what I'm use to, to what you suggested. Usually I'm clean up chips and dust, but this time I was sweeping up curls and I mean lots of them. Once I figure out just how to really hold the tool and ride "the bevel" like I hear some of the other turners here have spoke about, I'd bet you could slow down even more. I also found I didn't get as many catches turning at slower speeds.

Your turning speed's are great for what I turn and I'll be using them more now that I've tried them, I'm glad you posted this and I hope it helps others as it has helped me. I believe I might make a "turner" after all someday... thanks again for everything that All of you do!

Peace!!! Cool

Bubba... I'm from the south, what'd ya expect ya twit!... Your welcome!!!
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« Last Edit: Mar 30th, 2008 at 2:57am by Mike Baber »  

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Re: Turning Speeds
Reply #8 - Mar 30th, 2008 at 5:32am
 
Tom,
I'm with you that surprised me it was a well thought out very concise write up I think he told Robin what he wanted to say & she wrote it. C'mon Floozie admit it Robin wrote it. Grin
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