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Grain direction? (Read 435 times)
 
George Stratton
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Old Delta 12" 46-701 in great condition. Had it about 20+ years and turned 1 part.
Grain direction?
May 30th, 2017 at 11:55am
 
This has probably been answered many times before but i'm very new at this and looking for info. If I were to cut a bowel blank from a round tree log say 6x6x2" thick. Do you slice off a 2" thick slab and then cut the 6x6 away from the center of the tree? or do you slice a 6" thick slab and cut the 2" vertically with the grain. The grain direction will be 90 deg. different in each case. Which way is best in turning wood?
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Ed Weber
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #1 - May 30th, 2017 at 12:08pm
 
Here is an article that may help you visualize how you want/need to cut your wood to get the grain in the desired direction.
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George Stratton
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Old Delta 12" 46-701 in great condition. Had it about 20+ years and turned 1 part.
Re: Grain direction?
Reply #2 - May 30th, 2017 at 1:10pm
 
Thanks so much on that Ed. I'll save the article for reference
Geo.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #3 - May 30th, 2017 at 7:02pm
 
I imagine I'm not the only one with that in my files.
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John Cepko
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #4 - Jul 3rd, 2017 at 6:01pm
 
Don Stephan wrote on May 30th, 2017 at 7:02pm:
I imagine I'm not the only one with that in my files.



You're not.
But, there might be only the two of us.
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Dwight Rutherford
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #5 - Jul 3rd, 2017 at 9:30pm
 
Count me as another.

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robo_hippy
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #6 - Jul 3rd, 2017 at 10:03pm
 
Spindle blanks, in the old days were first rived, or split off the log, then turned. Same way you would split a log for fire wood.

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Don Stephan
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #7 - Jul 4th, 2017 at 9:49am
 
Please query if this does not make sense.

Generally we try to avoid the pith or growth center in the log - it is a small diameter (1/6" or so) hollow, and the wood immediately around it often already shows some cracks and tends to crack as the bowl is drying.

Let's say you have a nice straight column of wood, a piece of a log, 18" in diameter and 20" long, with the pith in the geometric center of the column.

To remove the pith cut a 2" wide "board" from top to bottom of the column - the "board" will be 20" long, 18" wide, and 2" thick. The remaining parts of the original column of wood are bowl blanks, the inside surface perhaps 16" wide and flat, overall thickness about 8" thick in the center, and the outside surface curved and covered with bark. These can be called "flat cut" bowl blanks. A bowl with the rim facing the center of the tree is essentially the largest diameter bowl that can be turned from a section of log. A bowl with the rim facing the bark will be smaller but the rim will be saddle shaped and the rim is known as a live edge. If the tree was alive, and cut during the dormant period (approx Nov-Feb) the bark will be firmly attached to the outer sapwood, and if the bark is left in place the rim is called a natural edge. In both these bowl orientations the annual growth ring pairs make an active grain pattern on the inside bottom of the bowl equivalent to arches and cathedrals in flat sawn lumber. (To get closer to a round bowl blank before mounting on the lathe, some will nip off the four corners of these blanks with a chain saw, some will cut a round blank on the bandsaw.)

On another column of wood the same size, cut out a center board 3" thick straddling the pith. This will leave a pair of flat cut bowl blanks slightly thinner than above.

Going back to the center board, remove the pith by ripping (corrected) a 2" thick by 3" wide by 20" long board from its middle, leaving a pair of boards about 20" long by 8" wide by 3" thick, analogous to quarter sawn lumber. From each of these two quarter sawn boards cut two quarter cut bowl blank squares, each 8" x 8" x 3" thick. It doesn't make any difference which way the rim faces in these blanks. Turn a bowl about 7" diameter by 2 1/2" high bowl, an excellent size for snacks, breakfast cereal, and more. On the inside bottom of a quarter cut bowl the growth ring pairs make parallel lines, and arches and cathedrals appear on opposite sides of the bowl.

There is no right or wrong with flat cut and quarter cut bowl blanks. But if making once turned bowls, quarter cut blanks tend to be more symmetric after drying that flat cut. Quarter cut bowls cannot be as large as flat cut, and there is more waste when breaking a column of wood into quarter cut blanks
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« Last Edit: Jul 4th, 2017 at 2:30pm by Don Stephan »  
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Ed Weber
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #8 - Jul 4th, 2017 at 10:46am
 
Don Stephan wrote on Jul 4th, 2017 at 9:49am:
Going back to the center board, remove the pith by crosscutting a 2" thick by 3" wide by 20" long board from its middle, leaving a pair of boards about 20" long by 8" wide by 3" thick, analogous to quarter sawn lumber.

That would be a rip or ripping cut.
First we rip to width, then cross-cut to length. You can cross-cut first but then you need to rip both pieces individually and that's more work (more cuts)
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Don Stephan
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #9 - Jul 4th, 2017 at 2:33pm
 
Thanks Ed for keeping an eye on my posts - the last think I want is incorrect and/or confusing information.  Too focused this morning on organization and not enough focus on wording.  I made the correction in my original post.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #10 - Jul 4th, 2017 at 3:50pm
 
Don Stephan wrote on Jul 4th, 2017 at 2:33pm:
Thanks Ed for keeping an eye on my posts - the last think I want is incorrect and/or confusing information.  Too focused this morning on organization and not enough focus on wording.  I made the correction in my original post.

I'm not sure if that was a joke or you're still too focused on other things.  Undecided Smiley
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Don Stephan
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #11 - Jul 4th, 2017 at 6:54pm
 
Still distracted - should have read the last thing . . .  Thanks a 2nd time for catching a slip up.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Grain direction?
Reply #12 - Jul 4th, 2017 at 8:43pm
 
Just having some fun, I've done it more times than I can count.
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