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What tools can be used on end grain? (Read 294 times)
 
Matthew Gingerich
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I'm completely new to woodturning. I made my own lathe, which I'll be using until I save up for a real one.
What tools can be used on end grain?
Sep 15th, 2017 at 2:16pm
 
My toolset does not include a bowl gouge, but I'd like to be able to make small cups and bowls and such. Which tools are okay to use to on the end grain? I already know not to use a spindle roughing gouge, but what about scrapers and detail/spindle gouges?
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Don Stephan
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Re: What tools can be used on end grain?
Reply #1 - Sep 15th, 2017 at 6:52pm
 
One can hollow out a not excessively deep bowl just with scrapers.   Our own Robo Hippy has a Youtube video showing how he does this.  Often I use a "wide and thick" (i.e. "heavy") scraper (with different end radii) flat on the tool rest for final shaping of the inside bottom of a bowl, and scrapers with a slightly different shape rotated up on the bottom left edge to "shear scrape" away tool marks and tiny bumps in the transition and (very light cuts) on the inside side of bowls.

Like spindle roughing gouges, spindle, detail, and spindle detail gouges are not considered safe on the inside of a bowl - there is a risk of the tool breaking under the force exerted on it.

The typical bowl offers a mix of side and end grain, so your reference to end grain is puzzling to me - in a typical bowl one is alternatively cutting side and end grain.  I have turned some martini glasses where the grain of the tree was parallel to the stem of the glass, so the inside of the "cup" at the top of the martini glass is all end grain, but I haven't used a scraper at all on martini glasses.
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« Last Edit: Sep 15th, 2017 at 7:03pm by Don Stephan »  
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Don Stephan
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Re: What tools can be used on end grain?
Reply #2 - Sep 15th, 2017 at 7:11pm
 
When starting to make bowls/cups, I would suggest getting a couple 2x6x8's, cut into squares, and without caring what the final shapes are make 6 or 8 practice bowls to get a sense for how the tools engage the wood.  Then sketch out two or 3 basic bowl shapes and try to make 3 or 4 of each, to get a sense for how the tools shape the wood.  Granted, a 2x6 is spruce-pine-fir (SPF) which is very soft and prone to tearout, but it is extremely economical.  Then find some 8/4 poplar, again economical, and repeat the exercises, as poplar will cut much more cleanly and isn't too hard.

Then look for some green wood, cut some bowl blanks, and repeat again.

Without the worry of ruining "good" wood, getting initial experience can be less worrisome.
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Matthew Gingerich
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I'm completely new to woodturning. I made my own lathe, which I'll be using until I save up for a real one.
Re: What tools can be used on end grain?
Reply #3 - Sep 15th, 2017 at 10:19pm
 
Don, I may have misused the terminology "end grain." What I mean is carving out the face of the bowl, the opposite of spindle work. I just assumed the grain had to be parallel to the  lathe shaft because I've heard sayings like "don't use a roughing gouge on end grain." Does the grain go the other way in a bowl?
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Ron Sardo
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Re: What tools can be used on end grain?
Reply #4 - Sep 16th, 2017 at 7:59am
 
If you look at a log as if you were counting the grown rings what you are looking at is the endgrain


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robo_hippy
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Re: What tools can be used on end grain?
Reply #5 - Sep 16th, 2017 at 10:52am
 
For bowl work, gouges are essential tools. If you only get one, get one with about a 60 degree bevel. If you get two, then get one with a 40/40, or  45/45 grind: 45 bevel, 45 sweep. I explain that on my sharpening video in the video section here... You can turn a bowl with just scrapers, but the gouges really help a lot. I do all of my shear scraping with scrapers, while some prefer to use gouges. This is another essential cut to learn so you don't have to do as much sanding... I use scrapers more than most people.

One can never have too many tools...

robo hippy
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Len Mullin
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Re: What tools can be used on end grain?
Reply #6 - Sep 18th, 2017 at 7:17pm
 
Matthew, seeing as how you're just starting out, and that you may need some instructions on how to turn things properly. I think that you should look up Bob Hamilton on You-Tube, you will learn a lot from watching his videos. Proper tools and how to hold and handle them, he was a great turner. The nice things about Bob's videos, is that he narrates through the whole video.
Len
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Ron Sardo
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Re: What tools can be used on end grain?
Reply #7 - Sep 19th, 2017 at 7:21am
 
Len Mullin wrote on Sep 18th, 2017 at 7:17pm:
Matthew, seeing as how you're just starting out, and that you may need some instructions on how to turn things properly. I think that you should look up Bob Hamilton on You-Tube, you will learn a lot from watching his videos. Proper tools and how to hold and handle them, he was a great turner. The nice things about Bob's videos, is that he narrates through the whole video.
Len


For our convenience Bob has placed his videos in our video section
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Len Mullin
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Re: What tools can be used on end grain?
Reply #8 - Sep 20th, 2017 at 5:00pm
 
Thanks Ron, I didn't realize there were posted on this site, good to know.
Len
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