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Vase Turning Tips

Turning Hollow Vessels-Page 1      Turning Hollow Vessels-Page 2      Vase Turning Tips

Mount the wood block on a faceplate and turn the outside first between centers. A waste block glued to the wood block can be used or screw the faceplate directly to the wood block. Do not use a chuck for mounting the turning unless you have an adequate Steady Rest. Even with a steady rest a chuck should not be trusted to hold the turning for deep hollowing.

Using the tailstock mounted drill, drill the largest hole in the center of the block to the depth of the vessel to remove as much wood as possible. This reduces the amount of dull work to remove the inside of the vessel with the Laser Guided Lathe Tool. Then remove the tailstock and mount the Torque Stabilizer.

Set the laser light at the desired vessel wall thickness, distance from the cutting tool. Tighten the knob on the vertical post first then the knob on the horizontal slide. Depending on where in the vessel the cutting tip is placed the laser must be readjusted for the vessel wall shape and cutting direction, otherwise you may cut through the wall of the vessel.

The cutting tip should be at 90° to the wood surface for best cutting, this means keep the cutting tip on the center line of the headstock arbor. This can be best adjusted by raising or lowering the tool rest supporting the cutting tool.

Shavings and sawdust must be removed frequently with high pressure air or vacuum. High pressure air is the easiest. Be sure the lathe has stopped before attempting the remove the dust and shavings.

To obtain a smooth inner wall of the vessel takes great care. An additional wide scraper tip can be made to remove cutting ridges. Final sanding can be done with the Laser Guided Lathe Tool removed and a 3' by ¾" dowel with a 2"-3" saw cut in one end to hold sandpaper works pretty good.

Turning dry wood works well. For an additional challenge try turning green wood. With green wood the faceplate must be screwed directly to the wood block. It is recommended that 4-6, 1½" screws be used to mount the green wood block.

Shape the outside of the vessel between centers, shear scrape to a smooth surface (green wood does not sand easily). Follow the directions above for hollowing.

It is recommended that the bottom of the vessel be shaped with a cut off tool into about 1" tenon remaining holding the vessel to the screw mounted faceplate. Remember where the screws are so you don't cut into them. Cutting into the block at the bottom of the vessel allows the bottom to dry at the thickness of the vessel walls except where the 1" tenon attachment remains.

Sanding the inside and outside of a greenwood vessel cannot be done until the vessel has dried for a day or 2 or 3. Don't wait too long as the vessel may change shape making sanding hard to do.

Once sanding of the inside and outside is complete cut off the 1" tenon, use a bandsaw or handsaw. The bottom of the vessel can be shaped with a die grinder, sander or carver and then finish sanding.

Turning Hollow Vessels-Page 1      Turning Hollow Vessels-Page 2      Vase Turning Tips