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Woodturning (rec.crafts.woodturning) To discuss tools, techniques, styles, materials, shows and competitions, education and educational materials related to woodturning. All skill levels are welcome, from art turners to production turners, beginners to masters.

Douglas Fir difficulty



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 5th 06, 07:33 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Douglas Fir difficulty

So, based on what I've read in this ng, Doug Fir is a real b***h to turn,
with lots of "pitting", tearout, and chunking. Any tips on how to do it
for this newbie? After three tries I finally got a lamppost turned, with
lots of sanding, but the base seems to be a no-go. Too much tearout. What
should I do? make the base a different way and then switch to another wood
for my next lamp? (I need to make a few for our house).

--
John Snow
"Pull hard and it comes easy"
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  #2  
Old February 5th 06, 07:37 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Douglas Fir difficulty

Really sharp tools help. Take small cuts, not big ones. Do as much shear
cutting as possible, avoid scraping. Still ain't great to work with.

Yeah--I'd think hard about another wood. It just ain't worth the effort.

(I have made some nice plates and bowls out of fir and cedar, but it's
always touch and go.)

Walt C


"Hitch" wrote in message
36...
So, based on what I've read in this ng, Doug Fir is a real b***h to turn,
with lots of "pitting", tearout, and chunking. Any tips on how to do it
for this newbie? After three tries I finally got a lamppost turned, with
lots of sanding, but the base seems to be a no-go. Too much tearout.
What
should I do? make the base a different way and then switch to another
wood
for my next lamp? (I need to make a few for our house).

--
John Snow
"Pull hard and it comes easy"



  #3  
Old February 5th 06, 11:46 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Douglas Fir difficulty


"Walt Cheever" wrote in message
news:ZBrFf.756167$_o.417551@attbi_s71...
Really sharp tools help. Take small cuts, not big ones. Do as much shear
cutting as possible, avoid scraping. Still ain't great to work with.

Yeah--I'd think hard about another wood. It just ain't worth the effort.

(I have made some nice plates and bowls out of fir and cedar, but it's
always touch and go.)

Walt C

==================
I'd second what Walt said, plus suggest the use of some hardener such as CA
glue after turning down to near the final contour. If you have some time
between final cuts, I've had limited sucess with Danish oil applied and
allowed to set overnight, then taking VERY LIGHT cuts. That was on Western
red cedar, which cuts similar to DF. There was a lot of movement with the
oil overnight. YMMV

Ken Moon
Webberville, TX.


  #4  
Old February 6th 06, 07:00 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Douglas Fir difficulty

I've turned a lot of cedar and used to have a horrible time until I
finally built some jigs to use when sharpening my gouges, etc. Now it
cuts smooth as butter. My guess is your tools aren't sharp enough for
such soft wood. Soft wood is tough to cut. As others have said...light
cuts, sharp tools and lots of sandpaper.
Earl

  #5  
Old February 6th 06, 11:53 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Douglas Fir difficulty


"Earl" wrote in message
ups.com...
I've turned a lot of cedar and used to have a horrible time until I
finally built some jigs to use when sharpening my gouges, etc. Now it
cuts smooth as butter. My guess is your tools aren't sharp enough for
such soft wood. Soft wood is tough to cut. As others have said...light
cuts, sharp tools and lots of sandpaper.


Well, nobody's mentioned it so ... don't ride the bevel. If you put
pressure on the non-cutting portion of the tool you leave yourself
vulnerable to digs and bounces on any wood, as well as those ugly burnished
rings that never sand out. When there is a great difference between early
and late wood, as with fir, you also crush the brittle latewood into the
softer early. The forged gouge is a real winner here, peeling continuous
shavings rather than ripping.

Ride the toolrest, as you should with any cut, and keep the tool firmly on
it. May sound strange to repeat the obvious, but the number of people who
complain about dents in the rest means a lot of people aren't keeping their
hand over the tool and the tool to the rest. Which also leaves them riding
in and out with the changes in grain - not good.


  #6  
Old February 6th 06, 11:02 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Douglas Fir difficulty

I'll have to go with Earl on this-- have turned a lot of eastern Cedar
(aeromatic) mostly in stave form. Use really sharp tools. It helps to
have the buffing wheel charged with sharpening compound to touch up the
tool from time to time too. BTW, there are some really fine comments
on Scary Sharp over in the rec.woodworking group - do a search on scary
sharp.

  #7  
Old February 20th 06, 11:44 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Douglas Fir difficulty

Hitch wrote:
So, based on what I've read in this ng, Doug Fir is a real b***h to turn,
with lots of "pitting", tearout, and chunking. Any tips on how to do it
for this newbie? After three tries I finally got a lamppost turned, with
lots of sanding, but the base seems to be a no-go. Too much tearout. What
should I do? make the base a different way and then switch to another wood
for my next lamp? (I need to make a few for our house).


There are a couple of benefits to turning Douglas Fir.

1. If you practice cutting woods like Douglas fir until you can get a
good finish directly from the tool you will do wonders on woods that are
easier to work!

2. The vast difference in the hard and soft parts of the wood grain that
make this wood difficult to turn can result in some very interesting
patterns in the piece that you successfully turn (if you stick with it).

I did a lot of practice with this wood when starting out. If you keep
your tools sharp, cut with the grain, and practice good cutting
techniques you can get good results, without having to reach for the "60
grit gouge".

Good luck,

Keith Hughes
Comanche Trails Woodturners
 




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