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Old January 26th 07, 09:12 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Help with steady rest on baluster

Hi,

I'm a recent convert to woodturning and trying to turn some replacement
balusters for my 110 year old originals. They are 34" long and about
1/2" diameter at the thinnest points, turned from 1 1/4" square stock.

Whip is a bit of an issue. I thought I could improve things by using
oak rather than the original pine and whip is still a big issue. The
surface finish looks rather like a turtle's shell - the tool is
scooping out wood unevenly as the wood vibrates.

I thought I could cure the problem with a centre steady rest so I
slapped down the cash for a robert sorby steady with three steel
rollers and it's even worse. When I turn the lathe on there's a lot of
noise - I presume that the problem is that the wood I'm steadying isn't
perfectly round - because I had to rough it to circular unsupported.
The result is that the wood is now vibrating from contact with the
steady before I touch it with the gouge.

Depression is starting to set in - any hints on how to proceed would be
much appreciated.

Dave
Ipswich, UK


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Old January 26th 07, 12:15 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Posts: 600
Default Help with steady rest on baluster

Dave
How new are you to turning? 34" long with a 1/2" diameter anywhere near the
middle, is tricky turn. There can be lots of vibration. First get some
practice pieces to "waste." To use a steady rest on a piece like this you
need to rough down to a smooth circle in the cneter of the piece. If you are
using 1 1/4" stock, aim for a 1 1/8" circle, not 1/2". Never mind what the
actual diameter is dupposed to be at center, turn to the largest diameter
you can for the steady rest. Then work the tail stock end. move the steady
rest down a bit to a finished diameter and turn the head stock end.
Practice, practice, practice. Hope this helps.

--

God bless and safe turning
Darrell Feltmate
Truro, NS Canada
www.aroundthewoods.com


"dave_ipswich" wrote in message
oups.com...
Hi,

I'm a recent convert to woodturning and trying to turn some replacement
balusters for my 110 year old originals. They are 34" long and about
1/2" diameter at the thinnest points, turned from 1 1/4" square stock.

Whip is a bit of an issue. I thought I could improve things by using
oak rather than the original pine and whip is still a big issue. The
surface finish looks rather like a turtle's shell - the tool is
scooping out wood unevenly as the wood vibrates.

I thought I could cure the problem with a centre steady rest so I
slapped down the cash for a robert sorby steady with three steel
rollers and it's even worse. When I turn the lathe on there's a lot of
noise - I presume that the problem is that the wood I'm steadying isn't
perfectly round - because I had to rough it to circular unsupported.
The result is that the wood is now vibrating from contact with the
steady before I touch it with the gouge.

Depression is starting to set in - any hints on how to proceed would be
much appreciated.

Dave
Ipswich, UK



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Old January 26th 07, 12:30 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 29
Default Help with steady rest on baluster

110 years ago your spindles were turned were probably turned in less than 10
minutes each, on a foot-powered lathe without a steady rest. Humbling,
isn't it?

Things to try:

Slow your speed way down. 700 rpm is plenty, less if you can get it. At
this speed, a good surface can only come from a super-sharp tool. Have you
checked that the steady rest is holding the spindle exactly on center? If
not, it'll only make things worse.

Gouges will also make this situation worse, because they have more bevel
that has to rub. Skew chisels will give you a better cut. Even with a
steady rest, you'll have to support the cut with your leading hand/fingers
curling around the spindle as you cut it.

Start at the middle of the spindle and work towards both ends. The idea is
always to leave as much support as possible, for as long as possible. Once
you turn a section 3"-6" long, sand it and leave it... at this
length/thickness, you can't go back (sometimes even to sand) without
chatter.

Try a different wood. Oak, with its hard/soft layers, is very hard to turn
into long, thin spindles, and doesn't respond well to steady rests of your
type. And if that coarse grain isn't perfectly aligned with the axis of the
spindle, it'll be pretty weak too. I'm not sure if you can get poplar in
the UK, but that's what I'd try, at least for practice. If not, any
medium-hard wood without pronounced grain will do.

Practice, practice, practice on some boring wood, at what seems like
ridiculously slow speeds, always supporting your cut with your leading hand,
trying to make the longest, thinnest spindle that you can. Spindles that
are 24" long or longer and 1/8" (yes, you read that right) in diameter,
complete with lots of elements, are absolutely do-able without a steady
rest. This is the graduate-school, rocket-science of woodturning. And once
you master it, everything else in life is a piece of cake.

Michael Latcha - at home in Redford, MI


"dave_ipswich" wrote in message
oups.com...
Hi,

I'm a recent convert to woodturning and trying to turn some replacement
balusters for my 110 year old originals. They are 34" long and about
1/2" diameter at the thinnest points, turned from 1 1/4" square stock.

Whip is a bit of an issue. I thought I could improve things by using
oak rather than the original pine and whip is still a big issue. The
surface finish looks rather like a turtle's shell - the tool is
scooping out wood unevenly as the wood vibrates.

I thought I could cure the problem with a centre steady rest so I
slapped down the cash for a robert sorby steady with three steel
rollers and it's even worse. When I turn the lathe on there's a lot of
noise - I presume that the problem is that the wood I'm steadying isn't
perfectly round - because I had to rough it to circular unsupported.
The result is that the wood is now vibrating from contact with the
steady before I touch it with the gouge.

Depression is starting to set in - any hints on how to proceed would be
much appreciated.

Dave
Ipswich, UK



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Old January 26th 07, 12:39 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,407
Default Help with steady rest on baluster


"dave_ipswich" wrote in message
oups.com...
Hi,

I'm a recent convert to woodturning and trying to turn some replacement
balusters for my 110 year old originals. They are 34" long and about
1/2" diameter at the thinnest points, turned from 1 1/4" square stock.

Whip is a bit of an issue. I thought I could improve things by using
oak rather than the original pine and whip is still a big issue. The
surface finish looks rather like a turtle's shell - the tool is
scooping out wood unevenly as the wood vibrates.

I thought I could cure the problem with a centre steady rest so I
slapped down the cash for a robert sorby steady with three steel
rollers and it's even worse. When I turn the lathe on there's a lot of
noise - I presume that the problem is that the wood I'm steadying isn't
perfectly round - because I had to rough it to circular unsupported.
The result is that the wood is now vibrating from contact with the
steady before I touch it with the gouge.

Depression is starting to set in - any hints on how to proceed would be
much appreciated.


Couple of things to begin with. Make sure you're not flexing the piece at
the outset with too much pressure from the tailstock. If a live center,
snug and then back off an eighth of a turn or so, keeping the point an cup
engaged.

Watch your cutting angle. Depending on the tool used, you'll want to cut
high on the piece with a skew, lower with a gouge, where the tool provides a
bit of clearance by its shape. I tend to wrap the steadying hand around
under when using a skew, behind on a gouge or chisel.

Then there's the problem of the differential density in oak to overcome.
Makes a non-flexible wheel on the steady more of a liability than a help
sometimes. Keep the tool firm to the rest and skim the chatter off in
stages if you must. Trying to steady a cut on a bouncing bevel won't work.

  #5   Report Post  
Old January 26th 07, 01:32 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 29
Default Help with steady rest on baluster

Oak is a bad subsisted for original pine. Pine has a lot or teat out. If
it is interior use go with poplar or exterior the best would be mahogany. As
for getting a round section for steady rest turn first section 6 to 12"
inches from end and then you will have enough support to do one at center of
piece.

--
Art Ransom
Lancaster , Texas
www.turningaround.org
[email protected] comcast.net is changing to


"dave_ipswich" wrote in message
oups.com...
Hi,

I'm a recent convert to woodturning and trying to turn some replacement
balusters for my 110 year old originals. They are 34" long and about
1/2" diameter at the thinnest points, turned from 1 1/4" square stock.

Whip is a bit of an issue. I thought I could improve things by using
oak rather than the original pine and whip is still a big issue. The
surface finish looks rather like a turtle's shell - the tool is
scooping out wood unevenly as the wood vibrates.

I thought I could cure the problem with a centre steady rest so I
slapped down the cash for a robert sorby steady with three steel
rollers and it's even worse. When I turn the lathe on there's a lot of
noise - I presume that the problem is that the wood I'm steadying isn't
perfectly round - because I had to rough it to circular unsupported.
The result is that the wood is now vibrating from contact with the
steady before I touch it with the gouge.

Depression is starting to set in - any hints on how to proceed would be
much appreciated.

Dave
Ipswich, UK





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Old January 26th 07, 02:27 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 575
Default Help with steady rest on baluster

Hi Dave, Please don't turn if you are taking any anti depressants or
mood elevating beverages for your incipient depression.


It may not matter with balusters, but with very thin long rods, goblets,
etc. driving the blank with a chuck instead of a spur seems to help
prevent bowing. probably by compressing longitudinal fibers.


You've gotten some much better tips, but since you have already bought
the Sorby steady rest you might like to make a 'turtle' to use with it.
Nothing more than a short piece of black iron pipe, say 2 in. length X 2
in. diam. Drill and thread 3 holes around the circumference for three
3/8 or so bolts to bear against the middle of the wood blank. Adjust the
bolts to center the blank in the pipe and lock the bolts with two nuts
each. Then let the Sorby rollers ride on the round pipe avoiding the
bolt heads. Turn an adjacent section of the blank to round, remove the
turtle and use the steady while completing the baluster. Hope my
description isn't too confusing.


Turn to Safety, Arch
Fortiter


http://community.webtv.net/almcc/MacsMusings

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Old January 26th 07, 04:11 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Jan 2007
Posts: 6
Default Help with steady rest on baluster

I did a bit at school 30 years ago. I bought a cheap nasty lathe at the
beginning of November, spent most of November learning to sharpen tools
and building jigs. I did a two day course at the beginning of December,
joined a club at the beginning of January, sold the cheap nasty lathe
and bought a Nova DVR XP in the middle of January. It's a clearly a bit
of an obsession but I'm enjoying it very much.

I'm turning down to the largest possible diameter for the steady but I
wonder if it's worth doing that say 6" from the end and then working my
way up the baluster in 6 inch sections?

Dave


On 26 Jan, 12:15, "Darrell Feltmate"
wrote:
Dave
How new are you to turning? 34" long with a 1/2" diameter anywhere near the
middle, is tricky turn. There can be lots of vibration. First get some
practice pieces to "waste." To use a steady rest on a piece like this you
need to rough down to a smooth circle in the cneter of the piece. If you are
using 1 1/4" stock, aim for a 1 1/8" circle, not 1/2". Never mind what the
actual diameter is dupposed to be at center, turn to the largest diameter
you can for the steady rest. Then work the tail stock end. move the steady
rest down a bit to a finished diameter and turn the head stock end.
Practice, practice, practice. Hope this helps.

--

God bless and safe turning
Darrell Feltmate
Truro, NS Canadawww.aroundthewoods.com

"dave_ipswich" wrote in ooglegroups.com...

Hi,


I'm a recent convert to woodturning and trying to turn some replacement
balusters for my 110 year old originals. They are 34" long and about
1/2" diameter at the thinnest points, turned from 1 1/4" square stock.


Whip is a bit of an issue. I thought I could improve things by using
oak rather than the original pine and whip is still a big issue. The
surface finish looks rather like a turtle's shell - the tool is
scooping out wood unevenly as the wood vibrates.


I thought I could cure the problem with a centre steady rest so I
slapped down the cash for a robert sorby steady with three steel
rollers and it's even worse. When I turn the lathe on there's a lot of
noise - I presume that the problem is that the wood I'm steadying isn't
perfectly round - because I had to rough it to circular unsupported.
The result is that the wood is now vibrating from contact with the
steady before I touch it with the gouge.


Depression is starting to set in - any hints on how to proceed would be
much appreciated.


Dave
Ipswich, UK


  #8   Report Post  
Old January 26th 07, 04:15 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Jan 2007
Posts: 6
Default Help with steady rest on baluster

Michael,

I can go down to 100 rpm - presumably there will be other issues then?

I'm pretty confident the tools are sharp.

I do have some cherry - would that be suitable?

To centre the steady I just bring up each roller to touch the wood at
rest - is there a better way?

Dave


On 26 Jan, 12:30, "Michael Latcha" wrote:
110 years ago your spindles were turned were probably turned in less than 10
minutes each, on a foot-powered lathe without a steady rest. Humbling,
isn't it?

Things to try:

Slow your speed way down. 700 rpm is plenty, less if you can get it. At
this speed, a good surface can only come from a super-sharp tool. Have you
checked that the steady rest is holding the spindle exactly on center? If
not, it'll only make things worse.

Gouges will also make this situation worse, because they have more bevel
that has to rub. Skew chisels will give you a better cut. Even with a
steady rest, you'll have to support the cut with your leading hand/fingers
curling around the spindle as you cut it.

Start at the middle of the spindle and work towards both ends. The idea is
always to leave as much support as possible, for as long as possible. Once
you turn a section 3"-6" long, sand it and leave it... at this
length/thickness, you can't go back (sometimes even to sand) without
chatter.

Try a different wood. Oak, with its hard/soft layers, is very hard to turn
into long, thin spindles, and doesn't respond well to steady rests of your
type. And if that coarse grain isn't perfectly aligned with the axis of the
spindle, it'll be pretty weak too. I'm not sure if you can get poplar in
the UK, but that's what I'd try, at least for practice. If not, any
medium-hard wood without pronounced grain will do.

Practice, practice, practice on some boring wood, at what seems like
ridiculously slow speeds, always supporting your cut with your leading hand,
trying to make the longest, thinnest spindle that you can. Spindles that
are 24" long or longer and 1/8" (yes, you read that right) in diameter,
complete with lots of elements, are absolutely do-able without a steady
rest. This is the graduate-school, rocket-science of woodturning. And once
you master it, everything else in life is a piece of cake.

Michael Latcha - at home in Redford, MI

"dave_ipswich" wrote in ooglegroups.com...

Hi,


I'm a recent convert to woodturning and trying to turn some replacement
balusters for my 110 year old originals. They are 34" long and about
1/2" diameter at the thinnest points, turned from 1 1/4" square stock.


Whip is a bit of an issue. I thought I could improve things by using
oak rather than the original pine and whip is still a big issue. The
surface finish looks rather like a turtle's shell - the tool is
scooping out wood unevenly as the wood vibrates.


I thought I could cure the problem with a centre steady rest so I
slapped down the cash for a robert sorby steady with three steel
rollers and it's even worse. When I turn the lathe on there's a lot of
noise - I presume that the problem is that the wood I'm steadying isn't
perfectly round - because I had to rough it to circular unsupported.
The result is that the wood is now vibrating from contact with the
steady before I touch it with the gouge.


Depression is starting to set in - any hints on how to proceed would be
much appreciated.


Dave
Ipswich, UK


  #9   Report Post  
Old January 26th 07, 04:18 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Jan 2007
Posts: 6
Default Help with steady rest on baluster

I'll definitely try loosening the tailstock. Any other recommendations
for a better wood than oak?

On 26 Jan, 12:39, "George" wrote:
"dave_ipswich" wrote in ooglegroups.com...



Hi,


I'm a recent convert to woodturning and trying to turn some replacement
balusters for my 110 year old originals. They are 34" long and about
1/2" diameter at the thinnest points, turned from 1 1/4" square stock.


Whip is a bit of an issue. I thought I could improve things by using
oak rather than the original pine and whip is still a big issue. The
surface finish looks rather like a turtle's shell - the tool is
scooping out wood unevenly as the wood vibrates.


I thought I could cure the problem with a centre steady rest so I
slapped down the cash for a robert sorby steady with three steel
rollers and it's even worse. When I turn the lathe on there's a lot of
noise - I presume that the problem is that the wood I'm steadying isn't
perfectly round - because I had to rough it to circular unsupported.
The result is that the wood is now vibrating from contact with the
steady before I touch it with the gouge.


Depression is starting to set in - any hints on how to proceed would be
much appreciated.Couple of things to begin with. Make sure you're not flexing the piece at

the outset with too much pressure from the tailstock. If a live center,
snug and then back off an eighth of a turn or so, keeping the point an cup
engaged.

Watch your cutting angle. Depending on the tool used, you'll want to cut
high on the piece with a skew, lower with a gouge, where the tool provides a
bit of clearance by its shape. I tend to wrap the steadying hand around
under when using a skew, behind on a gouge or chisel.

Then there's the problem of the differential density in oak to overcome.
Makes a non-flexible wheel on the steady more of a liability than a help
sometimes. Keep the tool firm to the rest and skim the chatter off in
stages if you must. Trying to steady a cut on a bouncing bevel won't work.


  #10   Report Post  
Old January 26th 07, 04:35 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 195
Default Help with steady rest on baluster

Dave,

I've had good luck making balisters from poplar. It's harder than pine, but
not quite as hard as oak, and the grain isn't as coarse so it cuts smoother
with less vibration. If I were trying to make something with only 1/2"
diameter in the middle, then that's the last cut that I would make. I would
work from the ends toward this and finish it up last.

--
Charley


"dave_ipswich" wrote in message
oups.com...
I did a bit at school 30 years ago. I bought a cheap nasty lathe at the
beginning of November, spent most of November learning to sharpen tools
and building jigs. I did a two day course at the beginning of December,
joined a club at the beginning of January, sold the cheap nasty lathe
and bought a Nova DVR XP in the middle of January. It's a clearly a bit
of an obsession but I'm enjoying it very much.

I'm turning down to the largest possible diameter for the steady but I
wonder if it's worth doing that say 6" from the end and then working my
way up the baluster in 6 inch sections?

Dave


On 26 Jan, 12:15, "Darrell Feltmate"
wrote:
Dave
How new are you to turning? 34" long with a 1/2" diameter anywhere near

the
middle, is tricky turn. There can be lots of vibration. First get some
practice pieces to "waste." To use a steady rest on a piece like this

you
need to rough down to a smooth circle in the cneter of the piece. If you

are
using 1 1/4" stock, aim for a 1 1/8" circle, not 1/2". Never mind what

the
actual diameter is dupposed to be at center, turn to the largest

diameter
you can for the steady rest. Then work the tail stock end. move the

steady
rest down a bit to a finished diameter and turn the head stock end.
Practice, practice, practice. Hope this helps.

--

God bless and safe turning
Darrell Feltmate
Truro, NS Canadawww.aroundthewoods.com

"dave_ipswich" wrote in

ooglegroups.com...

Hi,


I'm a recent convert to woodturning and trying to turn some

replacement
balusters for my 110 year old originals. They are 34" long and about
1/2" diameter at the thinnest points, turned from 1 1/4" square stock.


Whip is a bit of an issue. I thought I could improve things by using
oak rather than the original pine and whip is still a big issue. The
surface finish looks rather like a turtle's shell - the tool is
scooping out wood unevenly as the wood vibrates.


I thought I could cure the problem with a centre steady rest so I
slapped down the cash for a robert sorby steady with three steel
rollers and it's even worse. When I turn the lathe on there's a lot of
noise - I presume that the problem is that the wood I'm steadying

isn't
perfectly round - because I had to rough it to circular unsupported.
The result is that the wood is now vibrating from contact with the
steady before I touch it with the gouge.


Depression is starting to set in - any hints on how to proceed would

be
much appreciated.


Dave
Ipswich, UK






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