It's snowing, so I'm not going to go out onto the wet woodpile after those
two chunks of birch. I'm certainly not going to buck up any more until
Are you a peeler or a poker? I was making a few of those cornered
bowls/dishes yesterday afternoon when I remembered how I looked initially at
some posts and sites about keeping the edges from tearing out. As I
normally just run the bottom to top without significant problem
http://groups.msn.com/NovaOwners/georgesalbum.msnw?albumlist=2 , I asked
what I was doing that others were not. Then the answer hit me. They're
poking, not peeling.
I peel almost all the time, and if I correctly interpret a couple of recent
threads here and elsewhere, as well as some not so recent, a lot of people
don't. Consider the circumstantial evidence:
Threads on flying chips and tight-necked smocks.
Threads on full face shields to deflect shavings.
Threads on high horsepower and torque requirements.
Threads on dented toolrests.
Threads on turner's elbow.
Threads on the need to grip wood, rather than just hold it in a chuck.
If you peel, the chips pile up on your hand when the toolrest is tight, fall
when there's a big enough gap. That's Newton, isn't it? In motion stays in
motion, even if separated from the piece,continuing in the direction of
rotation. Convex is easy to clean up, as you can see from the form and fall
of shavings in the album. Concave can be a bit difficult. Those that don't
pile up on the close tool and rest fall, and are flung from the bottom of
the bowl against, in my setup, the wall. Sometimes in deep pieces, or
pieces with a bit of undercut, they pile up until there's sufficient force
to eject them beyond the rim, leaving around 2 o'clock to noon, and landing
in my hair, if I don't clear them periodically. Never do they rise to my
t-shirted throat or nonexistent face shield.
If you peel, the best cut is the one that takes the least effort. Leave the
tool on the rest, and let the work come to it. Angular velocity alone
removes the shaving, not torque or horsepower. Who was it said, correctly,
that the tool removes the shaving? Further, as the tool never leaves the
rest, your knuckles remain pink, your elbow experiences no impacts, nor does
Last, you don't need to grip and deform your wood with the chuck. Maybe
that's what they mean by "light" cuts? Then you can keep the force per unit
area well below the level which would leave dents.
All right, now make those shavings twist and fall. Save your lathe,
yourself, and your work a lot of grief by peeling, not poking. Less
Why do the shavings twist? I used to wager Pepsi money at school that I
could make them twist clockwise or counter. The old man teaching Physics at
the lathe again....