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Turning Thick Spindles

razorsharp's picture

I have some pieces of maple that I've roughed down to between 4" and 5" in diameter.  I want to turn legs for a bed.  I've never turned any spindles this thick before and my 1/2" spindle gouge and 1" skew chisel seem very small compared to the size of the wood... My 1 1/4" roughing gouge seems more the right size.  Should I be using bigger tools for the thick spindle, or should I be able to do it with the 1/2" spindle gouge and 1" skew?  

Also, I removed the bark with the roughing gouge - worked fine, but I'm wondering if that was the "right" way to get the bark off or if there would have been a better way.

Thanks for any advice.

roc's picture

I am not much of a wood (post #170534, reply #1 of 8)

I am not much of a wood turner but from past posts and watching Norm I think it is safe to say:

Get the bark off with one of these.

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/10dra...

Once the bark is off It would be fine to use the tools you have.  It just takes longer and take it easy.  Don't muscle the smaller tool into the work for a thick cut just take your time and be safe.

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

RalphBarker's picture

I'm with Roc (post #170534, reply #2 of 8)

Unless the desired curves don't match your existing tools, use what you have, but be slow and safe.

Being a photographer, I'd remove the bark in Photoshop.  ;-)

roc's picture

Bark trouble (post #170534, reply #4 of 8)

Ralph,

Photoshop

That's a creative solution.  I think I will try that.  It may keep me out of trouble.

Queenmasteroftheuniverseandbabybunnytrainer says I'm not allowed to after about nine at night

Have you ever seen/heard this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goh5aj1dn6o

Can SEE it on NetFlix or on iTunes

roc

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

Westchester's picture

Tool Choice (post #170534, reply #5 of 8)

Use the biggest tool you have to make the spindle round.  Use the 1 in. skew to true it up.  Once perfectly round every tool you have will work -

SA

razorsharp's picture

Thanks (post #170534, reply #3 of 8)

Thanks everyone for your responses.  I don't have a drawknife, but seems like a reasonable thing to get next time I'm working with natural branches.

Glad to hear that the tools I have will be OK.  I was smart and cut an extra spindle for practice before I get to the real thing ;-)

sid works's picture

the tools that you have (post #170534, reply #6 of 8)

will do you fine. one can only remove so much wood at one time anyway.if you were capible of being able to removing more wood(ability)you wouldn't be asking this question

ron

TomHigby's picture

large spindles (post #170534, reply #7 of 8)

I've done several large lamp bases, one from a 9"x9" oak barn timber weighing 90#, also some mohogany 6"x6" newell posts 60"long, using tools lilke you mantion.  No problems.  Use a heavy lathe, at low speed.

Tom 

TomHigby's picture

large spindles (post #170534, reply #8 of 8)

I've done several large lamp bases, one from a 9"x9" oak barn timber weighing 90#, also some mohogany 6"x6" newell posts 60"long, using tools lilke you mantion.  No problems.  Use a heavy lathe, at low speed.

Tom