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Work in Progress - Spruce Burl Form

Part -7- hollowing to the bottom

As the hollowing procedes there are exciting times such as this one where the tool breaks through the incurve of the burl surface, evidenced by shavings leaving through the hole. It is important to maintain a downward angle of the tool bit and enough speed to prevent the bit from projecting through the hole. This is not difficult but one needs to be aware. wood turning project: burl challenges
One of the advantages of a swivel headed lathe shows itself as the angle of attack to the sides makes it easier to move the head of the lathe and thus the piece to an easier position. A few degrees goes a long way here.
Frequently stopping and starting the lathe in order to clear the shavings makes a foot switch a pleasure to use. woodturning tip: foot switch
Continually check the thickness of the walls as you approach the bottom. this not only assures constant thickness but also indicates when you are getting close. As the bottom is neared, an examination shows a bit of an "island" left in the center by the straight tool. This will need to be removed, but first the depth needs to be checked to prevent going through it with the turning. woodturning project: examining the bottom
I find this easiest with a telescoping depth gauge. It is surprisingly accurate to site down the side of the piece along with the projection of the gauge. If no gauge is available, a dowel or other straight rod can be inserted in the same fashion. woodworking lathe technique: depth gauge
There being still an inch of wood to remove I proceed with the peculiar motion of removing the island in the middle and lowering the center at the same time. The tip of the straight tool is centered on the piece by feeling for the spot where downward motion ceases on the left of center and just before upward motion starts to right of center. Essentially, there is not motion at this spot. From there the tip is allowed to drop a bit and then raised into the wood then cutting a bit left and right and repeating until the correct depth is reached. Practice is a big help. woodworking lathe technique: cutting the center

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