View Full Version : Turning End Grain

26th Jul 2004, 02:00 PM
Just doing searches through the forums looking for an answer to the above question. I note that some people say do not turn end grain and others say do it gently. What i would like to know is when you turn a goblet or something similar aren't you turning end grain? I do no have a chuck yet and the timber i have is to small for the face plate so i can't yet hollow out the goblet but i will want to when i get a chuck. But i am not sure if i can do it. Some advice would be great. I am joining the woodturners guild in South West Sydney but the next meeting is the AGM and then it is another month after that.

thanks again.

Sir Chiz
26th Jul 2004, 05:49 PM
I turn end grain a lot,especially goblets,if you turn a goblet face grain,the stem is cross grain and very weak.
The problem (I see) with turning endgrain is if the wood contains the pith,it will 99.999% of the time cause cracking.This can usually be dealt with by soaking the pith with thin CA glue,but it will still distort if turned from wet wood.

I do NOT turn larger bowls endgrain with the pith in,because a crack can develope before you realize it, and the wood can explode in your face.shield.

When turning goblets or boxes with thin stems,the outside of the bowl is shaped first,then the bowl hollowed out and finished,then the stem is turned thin.
If you turned the stem thin,then tried to hollow the bowl,you would most surely break the stem.

These were turned endgrain.


Most of these boxes were turned end grain.



27th Jul 2004, 08:17 AM
Hi Chiz,
Thanks for the information. I will give it a go. see what happens.
very inspiring work.


27th Jul 2004, 01:05 PM
Yes very nice work. Can you please tell me what finish you used, and do you change finishes for end or side grain.


Sir Chiz
27th Jul 2004, 03:04 PM
Thanks for the kindness. :)
Grain orientation doesn't have any bearing on finishing,the intended use (if any) of the piece, the wood itself and who will be the recipient,are what I consider when finishing.
That pink myrtle goblet was just a decorative piece that I gave away,I didn't want to change the color much,so I used a shellac based friction polish.

I usually use a varnish finish,if the piece will be used in the kitchen or bathroom,(exposed to moisture),I'll use polyurethane.
Always use "gloss" varnish because several coats of satin can look cloudy.
My wife likes glossy,I like satin on most woods,except highly figured or birdseye types.

To accent curley,figured wood,I'll use a thinned coat of boiled linseed oil first,then apply several coats of varnish.

For colored wood like bloodwood or the ziricote box and goblet above,I seal the wood first with DEwaxed blonde shellac,then apply varnish.
The blonde shellac will add very little color and seal the wood from the oil in the varnish,which will darken the color.
Both the ziricote goblet and box were finished with "gloss" varnish,the box was burnished (on the lathe) with a soft cloth after the varnish was applied and allowed to sit for about 15 minutes.The gives the wood some protection of the varnish,but gives it a nice satin finish.

Oil based varnish doesn't seem to dry well on Oily woods like Bocote and African Blackwood,those I seal with dewaxed blonde shellac first,then apply varnish.

All my boxes and lidded jars are finished "inside" with dewaxed shellac also, because it's foodsafe and there is no smell once dry.
An oil based varnish will stink forever inside a closed piece.

Thanks again!