View Full Version : My very first Dish but..

3rd Jan 2009, 12:42 PM
Don't laugh, this little platter or Dish whatever you like to call it is my very first attempt to make a Dish. Its pretty simple in design, measuring just 7and 1/2 inches X just 1inch high. (20cm X 2.5cm)
The timber was given to me last week by a guy who said it was Jacaranda. Now it turned okay no problem but ( there is always a but) you can see from the pictures, there is a rough spot on the outer part of the inside of the Dish.
I didn't go to any real lengths to sand the Dish, I was just trying out techniques for the turning process, however I did sand the inside with 160 dry sand paper and then with 240 grit. just to smooth it a little.

The inside was created using a scraper and borrowed bowl gouge. The outside was fashioned with the bowl gouge. Parting tool created the part for the chuck to fit. I just applied some Tung oil for the finish and buffed it a bit on the lathe.

So, the questions, How come the inside of the dish is mostly reasonably smooth but the parts indicated in the picture are not. Did I need to sand it more or is there another reason. Should I have used a different tool to shape the inside? Why is it rough in just those spots and why more so on the inside of the dish only. The outside or underside of the dish has a couple of roughish spots but not as bad as the inside.

Any comments or suggestions welcome but remember, it is my first attempt. so go easy. :)
Seriously, constructive criticism is welcome and all suggestions taken on board.

3rd Jan 2009, 12:53 PM
Hi John,

Congratulations and welcome to the addictive world of bowl turning!:2tsup::2tsup:

Now I am still a newbie so take what I tell you with a grain of salt.....

The rough spots are where you cut across the end grain and is tear out. On the outside it is easier to control your gouge\scraper and easier to sand as well. Also some wood tears out more than others.

To minimise tear out, keep your tools really sharp and pay careful attention to the angle you have your gouge or scraper on. You should be able to cut off the finest ribbons of shavings.

A good idea is just get any old scrap of wood and practice, practice and practice. Also what helped me most was to watch some experienced turners at work and do like you are doing now, ask questions.

As for sanding, One of Mr Ubeaut's rotary sanders is worth the investment:2tsup:

Hope this helps a little,



EX's Timber
3rd Jan 2009, 12:59 PM
If you look at the orientation of the timber, you'll see that where the rough spots are it's endgrain, so what has happened is that the scraper has torn the timber out rather than shearing it off which is why you've got better finish on the outside cause you use just the bowl gouge.

Ed Reiss
3rd Jan 2009, 01:31 PM
Chipman and DJ are right on the money about the end grain tearout. To minimize tearout, apply some mineral oil to the end grain areas, get a good edge on your scraper and take light cuts. The oil stiffens up the fibers so that a cleaner cut is achieved.:2tsup:

3rd Jan 2009, 01:32 PM
I like it :2tsup:

Just hope I can do as well if I try a platter

3rd Jan 2009, 02:43 PM
Hi John,

I don't think it is at all bad.

Granted the end grain is a bit disappointing on the inside but getting that right is a matter of technique, practice and sharp tools - as suggested above.

Keep at it John and when can I come over for lessons!!

Skew ChiDAMN!!
3rd Jan 2009, 05:11 PM
End-grain! :yes: The bane of woodturners across the ages.

Better tool technique is the standard answer, followed by an explanation of up-hill grain and down-hill grain. :rolleyes: Theoretically, with correct tool use you don't have this problem...

...but every single turner I know will liberally apply sandpaper as & when needed. :D

3rd Jan 2009, 07:31 PM
Thanks guys appreciate your kind and welcome comments. :2tsup:

3rd Jan 2009, 07:57 PM
DJ and Chipman are right but don't be too hard on yourself.

The inner shape is simple and pleasing while the outer shape has given you plenty of practice woking on curves.:2tsup::2tsup:

A scraper is a good tool when you use it for the correct application. It will really be worth you while to forget the scrape for a whil and concentrate on your gouge technique.

I have plenty of practice timber if you wish.

joe greiner
4th Jan 2009, 01:48 AM
A dam sight better than my first bowl, John.:2tsup:

What they all said about end grain. Slicing works best for me. Also, rotary sanding works well enough on spindle turning, where it's consistently across the grain. On cross-grain bowl turning, I often resort to hand sanding WITH the grain to get a more uniform finish.


Ad de Crom
4th Jan 2009, 04:46 AM
John, others told you enough about the endgrain, so I don't do it again.
Honestly, it's a very nice looking platter, you were able to give it a nice shape, you can be proud of your first attempt.
Keep em coming.
Ad :2tsup:

4th Jan 2009, 01:13 PM
Thanks Arthur, thanks j.g. and thanks A d C your remarks are very encouraging.:)

5th Jan 2009, 01:37 PM
Its all been said John about end grain well almost a spray bottle of water mist the timber and sand

use your choice of finish and sand treat it as you would end grain on any woodwork :(( APIA.


Oh love the platter no playing Frizbies with it and the dogs