Monday, April 6, 2009

And the other thing Mahoney did...

And the other thing that Mahoney did was he practiced the motions before he made them. Or before he made the actual cut. That is, he practiced how he was going to make a cut, particularly on the outside shape, before he made the actual cut. I had never done that when I was turning.

What Mahoney did was he got the tool rest just right, got the tool just right, and then he got his feet set in a position where he was comfortable and balanced, and then he moved the tool through the complete cut he proposed to make without actually touching the wood. I can't remember whether he had the lathe running at the time or not, but then it wouldn't matter would it? He was checking to see if he could reach the full cut comfortably without moving his feet around or having to change his grip on the tool. Most of the time if you change your grip or move your feet you get a ridge or a groove in the wood. What you are looking for is a long smooth continuous cut with one motion and you can get a long smooth continuous shape on the wood. When you do it right, it is beautiful to see and do.

I have started practicing my cuts before I make them and trying to make sure I get a long smooth continuous cut. I figure if Mahoney needs to practice his cuts up on the mountaintop like that, then I can sure use every trick I can find to make my bowls better. I surely do dislike those ridges and grooves when they show up cause they take a lot of sanding to get out.

Course if I had two sanders. . . . (some people just won't let go, will they?)

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