Cutting the Wings (top) and Sanding

face.jpg (22194 bytes) For the purposes of this picture, I have backed out the tailstock, but I recommend you leave the tailstock and live center engaged with the wood, so that any catch won't have your wood block doing the flying aerial of death "thing".

Hand placement is very important here, because each revolution of the block is four corners that are itching' to come in contact with you fingers!
I place my hand on the tool rest and use and overhand grip that is loose enough to feed the tool through, but tight enough to maintain control of the tool.

For the cuts across the face, I use a fingernail profile gouge, usually a 1/2" or 5/8 flute on larger pieces. I use the gouge with the flute pointed up, the same as David Ellsworth shows how to use it for a finish cut on the inside of a bowl The profile of the gouge used to cut across the face has a fingernail that is longer and I am cutting with the bottom inside of the flute, but still have the left side bevel rubbing. Too much cutting surface presented and the tool catches very nasty and also bounces. Too little and you get bounce or no cutting action. Just right and it is a beautiful thing. Trust me, it will take practice, but like using a skew for spindles, the results in the smoothness of cut, make it all worth while!
face2.jpg (23951 bytes)Ahh, just what I wanted, but the small but visible worm hole means that I will either need to take the thickness of the wings thinner or thicker. With practice on these cuts, a thickness of less than 1/8" is very achievable. This will allow me to cut out that worm hole.  

sand1.jpg (11290 bytes)Now that the face is cut, we will sand it. I like to use stationary paper and have the piece revolve. The issue again is those darn corners so to keep my fingers well away from it, I back up my fabric sandpaper with foam packaging (industry name  is Ethafoam, a low density polyethylene foam for packaging. I get it from computer packages) With this foam, if you are melting it under the sandpaper, you are pressing too hard and putting too much heat on the wood.

sand2.jpg (12809 bytes) After my first initial pass starting usually at 180 girt, if applicable, I will sand with the grain also. sand_wax.jpg (18323 bytes)

Now, I use clear paste wax, or bowling alley wax, as a lubricant for each grit, starting at the 180 and going through 220, 320, and 400. If needed I will even to to 600 

 Wood Preparation and Putting it on the Lathe

 Cutting the Base and Sanding

 Drilling, Turning the Bottom, and Finishing