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Old 06-18-2014, 07:30 PM   #1
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Default Question about drilling/blades/sanding and bowls

Hi all,

I haven't given up on my bowls yet...my last creation was looking really good until I over sanded on one side without me realizing it until it was too late. I now have a bowl with a spot so thin the light can come through. Fortunately my wife still loves it and has put it in the kitchen with the thin side not showing.

I decided to not let this latest problem keep me from doing some nice work. But as I was working on my latest I started thinking. My saw only takes pinned blades so therefore I have to drill a fairly large hole to get it through. Is there a way to overcome this? With my latest creation, I have spent more time trying to sand out the starter holes than anything else. I have to drill holes that are 11/64ths or bigger to get the pins through. With all the interior sanding I am afraid I won't leave enough to get out the holes on the outside.

Also, does someone have a good method to sand the inside of a bowl? I have made some 2" drums that I put into the drill press, but I don't think it does a good job keeping it even. If I look close, I have what seem like waves on the inside. Any ideas?

Thanks for letting me babble on.

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Old 06-18-2014, 07:55 PM   #2
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Todd, if you can only use pinned blades, you'll be much better off making a cut along the grain from the outer ring to the inner one, then gluing it up along your cut line. That's what was done years ago, when turners used rings cut on the band saw. Any bit that's larger than 1/16" will take too bit a bite out of the wood. The smaller the better, but that's not an option for you (right now!).

As far as sanding the inside, most folks use the round inflatable sander from King Arthur's Tools. It's a little pricey, but if you just get the sander, some sleeves, and the pump, and chuck it into your drill press, it should't break the bank. However, Seyco has come out with some round sanders that are made of foam, and meant to serve the same purpose. I bought a few, but haven't tried them out to see if they're worth it (about $6), since there's no way to replace the sandpaper and you have to throw away the whole sander once the grit wears out.

If you had a long drum you might be able to sand the inside before you put on the bottom, but the drum has to be longer than the piece you're sanding or you'll sand in gouges at the bottom of the drum.

If you're curious, I have a lot of bowl sanding videos on YouTube. My channel is "scrollergirl" and you can look through them and see if there's anything that would be helpful.

I'm sure other folks will be posting here, with their suggestions for you. Good luck--I'm sure you'll find a solution to your dilemma.

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Old 06-18-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
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Todd you may try knocking out the pin to get the blade into a smaller hole, then put it back to hook up your blade. One thing I do when starting to cut is turning down the speed to zero, step on my pedal to make the head go up and down a few times, till the blade engages into the wood, then crank up the speed. For me, I can control the cut that way at the start point. I would also suggest watching Carole's videos. Don't give up, and sanding is not liked by many folks, but sure worth it.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:17 AM   #4
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You could try filling the holes with a wood filler mixed with the sawdust from your project. I have done this and it worked pretty well for me. I use the pinless blades as Big Yellow only uses the pinless ones, but the Fox will use both. Fox is still waiting to be fixed to use as a back up saw if some thing should happen to the yella fella. I can never get the sanding sleeves to stay on the ball sanders but I do keep trying and I did replace the rubber for my long drum sander and it is now working great. Good luck with your bowls and let us see some.... Fay
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