Well, I went ahead and got the spiral forstner bits and am well
satisfied. No squealing or binding like the regular forstners. Don't
have to back out to clear the chips.
Received a bowl tool rest from John Lea. It is a beaut and the curvature
is just right. He does good work.
I am about half-way through roughing out the 80 elm bowls from my big
haul. Don't know what I will ever do with all those, but maybe they will
find a better home than the land-fill, where the trees were destined
Nice going Gerald and thanks for the report. 80 bowls ahead is a good
number. A bowl is a relaxing thing to go and finish once the dry stage has
been reached. I have 100 or so in the shop waiting to be finished and they
just quietly wait.
How do you store that many bowls. I've about 30 in my shop and it
seems they are in the way everytime I turn around. I've thought of
adding a shed onto my shop just to store and dry wood, but currently
haven't the money. I'd be curious to hear what others have done to
solve the problem of storing large quantities of bowls.
I got some of the wire shelves (shelfs?) from the local BORG store
with the appropriate wall hangers, and have a space above one of my
work tables that has 3 shelves 18 wide by 72 long. They will hold a
lot of bowls.
And a preposition is a bad thing to end a sentence with.
Anyway, if you're looking for a home for an elm bowl, let me know - I
did some research on elm trees and dutch elm disease, and elms are
special trees. If you want to sell one or 2, and you have some size
and cost estimates, can you post back or send me an email?
I think you just like bowl turning more than you like bowl
To be more serious, it's amazing how rarely books and courses on
woodturning ever stress enough the need for room to store and move
around. I'm still a relative beginner, but I soon found that I needed
far more room than just the space for a lathe, and in a limited
multi-use workshop that meant making choices.
Fortunately my shop has an equally large addition made originally for a
large 2 car garage. This is unheated and I use it for storage. It also
has sheds on two sides where I can store bowl blanks, short logs and
Well, I don't store lots of bowls, but I do have a lot of blanks- and
I love having the shed for storing them.
I've got a little shed about 8' x 10' with 8' ceiling, and I keep all
the blanks on one side of it with bits of slatwood between them to
encourage even airflow.
As an experiment, last winter I split a load of blanks into two piles-
one went in the shed as described above, and the other pile went next
to the door outside. The wood was free, so I figured I'd use it as
learning experience, and I found that not only did the blanks inside
the shed retain their original color (being out of the sun and
elements), but they did not crack. The ones outside cracked quite a
If I had to guess, I'd say the moisture from the blanks themselves
kept the humidity in there high enough to air dry the wood in a
controlled fashion. Since the shed has dark shingles and one face of
the roof is pointed to the south, it gets pretty warm in there
(100-130 in the summer), so it's almost like a low-temp solar kiln.
Inside storage is in the root cellar under my front steps. I'm not
sure if root cellar is really the right word for it, but it's a little
concrete room with a concrete floor that has lots of shelves on the
walls. That works pretty well, too.
Better than having them knocking around where I'm trying to work,
Looks like your post on spiral bits and tool rests lost it's way into
a storage discussion!! I'd like to backtrack a bit, if I may, and ask
"what spiral forstner bits?" I have never heard of them. Can you tell
me a little more about them, where you got them, price?
For those of you that went off on the tangent, I could talk about
where I plan to store my forstner bits!! Would that count as relevant
in the storage discussion!!!?
I bought them from MLCS via Amazon. I saw them in their catalog and
about 3 weeks ago posted a question here asking if anyone had tried
them, but all I got was suggestions for other types of drill bits.
Apparently no one here had used them. The cutting portion is the same as
on regular forstners, but instead of a short bevel to kick up the chips,
these have two spirals about 2 inches long, so chip clearance is similar
to what you get with, say, brad point bits.
I drill a hole about 1 1/4 inch deep in the flat of my bowl blanks to
mount them on a pin chuck for initial outside and bottom turning.
Regular forstners make a nice smooth hole like I wanted but were bad to
jam up and squeal when coming back out. I only wanted the 1 1/8 inch
size, but could not find any sold individually, so had to buy the set of
7 and they cost 60 or 70 dollars. Not too bad for carbide tipped bits,
and no shipping charge.
You could always try MLCS directly. They may ship to Canada. You have a
lovely country. Only been there twice, but the second time we drove all
the way to Alaska. Never saw a police car other than one parked in one
of the small towns.