Tool rest height

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Re: Tool Rest Height

Postby Davie Crockett » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:21 pm

Hi Robert, it has been covered before, ironically using the exact same title...

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Re: Tool rest height

Postby Bob_Fleet » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:05 pm

I've merged them, thanks Davie.

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Re: Tool Rest Height

Postby Declan Kenny » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:41 pm

Rowteight wrote:Is having the top of the tool rest level with the centres the universal practice, or do some people work with a rest height slightly below the centres? My recollection from the couple of courses I've done is that the tool rest was slightly below the centres, but I can't be sure, and I don't want to modify my setup if this is a bad idea.

Hi. There are many more experienced turners on this site who can help you with this question, but the set-up you are referring to is certainly more of an issue when spindle turning, and on a power lathe. With the pole lathe, which is more sympathetic to both the turner and the tools, and the timber, this is not so critical. Like you are describing, I set my tool rest up a tad below, and it's fine for spindle work. Once you get working with the longer hook tools and bowls, it really doesn't seem to matter. I ended up with two tool rests; one is simply longer and thicker than the other. The extra height seems to be handy for bowl work; the thinner one gets the tools below the centres holding the piece. As Robin mentioned earlier, with the longer tools, you are adjusting the angles by raising and dropping your (probably) right hand.

Hope that helps... and I suspect the experienced users out there can offer more solid advice. The great thing about it is that we can make all these changes ourselves, simply by guntering about with bits of timber, which is probably what got us on to this forum in the first place!

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Re: Tool rest height

Postby Rowteight » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:02 pm

Thanks Davie, Bob and Declan. Don't know how I managed to miss that thread! Thanks also for the advice. I'll try setting up the tool rest so it is a little below the centres and see how I get on.

If anyone else has any thoughts I'd be interested to hear them.

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Re: Tool rest height

Postby jrccaim » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:40 am

FWIW I myself like the tool rest a little below center height. (Ah, how much? Trial and error) But I find it does really depend on the tool. A hook cuts better at one angle than another. So on my "big" lathe I have adjustable height. It also depends on the wood. Some pieces do not seem to care. Others really do. A mystery. My experience is limited, of course. But if you can, do make the rest adjustable vertically. Which brings me to the subject of power turners. When you have a one-horsepower motor powering the lathe, you can get away with all sorts of things. I know. I came from there. Powered tools use all sorts of fancy grinds. And what they call "sharp" is sometimes laughable. They seem to think you can get an edge on a grinder. And they have all sorts of fancy ways of using these tools. And few, if any, (if You Tube is any guide) use hooks. So leave them be. We humans cannot produce 1 Horsepower continously. If you are turning by leg, razor-sharp is the order of the day, and you will be using hooks, and do disregard our powered brethren. Look at them as another universe.
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Re: Tool rest height

Postby SeanHellman » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:31 pm

Just measured my bowl lathe and my tool rest is 2 inch below centres and I have so far turned bowls up to 12 diameter with this. I do actually have another tool rest which is just below centres but I only use this when turning quaich's or bowls under 3 inch diameter.
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Re: Tool rest height

Postby Robin Fawcett » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:15 am

Rowteight wrote:If anyone else has any thoughts I'd be interested to hear them. Robert

I'll leave comments about bowl turning to the experts but I've always managed perfectly well with the top of the rest at centre height for most spindle turning. The exception was when I made some formers for leather jacks, tankards and jugs - with the big diameters (6"+) I found them easier to turn and finish with the rest ABOVE the centre height.[url=]
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