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Advice please?

1916 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  AndyGTC
I wonder if anyone can offer me a tip or 2? as some of you may know I make my own drum shells and then finish them. I've started making stave drum shells (see the competition link). To turn the shells I use a small gouge and then a skew to plain off. Am I going about this the right way? Anything bigger than a small gouge I think would be too much but I'm open to suggestions particularly where rounding off the inside is concerned? Given I'm basically self taught I appreciate I have a huge amount to learn but I kinda hoped someone might be able to offer up some suggestions as to what, if anything, I could do better here. Thanks in advance guys.
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Hi Andy

I'm a old turner, I use a file, say what ?
Yep I have a mate that puts on horse shoes and he gave me some of his old files.
Big suckers 3" to 3 1/2" wide and about 14" to 18" long, most are course on one side and fine on the other side.
They are so sharp you will need to wear gloves to use them, and the ones I have are used.
They will take down a turning in a heart beat and make it flat at the same time.
I have them in a box in the shop somewhere, I have not used them in a long time if I find them I will post a snapshot or two.
But I'm sure someone sales them so you may want to check in to it,they would great for what you are doing.

I did find a link and a snapshot of the files see below ▼"horseshoe file"

Here's some links just for kicks, looks like they are about $18.oo Rasp

Hope this helps

Bj :)


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Bob, thanks for this. Very interesting indeed. Would you mind clarifying further for me? How do you actually use these on the lathe? Whereas with a normal turning chisel you offer it up to the piece with (for example) the bevel rubbing and then slowly lift it to cut, how would you use the rasp / file? Presumably, the file will take off all the flat edges to help create the perfect cylinder, with some finer tidying up afterwards? What about turning the inside of the cylinder?

Sorry about all the questions but you got me thinking now!! :)
Hi Andy
The easy way is just to hold on to it with both hands (front and back ends of the file)
and let it do the work.
But you could make a jig to let it rest on, like a bridge jig,it would sit over the top of the lathe and let you keep it true.
To do the inside of the drum I would use a Oscillating Spindle Sander like the below
I have one and they are great,you can slip on a 60grt. tube and get it round quick and easy and clean and round then slip on a 150/220grt., the tubes are about 5" tall so you can do a 10" tall drum.

Bj :)
Excellent! Thanks Bob. I'll look into this. :)
You're Welcome Andy

I should ask how are you gluing the boards up ?
Butt joint ?.spline ?, T & G joint. ?
I just got a set of Bird-Mouth bits that are made for just what you are doing.
I did play with them a bit and made a tube/drum ( 6 sides,5 1/2" in dia. and 8" tall ) they work great, they have a lock tab that holds the stock from coming/pulling apart ,like when you put them on the lathe and turn them.
Here's a link to the web page,besure to hit the Tech.Instr.Video. item so you see how they work. (posted by labric) LeeValley url.
JUST A NOTE*** the LeeValley video is a <BIG><BIG> file,it's 25.8MB I did download it and made it into a jpg file (now 675kb), so if you need a hard copy let me know.,46168,46174,45160&p=45160

Bj :)

Sorry I didn't see this until now. Been a bit busy of late!

Anyway, here's how I do it. On my PC I have a 'stave calculator'. Because I generally either have 16 or 20 stave drums (aesthetically, this works for placing all the hardware evenly) the calculator is based around this. However, if for some reason I wanted to use more or less staves, the calculator will still work.

This gives me the width of each stave and the bevel of the angles. This is crucial because the drums have to be correct in diameter to allow the fitting of the hardware, the hoops and the heads (or skins).

I take my board and cut it to the correct width (plus a few millimeteres) then plane the correct angles. I then section the board to the correct length of stave (which obviously corresponds to the depth of each drum shell).

I then simply glue the staves (I use titebond) with no spline, biscuit, joint, anything! Once I've got the staves all glued, I clamp them using a couple of oversized jubilee clips and leave them for 24 hours. The glue joints are the strongest area (I know because I dropped a shell and it was the actual staves that cracked, not the glue joints!!).

Having said that, I'm really quite taken with those cutters you showed above. I need to look into them more but my PC will not play large video files (I dunno why but it just freezes these days - drives me nuts. Maybe I should get it looked at!!!). They look very handy and in terms of finishes and looks, could well be worth a go!

Again, I appreciate your help. :)

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as a quick follow up, Googled these cutters to see if there was any place in the UK that did them. Doesn't seem like it :(
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