Project Tutorials



The finished goblet
Blank mounted between centers

I start turning the blank between centers. Even if the limb section were small, enough to fit in the chuck the bark would not make a good holding surface. You need a good solid grip on the blank to hollow the end grain.

Start of roughing to a cylinder

Roughing round with a 3/4" roughing gouge. Like any spindle, I start at one end roughing and work back across the spindle surface until it is entirely round. If you start roughing in the middle of a spindle, you risk tearing the wood off in sections toward the edge.

A peeling cut with the skew

Arcing the skew in a peeling cut to make a tenon for mounting in the chuck. This cut is a fast way to remove wood for the chuck tenon. Depending on the chuck you use the tenon will need to be straight or dovetail shaped. I am using an Oneway Stronghold chuck for most of my turning and a straight tenon is best because of the internal jaw design.

Using skew to square tenon shoulder

Using the skew long point down to square up the shoulder for a good seat against the chuck jaws. The shoulder of the tenon should be straight or slightly under to seat against the chuck jaws.

You can see the heel of the skew is well clear of the wood and the bevel lines up with the square line we are cutting. Arc the skew into the wood from largest diameter toward the center point.

Endgrain tenon spindle gouge cut

A spindle gouge also works to cut the shoulder and tenon surface. The angle the gouge presentation to the wood is just different.

Blank tenon in chuck jaws

The tenon is now in the chuck jaws. The outer edge of the chuck jaws should contact the shoulder for best support. Do not turn the tenon so long that it bottoms out inside the chuck first. You need the best support you can get when turning an unsupported spindle.

The chuck is not required for turning a goblet. A faceplate and waste block would work as well. Turn a recess in the waste block to match the tenon and super glue it in place.

Outside of cup shaped

I shape the outside profile of the cup first before hollowing. Some turners hollow first and then turn the outside. I am most interested in the outer profile seen first so I concentrate on that and hollow the interior to match. I always shape the outside of a hollow form first and then hollow it instead of the other way around so I do goblets the same way. I have a hard time visualizing exactly what I have for a shape internally when I try the hollowing first approach. There is always more than one way to achieve the same goal.

A small limb knot can cause a problem with tear out. The grain direction changes around it and can chip out.

Scraping with the skew

One way to take care of some of these problem grain areas is to use the skew on its side like a scraper and take a light cut that will give a good surface for sanding without torn grain. I could use a scraper but I already have the skew. Using the skew in this manner will dull it quickly so sharpen the edge before returning to normal cutting.

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