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Old 10-15-2019, 12:30 AM   #1
McCracken140
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Default Finish for Katalox SSP

Hello all,

I am endeavouring to turn a set of SSP in Katalox or Mexican Royal Ebony. I have essentially no pervious experience at skilled woodworking or turning like this, but Iím practicing and learning lots. I have a few questions for those more learned than me:
What is the best method of finishing Katalox? And is there any difference when finishing between the heartwood and the sapwood? Iíve read that for example on ABW some finishes wonít react the same between the two.
Also, does anyone have any tips for keeping a D-bit reamer going straight enough for a long piece like a chanter? Iíve been testing and refining it over and over again, and now I can get a straight bore for long enough to do a drone section, but it goes crooked if I go much longer than that.
Any miscellaneous tips will also be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!


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Old 10-17-2019, 02:57 PM   #2
Stromeyer
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Default Re: Finish for Katalox SSP

Unfortunately a D-bit will always have a tendency to wander over longer distances. This is made worse in non-uniform density materials and at smaller hole sizes (i.e. wood for a chanter). Two approaches that can help is improving chip clearance with pressurized air and maintaining the proper edge on the bit (even if this means careful sharpening during the boring process). In general you can not use pressured air with a small bore D-bit, but you can blow the hole out after advancing a small distance in cutting the bore. Sometimes some lubricant on the D-bit can be helpful as well, such as beeswax, however it can be a double-edged sword as it can make wander worse.
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:30 PM   #3
McCracken140
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Default Re: Finish for Katalox SSP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stromeyer View Post
Unfortunately a D-bit will always have a tendency to wander over longer distances. This is made worse in non-uniform density materials and at smaller hole sizes (i.e. wood for a chanter). Two approaches that can help is improving chip clearance with pressurized air and maintaining the proper edge on the bit (even if this means careful sharpening during the boring process). In general you can not use pressured air with a small bore D-bit, but you can blow the hole out after advancing a small distance in cutting the bore. Sometimes some lubricant on the D-bit can be helpful as well, such as beeswax, however it can be a double-edged sword as it can make wander worse.


I have found that the wander is far less of an issue with the Katalox than with the walnut I was practicing on. Yesterday I also used a generic bore oil on the bit and that seemed to help too, but it started over heating and the oil boiled and it all got kinda gross. Iíve just been backing out of the bore every half inch or so to clear out the swarf and that seems to be doing the trick, although it seems to cause a bit of a flare near the beginning of the bore as the bit is passing through that area so much more. However I budgeted to cut off about two inches off the spindle so I think that should minimize the Ďflare problem, it only seems to be about an inch deep anyways.


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Old 10-18-2019, 10:04 AM   #4
Stromeyer
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Default Re: Finish for Katalox SSP

Sounds like you are figuring out most of the tricks.
This article might have some useful hints:
https://www.labellenote.fr/articles....=312&tconfig=0

If you are doing a chanter and need a tapered reamer I found this helpful:
http://billhaneman.ie/Reamers.pdf
https://www.labellenote.fr/articles....=312&tconfig=0

Most of the makers I've had the chance to work with or visit have moved to gun drills with pressurized air, but that represents a big upfront cost. Sometimes you can find them used, but you need to know if they are still able to cut concentrically.

Have fun.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:06 AM   #5
Stromeyer
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Default Re: Finish for Katalox SSP

Oops, realized you are doing a cylindrical SSP chanter. You won't need the conical reamer, but might be fun to look at anyhow.
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:13 PM   #6
tjm
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Default Re: Finish for Katalox SSP

Try to grind away 1/2 of the rod. Too much or too little will promote 'wander.' End geometry and cutting face angle are also important to keep the bit drilling on center. Slow feed rates and frequent chip clearing will help keep the bit centered. It's possible to be within 1/16" (or less) on center over a 18" bore using a 5/32" diameter d-bit.

I can't remember optimal face angle right now. Cutting end geometry is typically like this:


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Most d-bit also have a groove in the 1/2 ground section to help create a 'swarf plug' that is easily removed while drilling.


--Tim
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:17 AM   #7
TwitchyFingers
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Default Re: Finish for Katalox SSP

For your outside finish, the grain on katalox is a bit more open than blackwood, so you're going to want to sand down to as fine a grit as you can so the fibres are as flat as possible. Between sanding grits, stop your lathe and sand the chanter up and down (tailstock to headstock) to knock out any concentric marks from sanding while the piece is turning. When you get to as fine a grit as you want, take turning debris and burnish the wood with handfuls of that while the piece is moving at high rpm. If you want to go further than that, burnish again with a very smooth agate or quartz before applying any oil or turner's friction polish(if you use it).
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:24 AM   #8
McCracken140
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Default Re: Finish for Katalox SSP

Thanks for the tips!


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Old 10-23-2019, 07:45 AM   #9
CalumII
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Default Re: Finish for Katalox SSP

Have a look at Mike Nelson's page on D bits.


The trick, as I understand it, is that if you take too small a bite each time, you don't clear all the swarf and it then pushes the bit off centre. If you take too big a bite, the swarf jams and pushes you off centre. You want to take enough to pack the plug so that it extracts neatly in a single plug.



There is another style of bit I have seen which is flat faced, but has a hole drilled in the centre which keeps the bit on target.
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