Instructables

Lathe turned plastic bowl

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I found a bunch of this plastic in different shapes and sizes. Im not sure what the technical name for it is, but I have seen it used in many jigs at machine shops. I posted a forum topic questioning what it is here.
I had to try making a bowl.


 
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Step 1: Chuck it up on your lathe

This piece already had a perfect recess for my chuck.    :-D
I mounted it and got it slightly round then went to work on the inside of the bowl.

Step 2: Hollow out the inside of the bowl

Picture of Hollow out the inside of the bowl
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Move your tool rest to the proper distance/height to start removing material from the inside of the bowl.
I start most of my bowls by using a 1/4" drill bit in the center. Tape off the correct depth (the depth of the inside of your bowl) on the bit and using your tailstock drill chuck drill the hole. This gives you an accurate stopping point while hollowing.

I used a home made Carbide tipped finishing tool.

This stuff cuts nice. It seems easier to control at lower speeds but the higher speed gives the best finished cut, so mix it up a bit but be careful... When it does snag, it will whip the hell outta your hand at 1200 RPM. Not fun!
osurich8 months ago
Nice work. The link to the carbide tipped finishing tool doesn't work.
Very cool.
SlickSqueegie (author) 1 year ago
Thanks.
SlickSqueegie (author) 1 year ago
yes. Bowls are a lot of fun. I would have to say that ever since I bought this lathe, It has become my favorite shop tool.
andybuda1 year ago
that is art
SlickSqueegie (author)  andybuda1 year ago
Thanks for the great compliment!
can all the off cuts ever be reformed in to a block again to be reused?
SlickSqueegie (author)  andybuda1 year ago
i think this is possible, I wouldn't mind figuring out if it is possible and how I would do it....

ringai1 year ago
Very nice bowl. I really like the beads. Do you know about the the woodturning community on Google+?
SlickSqueegie (author)  ringai1 year ago
No, not familiar with it...
If you have a google email account, activate google+ and then look on the left-hand side for Communities. Click there and search for wood turning. There are over 60 of us there now. There's some pretty decent work and some nice tips.
SlickSqueegie (author) 1 year ago
Yeah, thats what im reading.. It was snow covered when i found it all... I think there may be more there... I better go check before i miss out...
Indeed, from talking to an engineering friend he says you have found a small fortune of that stuff, it would be worth seeing if you can melt some of the shavings and cast a new block with, they certainly are clean enough.
SlickSqueegie (author)  Dr Qui1 year ago
I went back this morning picked up about 100 pieces of 1/2" thick clear 4-6" wide by about 2-4' long. They also had some laminated plastic with white aluminum laminate that were pretty large. Its very very rigid and very thin. But i picked up the last of those white plastics at the same time. I was pleasantly suprized to find this "log" of a chunk! Its about three feet long and almost 7" in diameter. It has to weigh close to fourty pounds.
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just looked at some prices on eBay, that 6 1/2" stuff is worth upwards of about £265+ Sounds like you hit the once in a lifetime mother load, well spotted.
SlickSqueegie (author) 1 year ago
Thank you. yeah, but. Every bowl blank i have ever purchased has been expensive!
Cool way to repurpose those acetal (delrin) cylinders, the bowl looks great. Great find BTW you've got a minimum of several hundred dollars worth of acetal there.
SlickSqueegie (author)  technovative1 year ago
Thanks, I have tons of other ideas running through my head for this stuff!!!
That looks great! I love how it looks with a candle in it :) Do remember where you found all this plastic?
Thanks, the candle does add a nice touch...
Yeah, It was next to a dumpster in the back of a local plastics supplier.
That is an awesome find :) You should enter this into the Holiday Gifts Contest!
The fiancé stole it from me.. Does it still count as a gift?
Haha! Yeah, still counts :)
Mrballeng1 year ago
Holy cow! That is a whole lot of staticky wisps of plastic. Great result! Favorite.
SlickSqueegie (author)  Mrballeng1 year ago
Here is a few more showing the mess it made!
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SlickSqueegie (author)  Mrballeng1 year ago
Thanks mr balleng! Yeah it was quite messy!
craftguy1 year ago
I could be wrong but that plastic looks exactly like delrin. Which is awesome for you because it's not too cheap.
+1
bajablue1 year ago
Your wife made the right decision. The bowl is too beautiful to be man-handled. ;-)
SlickSqueegie (author)  bajablue1 year ago
She said the same thing!
Thanks bajablue!
You picked a smart one... and you're welcome. ;-D 
scavanger1 year ago
Those turned out great!

Sure wish I could find a pile of plastic like that.
SlickSqueegie (author)  scavanger1 year ago
Thanks, check around for a local plastics company....
rimar20001 year ago
Beautiful! You could use it as a mortar, too.
SlickSqueegie (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Thanks Rimar,
Lol, everyone that has looked at it and held it, say the exact same thing!
Nice job it looks great.
Now I'm afraid I have to follow kelseymh's lead & pass on a few warning words.
I used to machine plastics for a living & while they can produce some beautiful results great care should be taken when cutting them, some will require a high temperature to produce vapour however others do not & the vapours produced by the most innocent looking plastics can have nasty results, believe me I have suffered the consequences more than once & it's no fun at all, always ensure the area you are working in is well ventilated.
It may seem like an obvious thing but I would also say NEVER SMOKE WHEN MACHINING PLASTICS, many of them when machined will produce a fine powdery swarf, when this comes into contact with a cigarette end the vapour produced is inhaled directly & once again can produce some nasty results, again I have personal experience of this, ask anyone who has suffered a dose of PTFE poisoning & they will tell you they wouldn't want to repeat the experience.
SlickSqueegie (author)  Nostalgic Guy1 year ago
thanks.
kelseymh1 year ago
That is a beautiful bowl! And the translucence works extremely well with the tea candle you put into it.

(putting on my industrial safety hat...)

Since you don't know (yet?) what material this is, I hope you don't plan to use this as a serving or eating bowl. Many polymer resins will desorb some of their components, or react with either acids or alkalis in different foods. The result can be small ring hydrodcarbons (like BPA) which can mimic hormones, or larger polycyclic hydrocarbons (PAH's) which are known and suspected carcinogens. You generally don't want to be ingesting those chemicals.
SlickSqueegie (author)  kelseymh1 year ago
Thanks Kelsey, No I don't plan on eating anything out of it.