March 2023

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Woodturning For Beginners

Woodturning is an ancient craft that has been around for centuries, and it remains a popular hobby today. The process of woodturning involves shaping a piece of wood on a lathe, using various tools to create intricate designs and shapes. If you’re interested in trying your hand at woodturning, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The First Steps to Woodturning

The first step in woodturning for beginners is to obtain a lathe. Lathes come in various sizes, from small table top models to large industrial machines. When choosing a lathe, you’ll need to consider the size of the projects you plan to create, as well as your budget. A smaller lathe may be sufficient for turning small objects like pens or candlesticks, while larger lathes are needed for creating larger bowls or furniture pieces. Once you have a lathe, you’ll need to acquire the necessary tools. There are several tools that are essential for woodturning, including a spindle roughing gouge, spindle gouge, parting tool, bowl gouge, and skew chisel. These tools are used to shape the wood and create different designs and patterns. It’s important to invest in quality tools that will last and work well, as cheap tools can cause frustration and may not produce the desired results.

Woodturning Wood

When it comes to the wood itself, there are many types of wood that can be used for woodturning. Softwoods like pine and cedar are easy to work with and are good choices for beginners. Hardwoods like Beech, Sycamore and Oak are tight grained hardwoods that can give good results. You can purchase pre-cut blanks from a woodworking supply store or use scrap or fresh cut wood (green wood) to practice your turning skills.

Learn to Turn

Before you begin your woodturning, it’s important to learn the basics of wood turning. There are many online tutorials such as my channel on YouTube Olivers Woodturning here There are many classes and teachers that can teach you the basics of woodturning for beginners. Showing how to use the lathe safely, how to sharpen your tools, and how to make basic cuts. It’s also a good idea to practice on scrap wood before moving on to more complex projects. With practice, you’ll gain confidence and become more comfortable with the tools and techniques. Joining a woodturning club can provide you with support, guidance, and inspiration. You can find woodturning clubs and groups in your local area or online. Joining a woodturning club can also give you access to classes, demonstrations, and workshops. You can learn from experienced woodturners and get feedback on your work, which can help you improve your skills. You can find a list of Woodturners that teach the skills needed. Along with a list of woodturning clubs, on the Association of Woodturning of Great Britain (AWGB) website which you can find here As you gain experience, you can start creating more complex projects. Woodturning allows for a great deal of creativity, and you can create a wide range of objects, from bowls and vases to furniture pieces and even musical instruments. It’s important to have fun and experiment with different techniques and designs. In conclusion, woodturning is a satisfying and rewarding hobby that can provide you with hours of enjoyment. By following these steps and investing time in learning and practicing, you can become a skilled woodturner. Remember to start small, invest in quality tools, and join a woodturning club to get support and inspiration. With patience and practice, you can create beautiful objects and develop a lifelong passion for woodturning. Happy Wood Turning Ed