Woodturning is definitely an art. Many that love woodworking don’t touch it. But it is something that is not only interesting but fun to do!
Some woodworkers associate woodturning with bowls only as a finished product. Though bowls are something that can be done extensively on a lathe, that isn’t the only thing that can be designed and turned. Spindles, jewelry boxes (round ones) round boxes of any sort, earrings and other jewelry, cups and goblets, cooking spoons, whistles, pencil holders, key rings, tools such as hammers and mallets, and many other things can be turned on a lathe!
Where do you start when it comes to woodturning? Well first, of course, you must have a lathe (stay tuned for a post where we show you how to turn a bowl on a table saw!) Second, make sure that you learn how to be safe in doing so. Loose hair and clothing is definitely a no-no around the lathe. All of the guards need to be in place while the lathe is running. Never adjust the workpiece or speed of the lathe while it is running, even after the lathe has been shut off and is coming to a stop.
Make sure you stand to the side of the lathe before it starts up in case something flies off, including the work piece. Always wear protective equipment including an apron and at least safety glasses. A shielded helmet is always better. Be sure to read and absorb the instructions to the lathe before working with it.
Of course there is a lot more to it than just that, but since I am not an expert in woodturning, here is someone who is. Meet Michael Roper. He is a friend of us here at WooDesigner and he is a real pro. He teaches at Red Rocks Community College in their “Fine Woodworking” program.
This video below is one that he made on turning a simple spindle. You can definitely tell that he is a teacher. He is very informative. Watch how easy he makes woodturning look: