Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Getting started in woodturning

I quite often mention very experienced woodturners, so to day I thought I would point out a new woodturner who is off to a great start. Messiah, and I would guess that is not this turner's real name, bought a lathe a few years ago but never mastered it's use. A weekend course at a local wood supplier saw the creation of several nice pieces of work. Read all about it and see the finished items in "i made a stick....."

This post really does emphasise the benefits of getting assistance in learning the skill of woodturning. Books and videos are great, but there is nothing quite like the assistance of an experienced turner to provide guidance and feedback. There are so many little ways of doing things wrong that it is difficult for the beginner to analyse their mistakes.

Another problem with learning from pictures is that they are only two dimensional, and we are working in a very three dimensional space.  By my reckoning, the tools that we use have five degrees of freedom:
  1. sideways along the tool rest
  2. forward and back over the toolrest
  3. the handle can move sideways
  4. the handle can move up and down
  5. the handle can be rotated
In most cases these are all happening simultaneously. This is much better learnt with a tool in hand rather than trying to figure out what a book is saying or a video is showing. In fact, it is much like riding a bike.


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1 comment:

MACTAGGART said...

Hi ppl.I like this article because it could be me,I caught the turning bug and bought a nice lathe and got together a batch of tools,picked up logs here and there,didn't want to waste good money to practice you see,and not having the ackers to go to a teacher I'm learning from dvd and books,making a lot of breaks and scrap but self teaching is showing me the value of a course, right now I'm turning a bowl from OAK.this is extremely hard wood and I don't get the nice long shavings that you see on the dvd.I seem to be scraping all the way and have to keep sharpening the gouges,all I get is a spray of sawdust,wish I knew the way to get nice shaves like on the vids.does anybody else have this prob.or am I the only dumbo around.still it's nice to read the blogs and maybe learn something as I go along,keep chippin ,MAC ,<(:-)>