Woodturning is a form of woodworking that enjoys a lengthy history. This artistic form of woodworking involves turning wood with a lathe while shaping and forming it into various objects. Woodturning is an enjoyable hobby and one that many find is a creative, artistic outlet. Those who practice woodturning often develop skills that can be utilized in a variety of situations including handyman-type repairs. Whether new to woodturning or an experienced pro, this wood form provides many benefits and serves as a practical method to stimulate and develop artistic expression.
Types of Wood
There are a few simple things needed to begin a woodturning project: wood, a lathe, and creativity. Wood is varied and there are different types utilized in various woodturning projects. Popular wood choices include chestnut, maple, mahogany, cherry, and oak. Many woodturning beginners start by purchasing wood blanks. These are precut wood slabs that are easy to work with. Others may begin by using raw materials gathered from their local areas. Exotic woods are often in high demand and often result in intricate designs and patterns due to the grain and color patterns. Some obtain wood from area timber mills. Your choice of wood will have a direct impact on the finished product made. Always check the safety of any wood you want to work with as some woods produce toxic chemicals when turned.
Tools and Tables
Woodturning tools are invaluable to ensuring a well-crafted product. Unlike many tools used for general
woodworking projects, woodturning tools require frequent sharpening. A lathe is of the utmost importance as well as various turning tools. These include turning tools for bowls and spindles. Other tools include
gouges, chisels, and beading tools. Steel tools are recommended for beginners, as they are tough, long lasting, and easier for beginners to work with. Many beginners start with a steel woodturning tool set and
then include more tools as needed. Tables upon which to work are also required.
Safety Procedures and Equipment
It is imperative that those engaging in woodturning practice safety procedures. The most important safety
procedures are for those using an electric or power lathe. Those using a lathe should always be alert, energetic, and operating the machine with a sound, sober mind. More accidents tend to happen when the worker
becomes tired. Ensure you are alert when operating a lathe. Proper ventilation is imperative to good health and those using equipment should wear eye protection. Breathing in dust particles from turned wood may
also prove hazardous. Take steps to reduce the amount of dust in the environment.
Before beginning a small woodturning project, it is imperative to have enough education to feel confident using
the lathe and other tools. Turners must make certain the tools they use are sharp and that they use proper techniques when using them. Bowls and spoons are good projects for new turners. Utilize all safety
methods and do not back away from your project if you make a mistake.
Various woodturning techniques and principles may be utilized to construct various designs. The beginning turner
should focus on mastering the basic principles of woodturning before attempting advanced techniques. Techniques may include advanced finishing and glazing practices to advanced ornamental carvings. Woodturning
is a craft that has many aspects and is limited only by the crafter’s vision and imagination. Various techniques can help turners create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that express the turner’s
individual design plan.
Finishing and Color
Knowing how to finish or change the color of your wood project will have a direct impact on the finished look.
Make certain to understand safety procedures when working with various glazes and varnishes. Wood may be stained and treated in a variety of ways that will create a unique and beautiful project. Finishes
highlight the natural grain pattern in a completed project by accentuating its beauty.
Hobbies and Careers
There are several career opportunities for those that enjoy woodworking. Some choose to turn their hobby into
profit and sell their finished woodturning projects. Others enter the woodworking field through a variety of branches. Popular career choices for those in the woodworking field include furniture and cabinet
makers, artists, luthiers, model makers, carpenters, machine operators, and wood working educators.
Those new to woodturning must begin with simple and easy projects. There are many project plans available for the
new turner to try. Classes are available where someone may learn how to use different woodturning equipment. These classes often guide students in beginning their first starter projects.