Here you woodturners will find some articles that we have
written about various aspects of woodturning. Some are projects while others are
more about tool making or just information about topics that woodturners or wood
loving people might want to know about. In the future, we'll be adding the
published magazine and book articles (with the respective publications' approval
of course) here as well. So, enjoy yourself as you read these articles and
we hope they help.
A Wood Division Judges Thoughts
- Want a few tips and thoughts from a woodworking/turning judges mind?
This article is a little bit of a "brain dump" from an experienced judge
after a highschool State competition got him (and several other judges) to
thinking of what he saw.
Tips For Club
In this article you'll find some tips for demonstrators of
woodturning "out in the field" so to speak. I don't mean
demonstrating at club meetings to other woodturners. I mean public
demonstrations at malls, craft shows, fairs, businesses, out in the street
and galleries. You can even add your own tips to the end of this article !
Size Chart -
Ever need to know what the nearest metric (MM) size of bit is
to your english (IN) one? Do you have to drill a 7 millimeter (MM) hole
but don't have a metric bit and want to know what english one will be
closest? Want to know what tap is needed for a particular sized hole?
Click on the picture to see an animation of
process of hollowing out the hollowform.
The Basic Hollow Form steps -
Showing the steps involved in making a hollowform.
Shaving Horse Tapered Leg Joint -
A brief description of the leg joint that I made for one of the shave horses.
Shows the tapered joint and how it was made for my traveling demo shave horse
that allows me to easily put it together and take it apart.
The Negative Rake
PDF file) - Just a short article introducing this specialty tool. A
reprint of an original article from the October 2004 newsletter of Woodturners
of Southwest Missouri woodturning club by Andrew Hilton
"Art should be a ? ... not an !"
Log Lift - A simple, cheap, handmade / shopmade device to help lift
heavy logs or other loads. This will, literally, change how you load
those wood blanks onto the truck, trailer, or lathe! Stop straining and
make this lifter yourself.
Easy-lift Sawbuck - This is an upgrade to the Log Lift (article just
above this one) giving it a Saw Buck feature. Very easy to lift the log
or other piece of wood up to a comfortable height to cut on.
Basic Peppermill Method (Adobe
PDF file) - A handout on how to make a basic peppermill from wood from my
demonstration / class on peppermill and saltmill construction. Peppermill
making instructions. This is method #: 3F for the Crafts Supply Duddley
type of mechanism.
only take you so far. With character and persistence, there is no limit"
basics of Inside-Out Woodturning (Adobe
PDF file) - The handout for the 5 basic procedures in making a 4-sided
your own .... Pyramid / Point / 3-sided Skew Tool (Adobe
PDF file) - The handout for making this compromise tool. Gives
procedures and tips on how to make it.
your own .... Hook Tool (Adobe PDF file) - The
handout for making this mainly end-grain hollowing tool. Gives procedures and
tips on how to make it. Includes some design variations.
your own Turning Tools - Heat Treating (Adobe PDF file)
- A handout for our "Making your own Turning Tools"
demonstration / workshop / class - Give a general guide and lots of tips on the
annealing, hardening, and tempering process of working with tool steel in a
your own Turning Tools - FAQs (Adobe PDF file) - A
handout for our "Making your own Turning Tools" demonstration /
workshop / class - Some of the more frequently asked questions and our answers
we get from this topic.
Basic Principals in
Drying Wood Chart
(click image to enlarge)
Shapes - Incomplete but close to done - Want to know what makes a detail gouge what it is? What to
see the shape and compare the tools?
Making a Travisher
- A great
little tool for chair or stool making. One of those "tools of old"
used by woodturners and Bodgers
Uses of the Woodturners' Mini Scorp Tool - A great little tool that does a
lot. This is certainly a Woodturners' Heritage Tool.
Making a Big Peppermill
- A classic peppermill but on a bigger scale. The basics are the same but
lots of important differences with tips and tricks revealed. This is a
"Series" article. As more of the project gets done, I'll post
more about it.
Turning Project Notes
- Drawings and procedures for some of my more often created pieces so that I
can actually find them when I need them. A work in progress ... I have,
literally, hundreds of drawings and notes that I have to put into the computer
for everything I make.
Turning a Captured Ring
- These are fun. Some of us add these decorative features to everything
from goblets and weedpots to pens and even trembleurs. You could even do
it on a bowl! Well, here's the basics of making these fun woodturning
accents. You'll amaze customers and family while impressing your
woodturning buddies with the skills to make them.
are best served by those that are willing; not necessarily by those best
Making a Globe Ornament (3 pages) -
These things look great, sell well, and are a little addictive to make.
This shows step by step how to do it yourself. It just takes a little
practice to master this project.
Sharpening Disk - This is how I
prefer to do it. And this is how you can make and use your own. It's
cheap, easy and works. Who could ask for anything more in woodturning tool
Tiny Hollowing - Incomplete
Diamond Parting Tool Sharpening
- Many have asked about how to easily do it with repeatable results every time.
Sharpen those parting tools (diamond shaped or not) like the pros do.
Shopmade Chatter Tool - Got
chatter? Don't we all! Well, this is for those wanting to intentionally
create decorative chatter on your woodturnings with the wood lathe. This
article shows you how to easily make your own chattertool cheaply and easily
while giving the same great results time after time as the expensive and flimsy
commercial ones. Got chatter? GOOD!
Spalting, A Fungus Amongus
- Want to know what spalting is? Confused with all of the conflicting
information and claims about how to spalt wood? Just too blasted
interested in the catchy title? Take a look inside. I spalt wood
commercially. This is the real-world explanation of what makes wood spalt
but without all of the latin and scientific terminology.
Projects from Limb Wood - Just a few articles from many years ago by a
couple of friends that I'm
hosting here now...
Natural Edged Goblet
And another one from the same friends ...
String Steadyrest - Finally Complete !
Here's how to make and use those little wonders of modern vibration dampening
conveniences. Great for finials, trembleurs or any long, thin,
small-diameter spindle. A specialty jig, sure, but fantastic when you need
yourself to a higher standard than mere success"
Vacuum Chucking - How to make a
woodturning vacuum chucking system. From the pump, to connections, to
rotary fittings for the lathe and how to make your own vacuum chucks.
Here's how I did it .... on the cheap ... without sacrificing power and
- Credit where it's due: Tom Crabb. Tom showed me a small one he
had made one time and I, being the inquisitive person I am, decided to try it
for myself ... but even smaller. Then I was asked online how it was
done. So, I made this article to show her. If you want to see it
done in person ... and on a bit larger scale ... find Tom Crabb for a
demonstration. Or you might coax me into it sometime too. They're
fun and not terribly hard to do.
- Yes, me and skews. Everybody that knows me, knows my love of the
skew. All kinds of them. Well, here's a project from the
heart. Or at least from mine. A wooden skew you can make ... (wait
for it ...) WITH a skew !
"I find the
impossible ... infinitely more interesting"
Coming Soon ...
Shopmade / Homemade Lathes. I'll be showing off some of the many lathes
I've made. Everything from the "Anyway Lathe" which is a VERY
minimal motor powered lathe that (almost) fits into a briefcase to my mini- Bow
and full-sized Spring Pole lathes that I use for demonstrations and the
occasional traditional bodging craft in making furniture spindles.
Shopmade / Homemade
turning tools. Make your own custom woodturning tools featuring Hook Tool
/ Ring Tool ... Bedan ... Round Skew ...
Berger Tool ... Detail gouge ... Thin Parting tool
... Scrapers and much much more. We'll go through the entire process
from steel selection to forging with a homemade mini forge, grinding, heat
treating / hardening / tempering, shaping and, finally, tuning the tool to the
work that you do on the lathe.
Product Review - The Dynabrade DynaMitt Sanding Glove - Currently being
tested in our woodworking and woodturning shops. As soon as we can get a
review written up, we'll post it here.
Product Review - Oneway's Thread-Lok Ferrule - Currently being
tested in our woodturning shops. As soon as we can write up our notes into a
formal review, we'll post it here. Here's a preview ... Thumbs up for
ingenuity ... Thumbs down for actual usability and cost.
"A truly great idea doesn't just
solve a problem. It opens opportunities for other ideas."