Learning at the Lathe

Basic projects and techniques help you get a great start in woodturning.

Here are 18 skill-building technical articles for beginning woodturners -expert, shop-tested insights and advice from the pages of American Woodturner, journal of the American Association of Woodturners.

The best way to learn how to turn wood is, step up to the lathe and try it! This keen advice in the collection will get you off to a great start.

You’ll begin with two fundamental, skill-building projects; a honey dipper, with introduces the spindle gouge and a parting tool, and a classic egg cup. Which introduces hollowing into end grain. You’ll learn how to grip the turning tools for maximum control, and how to turn cylinders, coves, vases, beads, balls, and other basic shapes you’ll need. You’ll enjoy seeing how to master the skew chisel by peeling carrots and turnips mounted on the lathe. And you’ll find shop-tested answers to many practical problems that all beginners encounter. Questions like these:

  • Where to find free wood? What’s better for the beginner, turning green wood you cut yourself, or dried wood from a dealer?
  • How do you hold the wood on the lathe? How do you get from rough to round?
  • Why does the tool catch in the spinning wood, and how to avoid that?
  • How to do less sanding? And what do all those sandpaper grit number really mean?
  • Why do people love wooden bowls and salad bowls?

Since 1986, American Woodturner has been a genuine treasure-trove of practical and reliable information written by woodturners for their fellow woodturners. Learning at the Lathe is the third book in book in an on-going series being extracted from this authoritative source. Learning at the Lathe is available as a 65-page printed book or as a digital download readable on all your electronic devices.

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