Tips, Questions, Books and Tools

This is the area for Tips, Questions Books and Tools. If you have a woodturning question e-mail me at I'll see if we can come up with an answer.  Ray

Get woodturners together and you'll get numerous solutions to a problem and an overwhelming desire to help. Woodturners are generous with their tips and readily share "How to get it done".

Let's give it a try:

Touch up the edge of your cutting tool prior to finish cuts. We find that the edge gets beat up pretty bad getting to the finish phase. Benefit: cleaner finish cut could require requires less finish work. Ray

Do I need to buy a complete tool set to get started?

No. Give some thought as to what you are going to accomplish starting out. The club has a number of members willing to demo tools and give an idea what the different tools are used for. Once you are comfortable then you can make a choice. Every one of us has the tool on the shelf that didn't work for us.

What tools do you use the most?

The most used in my tool roll are: 5/8" bowl gouge, Ellsworth grind; bowl gouge, traditional grind; 3/8" spindle gouge; straight parting tool (not diamond shaped); Raffan scraper.

Is there a difference in tool quality?

I believe so. Working with tools my whole life I think that quality does pay off. You just need to know where to apply the benefit. I feel the metallurgical advances in the last ten years have taken today's tools to a level unimagined when Grand Dad was turning in the basement. I like the Sorby tools but favor the powdered metal tools. Tools from Doug Thompson are some of my favorites. The name manufacturers, however, all have good quality. I think the "hobby" grade tools from any of the name brands are quite acceptable. I avoid any "no name" tools and no tools from the tool place with the 25% off coupons in the newspaper. The "deal" tool usually will cost you somewhere down the road. Ask one of the club members if you want to try a tool out. If you need help let me know and I'll help find someone who can get you the tool help you need. Ray

My "Top 5 Books" I would put on a woodturners shelf:

1.  The Art of Turned Bowls
        Richard Raffan
        Guild of Master Craftsman Publications

2.  Ellsworth on Woodturning
        David Ellsworth
        Fox Chapel Publishing

3.  Woodturning Projects- A workshop guide to shapes
        Mark Baker
        Guild of Master Craftsman Publications

4.  Woodturning- A Fresh Approach
        Robert Chapman
        Guild of Master Craftsman Publications

5.  Turning
       Richard Raffan
       The Taunton Press

Other books available (not in order of preference):

     Turning Boxes
        Richard Raffan
        The Taunton Press

     New Masters of Woodturning
        Terry Martin/Kevin Wallace
        Fox Chapel Publishing

     Masters: Woodturning
        Lark Books

     500 Wood Bowls
        Lark Books

     Basic Bowl Turning
        Judy Ditmer
        Schiffer Publishing

     Turning Green Wood
        Michael O'Donnell
        Guild of Master Craftsman Publications

     Learn to Turn
        Barry Gross
        Fox Chapel Publishing

     Classic Woodturning Projects
        Bonnie Klein
        Fox Chapel Publishing

     To Turn the Perfect Wooden Bowl- Bob Stocksdale
        Ron Roskiewicz
        Fox Chapel Publishing


Tools/ Gadgets:

Coming soon. Tool/ Gadget reviews.
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