Information for a beginner

Discussion in 'Woodturning' started by WoodChuck, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. WoodChuck

    WoodChuck New Member

    Are there any good books, videos, articles etc. that you could suggest for someone who is interested in learning Woodturning?

    It definitely does not look like something you want to just jump in and try without some basic knowledge at least.
  2. Woodyoumind?

    Woodyoumind? New Member

    I'm sure there are. I would just go on some of the sites advertised at the top of the page and start looking. Browsing tool catalogs is not the most unpleasant thing I've ever done. The only problem is the drool tends to stick the pages together.:D
  3. WoodChuck

    WoodChuck New Member

    LOL. That was a great mental image.

    I browsed a few of the sites and there are a lot of different books. I am just concerned about picking up the wrong one. I tend to get frustrated a little too easy sometimes :confused: so I want to make sure I get one that really covers at least the basics and is not just some fluff book someone is using to pad their pocket and that sends me back to find something else.

    Although at this stage I guess it would not hurt to just grab something to get started. We'll see.
  4. oldnamvet

    oldnamvet Member

    Check out your local library. They can surprise you sometimes with the books they have gathering dust. Looking through the local book store (B&N if you have one local) is also sometimes helpful. At least you can look it over a bunch before buying.
  5. Wood Gnome

    Wood Gnome New Member

    The ... For Dummies books are my favorite. They are loaded no only with tons of instructions but lots of general information. I have Woodworking For Dummies. It touches on woodturning but does not focus on it.
  6. Mike Davis

    Mike Davis New Member

    Turning Wood by Richard Raffan is a great video for beginners or experienced turners. He covers the basics and moves on to a few simple projects. His techniques are solid and easy to learn if you follow his instructions.

    All of the work is shown from a couple different angles at normal speed and at very slow speed so you can really see what is happening.

    If I could only have one wood turning DVD... Oh wait, I only have one turning DVD and this is it!
  7. oldnamvet

    oldnamvet Member

    Equally important with the turning is the sharpening of turning tools. If your tools are not sharp, you will not like turning. You'll just gouge and chip the wood making a mess leading to major frustration. A properly sharpened tool will allow you to learn the techniques of turning much more quickly.
  8. Mike Davis

    Mike Davis New Member

    Good point Brother.

    Raffan touches on sharpening in this DVD, not a full tutorial but enough to get you started. He really makes it all simple and easy to understand.
  9. old logger

    old logger New Member

    There are a few sharpening jigs on the market like the wolverine and tormek but they are jean micheal vari grind.I made a jig that puts a quality edge on every time and it cost about a dollar to make from scraps.Any sharp tool makes learning a lot easier and enjoyable.Also google chest of books woodturning.There are a lot of old books there for free reading.The only real difference between turning then and now are the materials used today and the availability of chucking systems.You can get sucked into the vortex of spending a lot of money really fast.I make most of my own tools and jigs and it is not that difficult.Google is one of the best tools in my shop.Be safe and have fun.Ed
  10. Travis

    Travis New Member

    I took a week long spindle turning class at North Bennet Street School in Boston.

    You might want to look into Woodturner University at SmartFlix.

    I also found the Richard Raffan books quite helpful as a novice turner. The three books share some common material, so you'll suffer through a bit of duplication, but the descriptions and illustrations are great.

    (Disclosure: I am not affiliated with NBS, Richard Raffan, or, but I am affiliated with SmartFlix)

    Travis Corcoran
  11. BldrsWife

    BldrsWife New Member

    You may want to look into taking a course. Local community colleges or even high schools often offer woodworking courses at night. Watching a video or looking in a book is a lot different from actually doing it yourself with expert help available.
  12. Sidekick

    Sidekick New Member

    These are all excellent suggestions for learning about turning wood. You've given me some ideas about possible gifts for me to buy for our own home workshop library. The public library does have some wonderful older books, too, which are sometimes available on eBay or Amazon.
  13. GordonP

    GordonP New Member

    Woodturning is a wonderful art but it can be very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. I highly recommend taking a course so that you can learn the basics from an expert. Books are ok, and they can be even more helpful after you get the basics down. Personally, I just cannot learn from a book as well as I learn from a live person.
  14. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    I would also check out some videos online to be able to watch people in action. You'll see good techniques, mediocre ones and even some dangerous ones. It's much better to learn by watching than it is to learn by trial-and-error when it comes to woodturning.
  15. StephanieDeVoe

    StephanieDeVoe New Member

    I had the opportunity to take a week-long (almost) class in woodturning at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown NC a couple of years ago. VERY expensive, but a great experience. I wasn't able to do much with what I learned for almost a year, while I acquired equipment and tools and got a workshop set up. I was amazed at how most of it had stuck with me. But if it hasn't, I have wonderful notes to refer to. I do get more out of learning and doing at the same time. Videos are good, but I miss a lot of things and have to watch them over and over. Sometimes I'll pick up things from books, but it's hard to know how to choose the best ones for what you need as an individual.
  16. Rob

    Rob New Member

    Stephanie, that sounds like a marvelous thing to do. I wonder if that's something I'd like to do on vacation one summer. I've not heard of it, but there are so many craftsmen up in the mountainous areas of North Carolina. It might just be a great place to spend a vacation, too.
  17. WingDing

    WingDing Super Moderator Staff Member

    Stephanie, I'm the same way, learning and doing at the same time. Youtube is nice, same with DVDs. However, the fact that they're edited makes the process seem much simpler than it really is.

    I've really been interested in getting into the turning world. I've heard it gets VERY addictive, and hours feel like minutes when you're in front of a lathe.