About Us Contact Us Products Blog Video Blog RSS Feeder
Newsletters Tips & Techniques Featured Woodworker Just for Kids Tool Reviews Resources
Visit our online Gift store on CafePress!
December 17, 2009
I first got into turning wood about 8
years ago. The reason I bought a lathe was to turn furniture
projects such as table legs, columns, knobs, etc. Being a self
taught furniture maker, I assumed that I would simply do the same
when it came to turning and that I would quickly catch on. WRONG!
It was a slow process in the beginning for me to learn spindle turning. Why? I think it's because turning is difficult to learn simply by reading books (which is how I learned furniture making). When someone asks me the best way to learn to turn wood, I always recommend taking a class from a knowledgeable instructor. If this isn't available to you, the next best thing is a good quality video.
There are a lot of movements that have to be going on at the same time in order to get the results you're looking for when turning wood. The tool, hands, and body all have to work together. This is very difficult to communicate in words and pictures. Video is a much better way because you actually get to see all these movements happen as the turner works.
Steve Shanesy, the publisher of Popular Woodworking has released a video titled, "Turning Basics for Furniture Makers". This is a great video if you're just getting started as a turner and you want to learn how to make common furniture parts such as table legs, columns, feet, etc.
The video begins with Steve turning a chisel handle so you can have an idea of what spindle turning is all about. After watching this you'll have all kinds of questions. Fear not, the rest of the video goes on to answer all those questions.
The next part of the video are on the basic tools needed to do spindle turning and how to keep your tools sharp. Steve then goes through and shows how each turning chisel is held and what kind of operation each one performs.
The meat of the video is in the actual turning of furniture parts. There are sections that show how to turn table legs, a foot for a chest, and a 1700's candle stand column.
The video does a nice job showing exactly how each piece is made. There are plenty of close up shots so you can see exactly how the tool cuts and how the body and hands are controlling the tool. There's even a part that shows you how to make multiple copies of a piece, such as table legs, using a simple full size template.
So if you're just starting out and want to learn basic spindle turning or just need to brush up on your skills, this is an excellent video.
You can order your copy here