View Full Version : New Girl on the wood heap and needs advice Please :)

1st Sep 2000, 12:23 AM
What is the best kind of wood to use when starting out? Is there a particular set of tools that you would recommend? What books would you suggest I read for guidence?
These are the questions I would of ask my father, who was a wood turner from way back, who died when I was a young teenager. Please help me http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/smile.gif

Around and around it goes. How it'll turn out, NO one knows :)

John Saxton
1st Sep 2000, 02:13 AM
Welcome LisMaria to this BB.Herein you will generally find folk most willing to see to your queries and a lot of valuable feedback.

First off, can you get on to a course, or get access to a woodturning group in your area as both these options would hold anyone in good stead?Also they would answer all your questions that you have.

But we assume that you haven't those options, so first off get hold of what books you can thru your library.....there is a plethora of reading matter available perhaps the better known Australian one would be:-
The Practice of woodturning...by Mike Darlow a thorough expo'se of the craft.
Woodturning ...by Klaus Pracht easy to follow.
Creative Woodturning ...Dale Nish
The Craftsman Woodturner...Peter Child
The above are some of the better quality books and there are also countless project step by step books covering all facets.

In the books there should be enough info to guide you in your first selection of tools.
Generally 1.Roughing Gouge 2.Skew chisel(perhaps a 25mm,and a 12mm)The bigger skew will help you gain confidence before use of the smaller skew.3.Spindle Gouges a 12mm.And at this point is where you want to practice predominately on your spindle work before attempting bowl work with the emphasis on practicing your skills.(even better with the guidance of an experienced turner).

Also there are a very good selection of videos around that give a good insight to the needs and deeds and these may also be found at your library.

I found on starting out and at the advice of the turners I worked with that some of the best timbers to work with were those that were not real hard timbers in the sense of hardwoods namely Jacaranda,Cape Lilac,Camphor laurel just to name a few before progressing onto the Australian timbers like your Redgum,Jarrah,Sheoak etc before attempting the real hard desert timbers that we have.

Two further points that cannot be stressed enough to anyone considering approaching the lathe is .....sharpness of all your cutting tools, and secondly, and I feel most importantly .......Safety in every thought and deed in all your actions.
I hope this helps in some way and good luck in your endeavours.

Cheers http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/smile.gif


[This message has been edited by John Saxton (edited 01 September 2000).]

1st Sep 2000, 07:25 PM
Thanks John, I have a lathe and a set of 'blades' but I have never professed to be a woodturner. I have tried turning a few pens as I am a cheap b#$*%#d and these would be gifts from the heart (and not the pocket).
I have found that the chisels bite and dig in and split the entire length of the pen. Sounds like I may need to read a book or sharpen a bit better.
Now give me a scroll saw, router and a nice piece of furniture to restore or repair and that is a different matter but I have always considered turnimng a black art. LisMari, don't be discouraged by what I am saying, I'm jus bloody stubborn and generally won't admit I can't do something. This is it!

1st Sep 2000, 10:49 PM
Gooday Lisa.

Welcome aboard.

If you do a search of the BB using tools and videos and books you will find a heap of info on all you want to know.

There used to be a club in Alice Springs but do not know if it is still in operation.

Maybe you could find out and let Neil or myself know via the BB.

Alice Springs Turners
E. TerLaare Anzac High School
GPO Alice Springs NT.

Ian () Robertson
"We do good turns every day"

1st Sep 2000, 11:10 PM

Thanks for your reply.

Since I posted my questions I have done a bit of research on the net and have read this BB which I found very valuable.

As for: Alice Springs Turners
E. TerLaare Anzac High School
GPO Alice Springs NT.

I know Eric and he hasn't been in the Alice for nearly 2 years.

There are NO courses run at Centralian College - only if you are an apprentice, then you can do a carpentry course and there is nothing being offered at Territory Crafts. There has been the odd woodturner pass through offering courses but nothing in the near future. I do know two other people here that I will approach for support.

I have learnt alot in the past few days and even more from this BB. Thank you

Any other suggestions or ongoing support is greatly appreciated.

Once Again Thank You


Around and around it goes. How it'll turn out, NO one knows :)