PDA

View Full Version : Learning with both hands?



camoz
23rd Mar 2016, 10:32 AM
Hi all,

Well I decided to join a woodturners club and take advantage of the learner classes. First night I was supposed to be doing beads and coves, with the skew chisel and spindle gouge, but being completely new to this "spinning woodworking", I learned about catches and spirals:U (I did manage to finish on a somewhat passable bead and cove, so all is not lost:-).

Probably the hardest thing for me and the instructor, is that I am left handed. The unusual thing was that when left to practice, I found myself using both hands without thinking, depending on which direction I was going.

My question is, given I am completely new to this (so forming habits), should I stop switching hands, or continue with using both hands. I imagine there could be a lot of advantages with being able to turn left and right handed, but I am wondering if this is easier to do from the beginning, or if I am just making learning twice as hard, and should learn left handed first, then add the second hand later (when I have left handed turning sorted).

I do most things left handed, although I was ambidextrous as a child, so learning something new with both hands is probably easier for me than most other people.

Any thought and advice greatly appreciated. Oh and lastly, no I will not post a photo of my practice turn, no one will ever see that....lol.

cheers,

Camo

chambezio
23rd Mar 2016, 10:48 AM
There is a professional Woodturner in our area. He was a Fitter/Machinist by trade and so converted a metal lathe into a left handed lathe for himself. Being professional, when he would do demos away from his home he had to use lathes that were of coarse right handed. He did look a little awkward but his results were very good.

In your case I think I would get used to what feels "right" for you. Whether its THE way or not really depends on how your body will attacks the method. I am right handed but I use a cricket bat left handed and have my bench vice on the right hand end of my bench. Its just comfortable for me. On spindle work, I have noticed that it feels better to use a turning chisel one direction rather than the opposite direction.

When I was working we had a young fella who was a lefty, he had learn to use a file in his right hand because files are made to be used in the right hand. I think the main thing to learn is to understand how a chisel cuts and do what needs to be done to control the chisel to let it cut effectively. You will develop your own style as you go on the journey of woodturning.
Look at those tennis players who swap hands to hit a ball.

DaveTTC
23rd Mar 2016, 11:56 AM
On the job i use most tools in either hand though my preferred hand is right.

On the lathe it is much the same.

If you can use both go for it.

Dave TTC
Turning Wood Into Art

Christos
23rd Mar 2016, 06:09 PM
I am right handed and find that I sometimes need to do a cut with a bowl gouge using my left hand. It is something that I am developing and it is a finishing/final cut.

As you are starting out and the tools that you mention are the skew and spindle gouge for spindle turnings let concentrate on them for the moment. When I first started turning I also did beads and coves with the added spirals and bits missing. I was using my right hand and thought about swapping to the left when coming the other way. One video I watched was by a wood turner called Mike Darlow, The Taming of the Skew and by my understanding and memory he did not advocate swapping hands while using the skew as this add time to your turnings. I am guessing that this might be coming from the fact that he had a wood turning business and time was money.

As this is a hobby for me it does not matter how long I take to make a piece and I found that I prefer to use the right hand when using the skew and spindle gouge.

hughie
23rd Mar 2016, 08:08 PM
Being able to use either hand is a plus, so dont worry about.:) I routinely turn with either hand depending on what I am doing. I find it a very useful skill.

smiife
23rd Mar 2016, 08:14 PM
Yeah, I agree with hughie , it is a bonus to be able to use
both hands , as you turn different things it will be very useful !

camoz
23rd Mar 2016, 09:32 PM
Thanks for all the advice. Cut up some turning blanks today, so I see many many beads and coves in my near future:U.

cheers,

Camo

powderpost
23rd Mar 2016, 09:43 PM
Being able to use either hand is a plus, so dont worry about.:) I routinely turn with either hand depending on what I am doing. I find it a very useful skill.


Absolutely.......... in fact I am envious.. :)

Jim

dai sensei
23rd Mar 2016, 10:21 PM
I too am a lefty, but like a lot of lefties including yourself, we can use both hands. Certainly an advantage so stick with it

DSEL74
23rd Mar 2016, 10:40 PM
I'm a righty but had a very similar experience to you on Monday I went to the local woodturning club and had my first lesson.

Had a piece of wood set up which I had to make round and then was set to practice beads and coves for a few hours.

I also found I was at one point swapping hands unconsciously but was able to do the same things as a pure righty if I set my mind to it and wondered if it was a No-No or a benefit.

chambezio
23rd Mar 2016, 10:53 PM
Here is a bit of information about leftys ......a left handed bricklayer can make more money than a right handed brick layer. When you have 2 brickies working on a wall, if they are both of the same hand, one of them will have to stand aside for the other to complete the last few bricks of that coarse. If they are left and right handed they will each arrive at the last brick together. So a left handed brick layer is a good thing to have in a team of brickies so he gets a few extra $ for being left handed.

OK .....a left handed shearer is not good to have on the board with rightys because he will actually be in the way of a right handed shearer as they come to the long blow when finishing off a sheep. I know a shearer who is left handed and told me when he joined a large team he had to learn to shear right handed to keep the peace with the other shearers

Here endeth the lesson.....do with it what you will......good night

Paul39
24th Mar 2016, 03:12 AM
Being able to use either hand is a plus, so dont worry about.:) I routinely turn with either hand depending on what I am doing. I find it a very useful skill.

I agree with Hughie.

I'm right handed and forced myself to use lathe tools both right and left handed.

Now I find I swap back and forth without thinking about it.

hughie
24th Mar 2016, 04:56 AM
Absolutely.......... in fact I am envious.. :)

Jim

Jim Probably started as a kid doing wood carving, even got to one stage where I could write with either hand. Its handy being ambidextrous :U

Rod Gilbert
24th Mar 2016, 08:33 AM
The more skills in you're box the better, if you are getting with using both hands at this early stage of you're turning all the better there is always a time when if only I could use my other hand for that cut it would be so much easier, Well done and get into those beads and coves it's all about time on the tools.
Regards Rod.

camoz
24th Mar 2016, 10:04 AM
but was able to do the same things as a pure righty if I set my mind to it and wondered if it was a No-No or a benefit.

I think that is going to be the key, I will continue using right and left, but I need to make sure I can at least do everything with the left hand (I don't want to get myself into a situation where I have to change hands to make the cut).

hughie
24th Mar 2016, 04:32 PM
I think that is going to be the key, I will continue using right and left, but I need to make sure I can at least do everything with the left hand (I don't want to get myself into a situation where I have to change hands to make the cut).

When you get used to it and feel comfortable doing it, it will be automatic, done without thinking.