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Adventures in Woodturning

Adventures in Woodturning

Posted by April Tillery on Oct 26th 2017

When my good friend Dawn said her husband needed a new vendor for large wooden cribbage pegs, I was super excited. You may not know this about me, but I've always loved wooden bowls and wanted to learn how to make them. You may be asking yourself, "Now, what does that have to do with cribbage pegs?" I'll tell you, it means we need a lathe! Now I don't often make a habit of buying a large piece of equipment and tools for one client but since I already wanted one we went for it. Now Charles is the one that actually knows what he is doing with a lathe, whereas I have never once used one. I'm super excited to learn how to use it but for now I'm leaving the orders from paying customers to him.


I started out just messing around with scrap wood to make absolutely nothing at all but just random slightly rounded items. Now I'm working on learning how to turn bowls. It involves a massive amount of watching youtube videos, messing up, getting scared half to death, and then watching more youtube videos. Some of these people make it look so incredibly easy but I assure you it is not! Especially when you get a catch and have your life flash before your eyes. I'm definitely getting better though and hopefully soon I will actually end up with a finished product to show off for all my effort. 





For now I'm using pine which is a pretty soft wood to use for turning, but it's also cheap and so if(when) I mess it up, I'm not so upset about it needing to go in the recycling pile. Yes, we take all scrap wood except, painted or treated to a local recycling center that accepts wood to be chipped up and reused.

There really is so much to learn about the different types of tools, types of wood that are best for turning, and what angle to hold the tools at for different outcomes. At one point I couldn't understand why it kept catching while I was using the bowl gouge to try and hollow out my bow, but then I realized I was moving the gouge backwards from the way I was supposed to be moving it. I'm also learning that most of the time, the wood becomes what it wants to become, forcing it to become something different isn't always the best idea. It's really amazing the natural curves and grains and how you have to work with them to create something beautiful. 


Overall I'd say it's an awesome thing to learn about and I look forward to many years of learning and growing in this. area. Not sure that I will have anything ready to purchase anytime soon but you can bet that next year I will be adding bowls and small toys made by me to the site. 

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