This week I was excited to receive a complimentary copy of “Turning Basics for Furniture Makers” from Popular Woodworking. With my shop currently out of commission, a woodworking DVD really hits the spot! Now most of you know I consider myself a utilitarian turner, meaning, I usually only turn when a project calls for it. So when I watch a typical turning DVD, my attention usually starts to drift pretty quickly. Most of these titles are produced by amazingly talented wood turners who present the content from a turner’s perspective. So most of the lessons focus on bowls or some of the other amazing creations you can make on a lathe. And that’s where Steve’s DVD really stands out from the pack. It stays true to the title and presents information that would be useful to any furniture-maker looking to get into turning. So whether you need to make chair legs, turned feet, spindles, or tool handles, this DVD will expose you to all the things you need to know to successfully incorporate turnings into your work.
So with a cold glass of citrus green tea, I sat down to 104 minutes of turning school, Popular Woodworking style. After hitting play, I was pleasantly surprised to see Steve immediately jump into turning a chisel handle. Instead of spending 20 minutes filling our heads with terminology and rules, Steve skips the foreplay and gets right down to business. I love this approach because it gives you time to think of questions. “What is that?” “Why did he do that?” “What do you call that tool?” By the time the chisel handle is finished, you are ready to have these questions answered and Steve does exactly that, from turning techniques to sharpening to tool terminology, its all here.
As a self-taught turner, I basically figured out what each tool does and I use it in the way I think it would work best. I don’t always know the how’s and why’s of what I am doing but I know it works. Well, with Steve’s descriptions and demonstrations of the cutting action of each tool, I can safely say that I’ve filled that gap in my knowledge. If I had this information when I did my first turning, I would have saved myself a lot of trial and error. If you are new to turning, there is really no substitute for getting in there and trying it yourself. But if you watch a DVD like this first, you will have a much more satisfying, safe and productive first experience.
Steve’s calm demeanor will guide you through just about everything you need to know to jump into the shop, chuck up a stick and start making shavings. I am giving this DVD a strong recommendation for anyone new to turning, or for those who are self-taught and feel like there may be gaps in their understanding of the fundamentals (like me). Experienced turners may want to take a pass, unless you just can’t get enough turning content.
And please enjoy this short trailer provided by the folks over at Popular Woodworking:
Bill Hall was the lucky winner of our free DVD giveaway! Congrats Bill!