Tony, I took a course at Lee Valley. The books and videos around seem to be scant on little details like how you position yourself and your lathe tool to begin a cut, what chisel to use, and other very basic stuff without which it's hard to get started. Next best idea (maybe better) is to find a woodturner who has a little time to spare. You can learn the basics in about eight hours, and then go to town reducing wood to shavings as you try stuff out and learn. You can probably find a woodturner at a local woodturning club, if there is one near you.
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