The little things

Mike Stafford

Member
Messages
1,154
Location
Coastal plain of North Carolina
Many years ago I started turning because I wanted to make knobs for flatwork boxes that I was making. I had completely run out of ideas for knobs that I could make on the table saw or band saw. I had a Shopsmith so I figured I could turn some knobs. I mean, how hard could it be? I had the turning tool set that came with the Shopsmith so I was good to go.

After a few tries I quickly learned that the large Shopsmith turning tools were not going to work to make small knobs. It never crossed my mind that I had no turning skills. So off to the store to get the tools that would make me a great turner. While there I decided it would probably be a good idea to get a book on turning and learn a bit about it. As I was perusing the offerings I came across a book with a pretty little turned box on the cover. This book was by some guy named Richard Raffan. I bought that book and immediately started trying to turn boxes.

After snatching a box blank out of the chuck a few times as I tried to back hollow per the Raffan instructions in the book I finally came to the conclusion that I needed more basic instruction in turning.

So it was back to the store for another book. I could not decide on just one book so I bought several. One of them had a section on how to turn coasters. That seemed like a good place to start since I had tons of cut offs from my flatwork. I started turning coasters.

After about 100 of them I move on to little bowls. 20 years later I am still turning little bowls but I did manage to to turn a box or two without snatching the blank out of the chuck.:D
 

Chas Jones

Member
Messages
761
Location
Cotswolds, UK
So it was back to the store for another book.

After about 100 of them I move on to little bowls. 20 years later I am still turning little bowls but I did manage to to turn a box or two without snatching the blank out of the chuck.:D
My go-to book when I started was Woodturning a Foundation Course by keith rowley Over the years I've not found a better one I'd recommend as introduction for new starters.

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Mike Now you have had a bit of practice perhaps you can try a simple variation on your Flat Work.
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