Woodturning a Winged Elm Platter

I show how I prepared a piece of Elm wood and turned it into a winged platter. I mounted it using a shop-made face plate and also used a scroll chuck. The platter is roughly 7 inches square and about 1.5 inches tall. I used a block of wood that contains heart wood and sap wood for visual contrast, to make the finished piece more interesting.

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Woodturning a Decorative Jar Lid

In this video, I show how I turned a decorative lid to make an ordinary glass jar a bit more special. This is a fun and easy project, and if you know someone who is into canning, it also makes a nice gift. I use these jars in the workshop as well, for storing small batches of finishes. This minimizes waste and allows me to keep finishes fresh before I use them.

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Project: Turning a Gavel and Block

I turned a Gavel and Sound Block out of Elm. It was a bit simpler than I thought it would be, but you do have to be consistent to make it look right. It involves two spindle turned pieces for the head and handle of the mallet, and a side grained piece for the sounding block. Most gavels have a dark brown finish, but I just used a light stain on this one to bring out the grain.  

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2016 Ornament Challenge

This year I decided to turn a miniature ornament for the challenge. Turning something this small is not as fast as I thought it would be. You have to slow down and make small cuts. It also gave me a chance to put some new tools to use. I made the miniature scraper and detail tool using some HSS I bought online: DIY Miniature Woodworking Tools Thanks to Carl Jacobson and Alan Stratton for hosting the Ornament Challenge. Playlist: Contest announcement: Challenges Music by Jason Shaw @ audionautix.com

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Project: DIY Miniature Woodworking Tools

I made a couple of small (~1/4″ diameter/ 6mm) tools using some M2 High Speed Steel that I bought online for a few dollars. I made some handles and ground them into 1) a skew chisel, and 2) a detail tool (flute-less gouge?). These tools are quite useful for working on smaller pieces. Making your own tools is a great way to make woodturning even more affordable!    

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5 Things Beginning Woodturners Don’t Know

Woodturning is fundamentally pretty simple, you rotate a workpiece and remove material from it until you get the desired shape. But it is nonetheless very nuanced, with many subtle details that make it both challenging and rewarding. 1. Safety I’m putting this one first, not because I want to lecture you, but because getting injured while woodturning can take all the fun out of it…in an instant. There are hazards that you need to be aware of and for which you need to take appropriate preventative action. I want to be clear, though, that safety is everyone’s responsibility, and I’m sharing the following thoughts to get you thinking about safety so that you can develop your own safe woodturning practices. I cannot provide a perfectly comprehensive set of safety practice, nor can I be responsible for what you do in your workshop. Lathe safety can be generally thought of in terms of things leaving the lathe and coming into contact […]

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A comparison of Two Pen Kits

In this video I compare two Slimline pen kits from two different suppliers. Rockler: SlimlinePen Kit in Gold US$1.99 (on sale) http://www.rockler.com/slimline-pen-hardware-kit-gold Craft Supplies: Apprentice Fancy Slimline Kit 24K gold US$1.79 https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/1/684/Apprentice-Fancy-Slimline-Pen-Kit They’re almost identical, but the middle band and the clip design make me favor the one from Craft Supplies.

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Live Edge Elm Bowl

I decided to challenge myself by making a live edge bowl. This is a small piece of an Elm branch that fell in my neighborhood last spring. Elm has a medium-dark heart wood and a blond sap wood, giving the piece some nice contrast. The finish is a home-made danish oil. Elm is easy to turn, but is a bit tricky to get a smooth finish. I don’t like leaving markings from the chuck, so I turned away the tenon that had been in the chuck. “Carnivale Intrigue”, “Cuban Sandwich” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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