Woodturning Projects – Four Things a Beginning Woodturner Should Look For

Woodturning Projects - Four Things A Beginning Woodturner Should Look For

For the beginning woodturner, woodturning projects need to meet four criteria: They should be instructive, inexpensive, interesting, and quick. Meeting these simple conditions will enhance the learning experience with enjoyment and have finished projects that serve to encourage the beginner to woodworking with the lathe.

Woodturning Projects - Four Things A Beginning Woodturner Should Look For

First they need to be instructive. While it can be argued that any woodturning gives instruction to the beginner, there should be a deliberate thought given to choosing a project that teaches one or two new skills. Ideally, the project will work on existing woodworking skills and build from that experience to gain confidence on the lathe. The first tools to learn are typically the roughing gouge, the parting tool and spindle gouges. These allow the new woodturner to rough a square to round; shape with straight lines, beads and coves; cut to a determined diameter; and part off the finished project.

Woodturning Projects - Four Things A Beginning Woodturner Should Look For

Second, the wood worker’s project should be inexpensive. Most of the price of a project is determined by the wood used. In fact, the first few projects should consist of local woods that are cheap or free. Any other embellishments should be easily found and inexpensive indeed, such as tea lights or copper pipe sections for handle ferrules. If a band saw is part of the shop set up it is simple to reduce a section of firewood to turning squares that will be fine for a variety of projects.

Woodturning Projects - Four Things A Beginning Woodturner Should Look For

Third, the project should be interesting. Realizing that the beginning woodturner is intending to develop and refine skills, it is encouraged that the project be repeated several times. It is far better for the would be wood turner if the project maintains its interest through several incarnations. This is achieved in at least three ways.

Woodturning Projects - Four Things A Beginning Woodturner Should Look For

1. It is developing new skills which has an interest value of its own

Woodturning Projects - Four Things A Beginning Woodturner Should Look For

2. Most projects can be embellished with beads, coves, grooves, deliberate burn marks and other decorations, each of which is a learning experience for the beginner.

3. Projects can be used by the turner or given to friends and family unlike practise sticks that are at best highly decorated kindling.

Fourth, the woodturning project should be quick to produce. After all, the project is really secondary here. The primary need is to develop new skills on the wood lathe. One of the great ways to do so is to repeat, repeat, repeat. As the project is turned one time after another, the results can be lined up and compared to decide what is needed for improvement and where the new wood turner can pat himself or herself on the back for a job well done.

One such project for the beginner is a file handle. The lines are simple and can be performed with roughing gouge, spindle gouge and parting tool. Maple or ash from the firewood stash will do a great job and the only addition needed, if desired, is a ferrule cut from some scrap pipe. Besides, every woodworker can use another file handle as can almost any amount of friends who can give encouragement as they exclaim in awe over the beginning wood turner’s new skills.

Darrell Feltmate is a juried wood turner whose web site, Around the Woods, contains detailed information about wood turning for the novice or experienced turner as well as a collection of turnings for your viewing pleasure. You too can learn to turn wood, here is the place to start. Wondering what it looks like? Follow the page links for a free video.

Buyfave.com