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Copyright 2004.
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The Woodcrafter Page - Copyright 2004 - Keith Davies. All rights reserved.
The Woodcrafter Page - Copyright 2004 - Keith Davies. All rights reserved.

Using a Wood Lathe
************** WARNING **************
Improper use of ANY tool, especially power tools such as a lathe, will almost certainly lead to injury.
PLEASE!!!!
Never use any tool you are not properly trained on and read my page on safety.
Also, learn to be safe in the workshop for you own sake.


When I first started learning how to turn wood, a good friend took me into his shop and statred teaching me all about turning metal on a metal lathe. Little did I know he had already purchased the old wood lathe he would be giving me for Christmas.
The first task he assigned, once I had my lathe, was to read an old Wood Turning course book.
I will passing on lessons I learned from that book an a long series of min-articles right here.
Wood turning is used in various forms in making furniture and furniture parts, building trim, tool parts, toys, athletic paraphernalia and many other useful and beautiful articles in common use. When properly learned, it is one of the most valued skills as it embodies both the play and work elements.
Excellent tool technique is developed in wood turning as the success of the operator depends on the exactness of every movement and any slight variation will spoil a piece of work. When your tool makes a "run”, you must determine the reason and figure out why a certain result is obtained when the chisel is held in a given position. Certain cuts must be fully mastered, and it takes a good deal of experience and absolute confidence in one's self in manipulating the tools before it is possible to attempt skilful work. If scraping is allowed the educational value of the work is lost.
In wood turning, a vast field for design and modeling is opened and art and architecture can be correlated. You see for yourself the need of variety in curves and must use your judgment in determining curves that are so harmonious and pleasing that they will blend together. If properly learned, the beauty in the orders of architecture can be brought out in the making of the bead, fillet, scotia, cove, etc.
Proper wood turning awakens the aesthetic sense and creates a desire for the beautiful. The person who has learned to make graceful curves and clean-cut fillets and beads will never be satisfied with clumsy effects which are characteristic in cheap commercial work, made only to sell.
Success in turning depends on the following:
1. Care of lathe, tools, selection of materials.
2. Study of the scientific elements of: a. Revolving bodies. b. Points of tangency. c. Study of results by reasoning and observing.
3. Development of technique and exactness.
4. Correlation of mental and motor activities.