The art of working with wood has been around for centuries, an old-aged craft that can turn the roughest of wood pieces into something beautiful. Woodturning itself is a type of woodworking that involves using a lathe to created wooden objects. It’s a craft taken up by a growing number of people who are looking for a hobby, or perhaps a new career. Woodturning is a great hobby as it’s easier than it looks and it doesn’t take long for first-timers to craft their first masterpiece. You will be able to make your own handles, bowls, knobs, pens and more. The skills will last a lifetime and it may even progress into a passion that earns you money. Being able to magically shape a rough piece of wood into something useful and beautiful is ultimately what makes woodturning an attractive craft.
Getting started with woodturning is a relatively simple and inexpensive process. The must-have items you will need include:
- Set of tools
- Safety Equipment
To first get started, you will need something that actually turns the wood. This is known as a lathe. A lathe is a power tool that rotates a piece of wood on an axis and allows you to shape it using various carving tools.
The main difference between laths is determined by how large the piece of stock is that you want to turn. If you want to turn larger pieces, then a larger lathe is needed. A small beginner’s lathe is a great option for when you are first starting out and they are much cheaper too.
Lathes require regular maintenance to perform properly including lubrication and constant checking for loose nuts and bolts.
Recommended tools include parting tool, skew chisel, bowl gouge, spindle gouge, spindle roughing gouge and scraper.
The best way to get your hands on the right tools is by buying a 6 or 8-piece chisel set.
You can turn any type of wood but you generally should stay away from anything pressure treated. There are also certain woods that are a lot softer to turn while others are much harder.
No matter what type of wood you’re turning, it can cause problems if you turn a lot and inhale the dust. Safety glasses are not enough to protect you.
To keep safe:
- Always wear a mask or a respirator
- Tie up long hair
- Beware of loose clothing and dangling jewellery
- Always read the instructions first
- Consider dust extraction
Joining a woodturning group or your local Men’s Shed is a great way to meet new people, learn skills from others and grow in your knowledge and practice of woodturning.
Mayama is Australia’s major importer and distributor of wood turning project parts. If you’re starting out in woodturning and need items for your projects, check out our range of pen blanks, clock dials, hands and movements, cutlery, desk items, weather instruments and more.