Turning Archive 2006

Advanced Woodturning with Richard Raffan: *PIC*

David Hammond, in Powder Springs Ga
>Wow. What an incredibly awesome week! I've been here in Provo, Utah at Craft Supplies USA for five days in Richard Raffan's Advanced Woodturning Workshop, and it was everything I hoped for, and then some. I learned so much it's hard to take it all in, and on top of it all, I get to take home some nice pieces from the week.

We spent two and half days watching demos and mimicking what Richard had done at the lathe, starting with the ever basic, but terribly daunting skew chisel exercises. If you seriously want to improve your technique, drop all other tools for a few hours, or days better yet, and true squares to cylinders on the lathe, then turn grooves, and turn the grooves into beads - this will do absolutely wonderful things to your technique. You screw up with that skew and it will instantly let you know you'd better shape up... We turned some tops, scoops and small bowls with beads all over them, mostly as exercises. Then we moved on to lidded bowls and boxes. After Wednesday lunch the demonstrations ended, and the rest of the week was a free-for-all; you could turn anything you wanted, with Richard Raffan right there to critique you, and help you on your way.

The workshop is very well outfitted with a dozen high end lathes (Vicmarcs, Oneways, Woodfasts, and a Stubby) and plenty of turning tools, chucks, grinders, light, etc.

I got really hung up on boxes and that incredible suction, piston fit Richard puts on his boxes, so I ended up turning 6 different boxes, in addition to everything else.

Here's a shot of me with the man himself, and I'll post a few pics of what I turned in a minute. If you ever have the chance to see Richard Raffan in person in any way, absolutely jump on the opportunity; he's every bit of the reknowned instructor that they say he is.

David Hammond

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