Turning Archive 2004

What I have learned this year

Mike Schwing from Md.
>Please add yours!

Since the year is winding down, and I have nothing to do at the office this morning..

Turning related things I have learned this year. (I learned a lot, this was a rapid growth year for me). None of these are mind blowing, just stuff I have picked up this year.

First, sanding related.

1. Do not create details that are impossible to sand if you can not cut them cleanly to begin with.
2. This goes along with #1. If you don't like sanding, don't create areas your power sander cannot reach.
3. You can get incredibly carried away with sanding scratch removal.


1. I prefer to buy tools over clothes, and unfortunately, it is starting to become obvious.
2. I've never said "I wish this tool wasn't so sharp." Don't think I ever will.
3. Spending the $$ on a Tormek was well worth it.
4. You can do an awful lot with just a few tools.


1. Ask for a lot of money for your work and you'll eventually get it. Never lower your price when someone hesitates.
2. Don't be afraid to lose a sale due to price.
3. Ask for more than your first hunch.


1. No substitute for it. Goes for tools, finish, sandpaper, steel wool, workmanship, everything!
2. As I get better, I produce less work, but it is much better.


1. My best hours in the shop are from 5-10am.
2. I MUST get out of my shop by 9pm or things get sloppy and potentially dangerous.


1. When you blow your nose and it is the color of the wood you were working with - you forgot to put on your breathing equipment, or it is time for new stuff.
2. Noise cancellation technology headphones are great in the shop. They lower the noise factor immensely but allow you to hear the important stuff just fine.


1. A blown bowl or hollow form is great to practice stuff on that you'd not risk otherwise.
2. It is only wood. God makes lots of it.
3. I appreciate brutally honest critiques much more than sugar coated ones.


1. Everyone likes glossy finishes, but very few people appreciate what it takes to make them truly nice.
1.a. It is much easier to make a pleasing satin finish than a scratch free glossy one.


1. Turners are great people.
2. When they get together, it is customary to provide and receive small pieces of each others' work as gifts. It is also quite awesome.
3. Collecting your fellow turners work is very satisfying.

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