Re: How to turn to a drawing

David Walser
Alan -- Thank you for the suggestion and for the link. It's good information.

What I found interesting about the video that I linked to was that is supplied information that many self-taught turners lack. My school district eliminated shop classes (and home economics) the year before I would have been required to take shop. So, I never had the benefit of turning a table leg in 9th grade wood shop and didn't learn the process of turning to a drawing.

Years later, I took a 5-day introductory turning class from Dale Nish. He taught how to make all the various cuts and he used projects to reinforce that learning. But, he never taught the process of turning to a drawing. In the 15+ years since I took that class, I have learned on my own how to turn to a drawing. (That skill became critical the first time I turned a segmented vessel. If my outside curve didn't follow the drawing, I could have easily blown through the side of the vessel.) Over time, I developed a process that is surprisingly similar to the one shown in the video.

Using a video overlay (or turning to a shadow cast by a light above the turning onto the drawing mounted on the lathe bed) makes it fairly easy to turn to an exact shape. But, it doesn't help with knowing where to start taking away the wood. To many of you, that may sound obvious, but I found it daunting at first.

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