learning and making take-home things *PIC*

John K Jordan

I don't have time to write a tutorial at the moment (I'm preparing for a demo including writing a handout document!) but yes, if the person is a brand new turner they always take home something. (If they are an experienced turner coming just to learn the skew we don't do this since they can do that at home!)

I've posted these photos before but they illustrate nicely. These two girls, vet students and not strangers to the farm, came one day to learn about the lathe. We started with the skew as mentioned to learn how the edge cuts and how to plane effectively. Then we learned V cuts with the skew, coves with the roughing gouge, had an introduction to coves and beads with the spindle gouge.

I made a giant model of a skew from wood and a large diameter model spindle which makes illustrating the cuts easier, especially the V cuts.

Both of these beginners made things to take home, one a garden dibble and the other a whacking stick.

Just after that we started on face turning, practice with bowl gouge and Hunter tools, then each made a 2nd project to take home the same day:

Neither of these two have access to a lathe and both were busy with school so it was two years before they had time to come back. At her third time at the lathe I taught the techniques for turning thin spindles and this young lady made this wand:

At her third time at the lathe the other girl wanted to make a present and started on this, although it took several trips back to finish. (A lot simpler since she's old enough to drive now!) This was quite an ambitious project for a beginner - and I think she is pickier than me at sanding and finishing.

Then she came back and practiced beads and coves and learned the thin spindles and made this:

Neither has had A SINGLE CATCH on any tool as far as I know, and I should know since I have always been right there. :)

The interesting thing to me was BOTH of these beginning turners said the skew chisel was the easiest tool for them, far easier than the complicated multi-movement spindle gouge.

Both have been back several times and plan additional visits this week. I think it is time for more spindle practice and then perhaps a lidded box. Good clean fun! Remember, neither has access to a lathe unless they come to my shop.

You might have to remind me but I can try to write up some notes for you later, probably not until early March - I have back to back commitments until then! I do have specific methods and tools that seem to work ok and some ideas for improvements. Or another idea, drive down and visit and we can reenact and take photos - might make an interesting magazine article or something!


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