WoodCentral's video reviews

Fabulous Finial Box
by Cindy Drozda

Cindy Drozda: 2007
DVD, 1 hr. 27 min., $34.95

This is Cindy's second turning DVD. While I liked her first DVD "Elegant Finials" for a technical how-to presentation on finials, this second DVD shows a definite step up in production quality. The sound is much more clear, and there is no background noise, which I found somewhat distracting in her first DVD. The camera work and close-up shots of Cindy working on the lathe continue to be outstanding. As in her first video, the camera really zooms right in on the action rewarding the viewer with minute details as Cindy's turning tools enter the wood and delicately make their cuts. Her project on this DVD is the making of a very small box and a lid with a finial. There are so many subtle details and tips explained by Cindy which can be used on numerous other projects that the viewers will find themselves frequently referring back to this DVD for guidance.
     As Cindy progresses through the demonstration, each tool she picks up is described in detail. She tells the viewer what she is going to do with the tool, how it is held and how she makes her cuts. The video follows along giving a view of what is being described. This double presentation helps the viewer understand what is happening and how each tool is properly used to accomplish the task at hand. I believe Cindy's method of talking and showing what she is doing is what makes her DVD's so outstanding.
     I was fortunate to attend a day long demonstration where Cindy completed this box and finial. The DVD faithfully follows the demonstration I attended and gave me a much better view of the fine details that a live demonstration simply cannot provide.
     The DVD is broken up into eight sections. The sections (Warm-up, Introduction, Inside the Lid, Inlay Detail, Turning the Finial, Hollowing the Box, Detailing the Bottom and Tool Review) allow the viewer to easily refer back to the video when a reminder or quick review of a section is required. The DVD is accompanied by a small booklet containing more tips and helpful information as well as measured drawings of the finial box. I won't spoil the fun by describing each section but will mention that each has some terrific tips that will make your woodturning easier or allow you to produce a higher quality of results from your work.
     One such tip I learned was how to sand small delicate edges in tight areas. Cindy suggests using PSA sandpaper that is folded over and glued back to back. This will give you a firmer piece of sand paper. Then she clips off the resulting rolled edge that prevents you from reaching into the bottom of a groove or sharp corner. By clipping off the rolled edge you are left with a crisp but firm edge so you can sand those hard to reach areas. As the sandpaper wears out, simply cut off the worn portion and you have another fresh edge to use again. In the last section of the DVD she shows each tool she uses, what grind angle is used to sharpen the tool and good close-up pictures so the viewer can see the detail of the tool.
     Cindy also covers safety throughout the video. The usual eye, breathing and hand issues are covered. She is a firm believer in using paper towels instead of cloth rags to apply finishes and buff her work. Cloth rags can easily become caught up in your work and pull your hand or fingers into the work with disastrous results.
     In summary this is an outstanding video that I can recommend to any turner. Even if you are not interested in actually turning a copy of her box and finial, the video is full of excellent detail showing close-up views of many turning tools in action and accompanied by Cindy's excellent commentary. This is one video that you will return to often to enhance your turning skills or when trying a new tool.

. . . Bill Clark