WoodCentral's video reviews
Turning Wood

Turning Wood
by Richard Raffan

Taunton Press: 2003
DVD, 1 hr. 54 min., $19.95

    "Here you will see my normal working pace," Raffan says, "with fine control for precise cutting and a combination of control and movement to produce smooth curves." His speech is often dubbed over the action, so we're not getting instruction garbled behind a facemask, which is nice.
    The video lists page numbers for each set of procedures, referenced to the author's book of the same name. He often shows his techniques at two speeds, first at his normal operating pace, and then slowing the lathe to 400 rpm so he can illustrate the roll of a tool or which edge is cutting, or how to properly use the bevel. He emphasizes and re-emphasizes a proper stance for different cuts. It is interesting to watch his mistakes being made, and how he goes about correcting them.
    Raffan covers free hand sharpening, centerwork exercises, facework exercises, and stance and movement for both. The first project is a tool handle, then a light pull knob, a scoop, and a box with his trademark domed lid. Facework includes a breadboard and a round-bottomed bowl. He includes tips all along: how to deflect shavings, how to gauge tapers, how to use hand support on the tool rest for different cuts, and how to fit many types of jamb chucks for reverse chucking a bowl. He produces a very nice practice piece and then takes it to the bandsaw and bisects it, just to see if its thickness is consistent at the walls and across the bottom.
    This is an excellent beginner's turning video. Watching it multiple times would encourage a lot of practice at the lathe.

. . . Barb Siddiqui