After starting with simple projects for practice you can move up a little and try your hand on some simple yet practical projects. Continually try something different but keep it basic until you are comfortable with the technique.
Turning a stool is easy and cheap, but good practice that results in a useful piece of shop furniture. After gluing up the seat blank and rough-cutting the circle to 12 1/2" in diameter, I used a compass to draw a 6"-diameter circle at the center of the best looking side. The faceplate was attached to this side first, using double-sided tape only because this would become the top of the seat. The faceplate was then spun onto the spindle, the tail-stock brought up and the live center tightened against the center of the blank as further security.
When I was new to wood turning I did the typical things most new wood turners do: I started buying stuff. A Lathe, tools, grinder, chucks, along with an assortment of other gadgets and gizmos. You start turning, learning, and making lots of shavings. In the process you also deal with the anxiety involved in learning to sharpen your< tools. You find favorites in your tools, those that stand out because they work well for you.
Turn Your First Spindle
My first spindle turning project was the legs for a three-legged milking stool, which I made some years ago. When we had a milk cow, I used the stool every day for seven years. This was my second turning project made at the local high school, before I bought a lathe. I still have the stool and it brings back some fond memories of a time when we lived a self-sufficient lifestyle.
When I decided to turn new handles for the chisel set that came with my Jet (JWL-1236) lathe, the first obstacle was finding a suitable material from which to make the ferrules. Ferrules are available commercially, but they are relatively pricey and I wanted a way to make them in my shop whenever needed; and save some money in the process.
You can create a simple and affordable eye catching frame for your artwork out of a great old wooden ladder. Simply turning the ladder on its side will allow you to display quite a lot of art in a row for so little money. This simple home decor craft project is an affordable way to introduce color, the vintage look, and even some architectural interest without costing a fortune.
Keep your turning tools organized and within reach with one of these shop built racks. They are simple to make; adapt the dimensions in the illustrations to accommodate your tool collection. The rack shown at top is made from 1/4- and 3/4-inch Plywood; it features spacers to separate the tools and a brace that prevents them from falling forward.
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