The are about as many paths to entering the hobby of woodturning as there are people in the hobby. These unique paths have allowed a great number of individual techniques to flourish, and many more unique types of piece to be produced. Exploring different techniques, different turnings, and the varies paths people followed to get there will enrich how you approach you turnings, and what path you choose to follow.
Woodturning is a very addictive hobby. I first started turning to make legs for the furniture I was building but as I learned I became addicted to turning bowls, vases, wood goblets, hollow forms and segmented woodturning. There are two main types of woodturning. Spindle turning and faceplate turning. Spindle turning is done between centers. In faceplate turning your piece of wood is connected to a faceplate.
I'm guilty of having been a "typical" information-technology professional stuck in the fast-paced, chaotic world of custom systems development and delivery. Meeting deadlines, competing in the bidding process with competitor's, and of course the ever-present challenge of actual delivery ... on time and within budget. This story is likely true for many of you as well, across a variety of jobs. Our lives narrow, altering under the pressures from work. Stress, and whether it's managed properly or not, comes into play as the weeks, months, and perhaps years pass.
There are many reasons for measuring the wall thickness of your turned objects. Probably the most important is to achieve a uniform wall thickness in the entire object. The esthetics of having a turning with uniform walls just makes for a nicer and more artistic object. If someone picks up your turning and can tell that the walls are not even they may get a bad impression of your turning even if it looks good from casual viewing. If your turning has very thin walls and hence lightness, you also get a WOW factor from people who will want to know how you did it.
It's common to see wood turners excited over lumber such as Cherry, Maple, Walnut, and all manner of other hardwoods. Particularly if there is a Burl involved (drool). However, Pine holds some surprises for us as a woodturning material, if we look carefully.
Wood turning is one of the oldest crafts in the world and has been done with very primitive but creative tools. Most of the world does not have the big boys’ toy stores for woodworkers as in North America, but woodworking still goes on all over the world.
I first began woodturning in about 2002 and I've found it to be an extremely therapeutic hobby - I recommend people to try it. My normal job is very stressful, as anybody involved in running a small start-up business in the current economic climate will know.
The art of woodturning originated centuries ago, in European countries where spindle and bowl lathes were driven manually, with pedals like a bicycle. They were much larger and more elaborate than the compact machines of today, and were used to turn vessels of all sizes.
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