Being without machinery to dimension and dress rough timber myself I can definitely see the benefit, but I think the investment (both in money and space) in machinery like this is premature for ‘basic’ woodworking. Additionally, without some other machinery (table saw, bandsaw) you’re still going to have trouble dimensioning smaller timber for projects from large/rough stock (e.g. producing timber strips for case fronts, ripping to reduce thickness, etc).

Description: This workshop is designed for those who have recently gotten a wood lathe, or have had one for a while, and haven't gotten around to using it until now. During this workshop students get acquainted with the wood lathe and its parts and accessories. We will cover the turning process, as well as sanding and applying finish to a project while it's on the lathe. Students will also be shown a variety of turning tools and how they function. You will also be introduced to wood selection, tool selection, and tool sharpening. Students will test their skills while working on a small turning project. Students should bring suitable eye protection such as safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield. If you have problems with wood dust, a respirator or dust mask would be advisable. Also bring any wood turning tools you might have. Tools and safety gear will be provided for those who don't own them. Materials for turning will be provided.


Once the choice of species has been made, the hunt for the perfect boards begins. However, before heading off to the lumber dealer, it is best to do a little preparation. After years of board stalking, I've come up with a kit that I always take with me to the lumberyard. Now, returning to the lumberyard to pick up those 'one or two' extra boards, has become a thing of the past.

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It's generally more difficult to find long boards. Stock under four or five feet long can often be cut from longer boards, but as the parts become longer, the rough stock will have to be either very clear and straight, or have extra thickness to allow you to remove any bow along its length. In making parts for the room divider (featured in this issue), four stiles had to be set aside: three because they kept bowing no matter how often they were jointed flat, and one because it was under the minimum thickness by the time it was flat.


Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
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