First Attempts at Turning

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Project by Eric posted 12-19-2009 07:25 AM 1910 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As some of you know, I’m a neanderthal woodworker and the only thing I plug in when I work the wood is a fan. I’m back in the States for a few months and wanted to give woodturning a spin. So I called up a buddy of mine who I knew had a mini lathe and he was gracious enough to show me the ropes.

Here are a couple bottle stoppers that were the first things I tried my hand at. The simple olive wood stopper was my first attempt, and as you can tell I had a little more fun with the cocobolo stopper.

All in all, turning was great fun! I don’t necessarily see myself with a lathe in the immediate future but I can definitely see its usefulness. I also turned a chisel handle, which I’ll post here once it’s finished (I still have a few more things to do to it).

Thanks for looking!

-- Eric at

7 comments so far

View LesB's profile


1748 posts in 3464 days

#1 posted 12-19-2009 08:45 AM

Looks like you got a good start.
Turning is even more addicting than the LJ web site.
I think it is on of the really fun things in wood working because you start out with a raw chunk of wood (in my case often what other people would call “fire wood”) and are usually surprised by what you find inside.

-- Les B, Oregon

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 3826 days

#2 posted 12-19-2009 08:58 AM

If you have used the lathe for the first time then the results are amazing. Was the turning smooth or there were some hiccups? We now expect more turned projects from you.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View toyguy's profile


1654 posts in 3859 days

#3 posted 12-19-2009 02:42 PM

Nice first turnings….... bottle stoppers are fun, and fairly easy to make. ... And everyone loves getting them for gifts. I just gave away a half dozen of them.

Now that you have done some of these, it’s time to get yourself a lathe and really get ” turned on! “

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3612 days

#4 posted 12-19-2009 05:01 PM

Very nice turning work. Now you make a turn actually, from manual to power tools…!
Glad to see you again on LJ’s after quite long time (a couple of months maybe) you left us without any news.
So you will be celebrating this comming xmas in the state, I guess.
Merry Xmas and enjoy wood turning.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20579 posts in 3127 days

#5 posted 12-19-2009 06:10 PM

Those are some great looking stoppers. I really like the grain of the wood too.

Keep it up!!!!!!!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 3805 days

#6 posted 12-19-2009 10:06 PM

Thanks guys! Yeah, bottle stoppers are fun. To answer your question Sharad, there weren’t really any hiccups. It seems that (at least for me) you can’t really screw up something like a bottle stopper. It might not look exactly like you envisioned (like my olive wood stopper – I don’t much care for the final shape), but it still looks nice thanks to the nice wood and wax finish.

The guy who showed me what to do never does the same design twice, but I don’t think I’m creative enough to do that. I think if I had to do bunches of these, I’d find a profile that worked for me (in terms of ease and beauty) and just stick with that for all my stoppers. (Especially if used as gifts.)

-- Eric at

View silverado's profile


7 posts in 3098 days

#7 posted 12-23-2009 03:13 AM

Great Looking Stoppers .Just started myself to turn stoppers.
Very addictive.

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