Books/Resources for a Beginner Wood Turning

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Forum topic by FaTToaD posted 08-06-2013 08:47 PM 1281 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3166 days

08-06-2013 08:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: turning wood lathe beginner lesson book


After dreaming about trying my hand at turning I’m finally going to get a lathe this weekend.

Now, I’ve been searching the internet (and of course youtube) for lessons and information but I thought I’d ask all the great LJ’s out there what they would suggest in terms of books, blogs, websites, etc. that would be great for someone new to turning.

When it comes to books, I noticed there are quite a few out there. It’s hard to know which to choose. I’m really looking for something about the basic of the types of cuts, tools, sharpening, etc. Any recommendations?

Also, I know several people will suggest taking a class and/or joining a local wood turners and I am currently looking into that as well.


-- David

8 replies so far

View TerryDowning's profile


1077 posts in 2142 days

#1 posted 08-06-2013 09:23 PM

First lesson is how to hold things safely and securely on your lathe.

I have Fixtures and Chucks for Woodturning

Easy read with plenty of pictures to get the point across.

Next learn to sharpen your tools. Lots of research and methods here. I won’t go into details, my best advice here: Pick a method, master it and stick with it. The best sharpening method is a personal choice and involves trade off between cost, efficiency and proficiency.

Find a mentor or local wood turning club that can actually demonstrate different techniques. Nothing beats hands on experience and feedback.

Welcome to the wonderful world of wood turning.

-- - Terry

View johnintecumseh's profile


127 posts in 3441 days

#2 posted 08-06-2013 09:27 PM

there is a very basic book by Dale Nish, then all the ‘pros’ have a website, you just click on and you will learn a lot. Kevin Neely , Curt Theobald, Lyle Jamieson, Malcolm Tibbetts, our own Bob Hamilton has many super videos. It takes a while , keep at it, Keep Smiling John

-- retired and smiling

View johnintecumseh's profile


127 posts in 3441 days

#3 posted 08-06-2013 09:28 PM

Forgot “Roll Tide” John

-- retired and smiling

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3673 days

#4 posted 08-06-2013 09:40 PM

While I like reading, I think that turning is one of those things where seeing is understanding.

a great resource is “The New Turning Wood” with Richard Raffan

I got both the book and DVD, but prefer the DVD even though some parts are boring (seeing him turn a spindle which takes some time…but good to watch for technique and get ideas)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3673 days

#5 posted 08-06-2013 09:41 PM

here is a good collection of very good articles:

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2828 days

#6 posted 08-06-2013 10:28 PM

Be sure to learn how to “ride the bevel” of your gouge. As Purplev said, Richard Raffin explains a lot of the basics, and you tube will give you an abundance of “how-to’s”, I’m sure. Know how to sharpen your chisels, or these new tools from Easy Wood Tools work gr8 from all I’ve heard. I’ve never tried them before, but, they look very interesting. Here is their link: Practice, practice, and more practice. You could get a grab box of basswood blanks for practicing on. Since there isn’t any real grain patterns, it is much easier to get the feel of the tools.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2159 days

#7 posted 08-07-2013 11:35 AM

Raffin’s book already mentioned and Keith Rowlley’s book, “Wodturning A Foundation Course.”

Would check you local library for books on woodturning books, or shop around for best price on new & used books.

Would definitely warn you against any books by Mike Darlow. He is very knowledgeable but his books just too wordy (verbose).

One of the best basic books found in my local library was a Time Life Book on woodturning cannot remember the title. Chapter on sharpening, grinding wheels helped me a lot.

-- Bill

View mpax356's profile


72 posts in 2517 days

#8 posted 08-07-2013 11:20 PM

Here is a link to some free woodturning videos. My favorite book is Raffan’s The Complete Illustrated Guide to Woodturning.

-- MPax, Atlanta

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