Beginning Woodturning Course

The sharpening course was followed up with a 2 day Beginning Woodturning course, again at Lee Valley and again with Stephen Zwerling.

The course outline stated “This seminar will provide participants with an understanding of the materials used in woodturning (wood and steel, and their interaction), leading to better, more trouble-free turning. Stephen Zwerling will present the material via lecture, demonstration, and discussion. It is a hands-on workshop for participants to develop solid, basic woodturning skills. Aimed at beginners, it can also be invaluable to those who need to learn theory and techniques to help them overcome difficulties or gaps in their technical skills.”

Why I decided to take the course was two-fold. Obviously I wanted the instruction that I hoped to gain from this course but more importantly, as I wrote about earlier, I was still being hauled into woodturning reluctantly (sort of :)) and I figured by getting proper instruction will allow me to make a more informed decision whether I wanted to invest more time and money into it.

The first morning was filled with woodturning theory that included the traits of wood including moisture content issues and grain considerations. This was followed by tool characteristics and use.

The afternoon was spent practicing various spindle turning techniques with the roughing gouge, the skew chisel and the spindle gouge.

The following day was spent turning a bowl. Proper use of both the bowl gouge and corner scraper was given as well as an overview of design and finishing techniques.

By the end of the day my mind was made up – woodturning was cool! I believe it came to me as the ribbons of wood streamed from my gouge as I hollowed out the center of the bowl. It was like an epiphany! LOL!

Seriously, it was an enjoyable two days. I learned a lot and made my first bowl which I was proud of, and very surprised to have created with such ease. No doubt there will be more in the future… 🙂

Back to the shop…

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