Tips and Tricks

Cleaning Cast Iron Tables

Cleaning Cast Iron Tables

Soft Wood

If you have an area of wood that is soft, depending on how soft you can either add thin superglue which will sink into the grain and harden it up allowing it to be turned or apply several coats of Sanding Sealer which will again harden the grain.

Starting with a Square Blank

Using your band saw, take the corners off the blank or ideally draw a circle with a compass where your bowl will be and cut out that circle.  This will take a lot of the ‘Clunk, clunk’ out to the start of your bowl.


Sharpening is everything. This is true of all woodwork but more evident in woodturning

Thin wall bowls

One of the most effective measurement tools is available at the end of your hand. For most of us our fingertips are incredibly sensitive to dimensional change as well as variations in surface finish.


Every mentor’s ‘right way’ to do things should be tried, but not accepted as the only right way. There are often many paths to the same destination, and experience will allow an individual to find their own way to achieve a result.


Throw away old abrasives old abrasives don’t cut and will only produce heat and potentially spoil your work.


Ensure to apply finish to your project in a dust free environment.

When applying any spray finish it is far better to apply 4-5 fine coats than fewer heavy coats.

Toolrest maintenance

It is important to make sure your toolrest is smooth and free of nicks and dents, all of which will help with the fluidity of  movement.

An occasional rub down with an old piece of abrasive will help no end to remove resin, sap, corrosion and slight nicks that appear from use.

After a particularly heavy catch the toolrest will benefit from a rub over with a file before rubbing with an abrasive to make sure it is kept in a tip top condition.

Bowl turning

If you have trouble with the bowl gouge skating across the surface , use the point of a skew to make an area for the bevel of the gouge to rub on to start the edge of the bowl.

 Parting tool

When turning small projects such as boxes use a 2mm parting tool to save wood and maintain grain alignment.

Choosing a Chuck

Sharpening your tools