I love turning wood and I almost enjoy making woodturning tools just as much! So, when I find a unique method of making tools or new supplies and suppliers that you can use to make cheap and effective woodturning tools I’m gonna let ya know about it!
Learned How To Use Square Cutting
Tool Bits To Make Woodturning Tools
After watching a video from Mike Peace on Making and Using Beading and Parting Tools, I ordered 4 HSS Square Cutting Tool Bits Bar 8mm x 8mm x 200mm, that would be about 5/16″ x 7 7/8″ ….I paid around 11 dollars for 4 of these, you can find them here HSS Cutting Bits.
Ordered Some Square Cutting Tool
Bits To Make A Wide Parting Tool
Then, I started thinking that I would like to try making a bigger tool, so I also ordered the 12mm x 12mm x 200mm bar, could only find one bar for around $9 dollars. I thought with this larger size I could make a bigger scraper or maybe a gouge of sorts. 12mm is almost 1/2″ and I wanted to try and make a modified bowl gouge.
Instead of trying to convert or grind down an old chisel, file or drill bit these hardened steel tool blanks might make excellent substitutes and are ready to go, just grind your profile and sharpen. I’m excited to give these a try, I’ve made carbide tipped tools but never have used these tool blanks for making woodturning tools…. will let you know how it goes 🙂
Turn a Wood Handle and
You Have A New Parting Tool!
Turn a tool handle, epoxy the handle and metal bar together and you’ve got yourself a new tool!
I really liked the chisel/scraper that Mike did in his video. I could use a wide beading/parting tool like the one he made. I have some handle blanks, all I need is for the square cutting tool bits to get here.
Check out Mike Peace’s video on Beading and Parting tools! He even goes over how he makes a small handle for the diy parting tool!
How To Make A Lathe Parting Tool, How To Make A Parting Off Tool, How To Make A Parting Tool, How To Make A Wood Lathe Parting Tool, Make A Lathe Parting Tool, Make A Parting Off Tool, Make A Parting Tool, Make A Thin Parting Tool
Ok, unless you are brand spanking new there’s no trick to this process of making woodturning tool handles.
Basically you grab a 3×3 square blank of your favorite wood and turn it into the lenght and shape you need for your desired tool.
Grab a straight piece of a tree limb or tree trunk, find the centers and turn it between centers. Use your turning roughing gouge to get the branch cylindrical and then put a shape for the tool you need. Then finish with oil or something like OB shine juice.
DIY Wood Handles For
Turning Tools Video
You can watch a video I put together called “How to Make Wood Handles for Wood Lathe Tools”, it involves taking a small dead tree trunk and turning it into a cylindrical blank to be used for a wood lathe tool handle, club, mallet or whatever you might desire!
Where I live I have 2 lots on a river. Not very big lots but we left a lot of it naturalized so, after about 25 years, we had a lot of young trees of every sort. There were lots of Ash and Beech trees, a few oaks and some hickory, lots of young mulberry and catalpa and also some sumac, there are even som walnut and black locust. I found a bunch of wild cherry trees and a good 5 or 10 I couldn’t identify. Oh, I forgot …a couple of willow trees, maple, popular and cottonwood. Did you ever see cottonwood or popular seeds flying in the summer. Some call it a nuisance, to me, its a reminder of summer and all my memories of my childhood fishing on the river with the cottonwood seeds floating through the air like snow and sticking to my fishing line as I reeled in my pole.
Our Own Forest For Making Your
Own Woodturning Tool Handles
My wife and I are not like most people. We don’t clear cut everything so we could have a nice green lawn. Drives our kids crazy! We do have some areas that are mowed and you could say they are grass but in reality it is just green weeds….. looks pretty good when cut 🙂
As a result of our yard planning we have a whole bunch of trees. They create a haven for wildlife of every sort. We even had a mama deer give birth in a small section we called the forest. The mom came out and then following her was this little small dog sized deer that was all wet and wobbling, it was awesome to see. We didn’t know it but she had another one that was left in the forest, somewhat hidden in some brush but apparently not strong enough to move. Four or Five hours latter it was up and moving and mama was right there.
Save A Tree and Rescue Some Animals ….
Your DIY Handles Can Remind You of That
If I tried to remember how many animals we rescued over the last 30 years or so I know I would leave some out. Birds of every sort, squirrels, raccoon families….at least 3 litters of little raccons. Just saved a possum I caught in the chicken house!
Trees are wonderful creations of God. They give shelter to wildlife. Provide material to build homes and shelter. I marvel at their beauty and massivness. We have one oak tree that is close to 6′ in diameter at it’s base. You know that had to start growing at the time of the revolutionary war or even before then.
I’m not a tree hugger but I do appreciate them. That’s why I’m sad to see so many killed by foreign beetles and fungus, moths and who knows what else. Trees that are like statues and guardians from the time of my youth are now taken down by foreign invaders. Or maybe someone from the city comes in and thinks the leaves are a nuisance….. sic!
Three Oak Trees Down, Lots of Bowls, Cups and Handles to be turned! or Should I Just Give In And Cut Some Firewood?
I have 3 oak trees down right now. I really wanted to be able to get a portable bandsaw to make lumber out of them. They’ve been laying around for a while and except for a few pieces I’m afraid they will become fire wood.
Sorry for the rabbit hole! But I realize not too many are Blessed like we are to live in an arboretum or nature center. If I want to turn a bowl, I look for a decent dead branch, cut it and go to work.
I said all this to say, I have a lot of dead trees now. If you catch some of the smaller ones within a year after they die and they are 4 to 6 inches in diameter you can use them to turn some very nice wood handles for your tools. You can use the bigger ones for lamps or candle stick holders and I’m sure you could think of other projects.
Dead Trees Make Nice Turning Tool Handles
and Come with Worm Holes,
Coloring From Fungus Growth Called Spalting
The longer it is dead, the more worm holes and spalting you get. But the Ash, Oak, Hickory and Beech trees are particulary suited well for making handles for your custom made woodturnig tools, or should I saw… homemade woodturning tools and others would call DIY woodturning tools.
My harbor freight lathe has several steel bar levers used to tighen down the center stock or the tool rest. I’m making a few small handles that I’ll slip over the round metal lever to give me a little more leverage, I’m just using a hunk of conduit now and it keeps falling off 🙂
With the bigger branches I can make some small baseball bats that my grandsons can use to whack balls around and my son’s can use a self defense weapons…. in fact I might keep one stashed by the front door! Crazy times we live in, at one time I was the strongest in the room…. now I’m old and sick…easy prey so you need to do whatever you need to do to protect your family…. or at least die trying.
Ash Trees the Choice of Bat Makers
As Well As Tool Handles
Did you know Ash was the wood of choice for making baseball bats? Did you know almost all the Ash forests are gone from the emarld ash borer beetle? That’s what killed all my ash trees, you can see the trails under the bark. Seems as though they can kill a tree in a matter of weeks …really sad. My little forest is so bare now.
But, we as woodturners can use this distressed wood to make some awesome projects. Bowls, spindles, candle stick holders, walking sticks and anything that requires a handle.
Most of the dead ash trees that I use have been dead for a long time, at least 3 years and in this time the 4″ and below are pretty dry. However, the first 1/2″ to 1″ of the branch or log is usually very soft. But you can clean it up until you get down to hard wood. The grain is tight and really is beautiful. Often times you’ll find worm holes, or beetle holes throughout. The wood sometimes will be spalted. Usually Ash is a very light colored, with an oak type grain but with spalting fungus makes its way into the wood and will add color in the form of different shades and often lines of color.
If you have a bigger piece, that is 6″ in diamter and up you can run a 24″ section through your bandsaw and make 3 x 3 square blanks that you can turn whenever you get a free moment or the need arises. I haven’t had to do this yet because I have so many smaller diameter trees that are dead.
So what am I turning these custom wood handles for?
I have a 3/8 Sorby Spindle Gouge I purchased with just the blade and tang, no handle. Right now I just have it stuck into a piece of wood 🙂 because I needed to use it right away. I need to make a permanent handle and epoxy the tang into the handle with a brass furle at the end. I’ve been using copper for the furl but I think I’m going to purchase a brass tube from onlinemetals.com and use the brass for a furl making myself look like the big guys!
I really haven’t used the spindle gouge much…. Need to spend some time learning how to use it. The Sorby spindle gouge cuts very nice but my technique is a big off 🙂 The one I got was not very sharp out of the box, kind of surprised at that. But, that’s not a deal killer since I have the Oneway Wolverine Grinding System, makes quick work of dull woodturning gouges and chisels.
Wood Handles For Woodturning Disk Sander
I have a little 2″ disk sander I want to set up. I think I watched a Cap’n Eddie Video or two about how to make one of these sanding tools. Basically you turn a handle, drill a 3/8″ hole in the end of the handle, drill a 3/8″ hole at a 45 degree angle and my modificaition is to drill another 3/8 inch hole 90 degrees to the wood handle. Once again, I have a makeshift handle that I turned quickly and looks like a malformed sex toy, I drilled the holes as per above and it works great…… just that the 2″ sanding pad keeps falling out. It only costs about 10 bucks and comes with an assortment of pads, if you think you like it, then get about 100 additional sanding pads from 80 grit to 3000 grit. My problem with this little gadget is that the foam keeps coming apart. I had to use some CA glue to glue the “hook” pad back on. It would be easy enough to repair with some more dense foam if you really liked the setup. In fact that is what I’m going to do.
Turning Handles for
Pro Version of The Disk Sander
Now the 2″ sanding pad uses velcro to attache the sandpaper and foam pad and is attached to a mandrel with a 1/4″ metal/steel shaft. To make a “Pro” version of this hand sander, you drill a 3/8″ hole in the wood handle because you want to push in a 3/8″ round disk magnet ********** to the end of the hold (glue it in) and then glue in a 3/8″ brass tube down to the magnet. Use CA glue.
When you push the steel shaft of the sanding pad into the brass shaft it will bottom out on the magnet and stick to its location by the 3/8″ disk magnet that you first glued in.
This thing works like a charm. You don’t have to have the sanding pad on a drill, the rotation of the object being sanded causes the sanding pad to rotate on its own and thus “sand” the project. I find this tool comes in handy with bowls and especially cups or hollow forms that need some sanding inside. Does an awesome job sanding the interior of bowls, cups and vases.
Dedicated 2″ Sanding Disk Station
The only thing I need to do is buy about 4 or 5 of these 2″ sanding pads****** and an additional supply of 2″ round sanding disks*****. The constant tearing off of the sanding paper from the foam tends to destroy the velcro on the foam pad. So I saw one guy create a station that holds as many disks as he needs and now has dedicated 2″ sanding pads starting with 80 grit up to 1000 grit, think he had about 5 of them in a a hunk of wood by his lathe. Just drill a 1/4″ hole in your favorite wood and stick the mandrel of the sanding disk in the hole …..set it on a shelf or hang on the wall next to your lathe. If you try these things you’ll fall in love with them
Wood Handles for My Custom
Made Woodturning Tools
I have some home made woodturning tools and plan to make many more ….or at least experiment with more of them. I was watching Reed Gray, the robohippy on youtube and that guy has a tool for every corner or should I say every radius. I guess you never quite figure out what you really like until you try a bunch of tools. Reed has made a lot of his stuff and it seems like he purchased some of the cheaper tools and reshaped them. Same thing with a guy by the name of Al Furtado, the guy makes working woodturning tools out just about any piece of metal that crosses his path and turns some beautiful projects.
New Category ….Great Woodturners!
I think I’m going to created a category called “Great Woodturners” and then have a subcategory for each of the woodturners I follow and learn from. If anything, it will help readers of this blog to glean important and usefull information rather than trying to comb through the tons of videos and webpages.
DIY Wood Handles for Benjamin’s Best
A lot of guys will buy turning tools from Penn State Industries, the tools are called Benjamin’s Best and then they rip off the handle and make their own custom handle. You can certainly do that with a nice branch or small tree trunk of just about any type of wood. Make the tool nice and long, hefty and fitting your hand. Or…;.make it small for detailed work if you are a woodturner who turns wood pens and needs smaller woodturning tools.
Woodturning Wood Handles for
Your Custom Woodturning Tools
I think I posted some of the homemade tools that Al Furtado made called Make Your Own Woodturning Tools ….its a pretty good introduction to Al :), I would like to try and duplicate some of those ……consequently, I will need handles for these tools. The easiest way is to drill a hole in the center of the newly turned wood handle that will accept the tang of the new turning tool and epoxy it in.
Drill or Daddo For the Turning Tool Tang
Some guys make tools with larger square tangs which makes it harder to drill a hole and push the tang in …has to do with geometry. Anyway, they start with a square blank and cut it in half. Then they use a router to route out a section of wood fitting the tang on both halfs. After dry fitting and making sure the tool tang fits they will then epoxy the wood handle sections together, making sure not to get any epoxy in the routed section. Then they turn the blank after it has dried into their desired shape …. Let me see if I can find a video of somone doing this ……….************
I also have some carbide cutters (inserts) mounted on steel bars …I need to make handles for these tools. I must have watched the video on how to do this 15 times and I was quite proud of myself once I actually did it, in fact, I got the concept down and made the cutter and steel work together in my own way…. remember, I’m not a metals guy, never have been but willing to learn anything I don’t already know how to do ….lots to learn with metals. Anyway, I think I will use a 3/8″ cutter on a 3/8″ bar and make a straight cutter, radius cutter tool and I will cut the bar with weld it so that the bar has the cutter and it has a 45 degree offset for doing hollowing on bowls and cups. Let me see if I can do a drawing or sketch and post it here, just can’t do a straight 45 degree ….so they saw. Maybe since they say that I’ll try it 🙂 ***********
I found that the big carbide cutters at 5/8″ are good in some cicumstances and 3/8″ are better for others. The big cutters can be agressive if you are not careful, the smaller carbide cutting tools are nice when you can’t see inside your cup or bowl ….it isn’t as big and can be foriving when it comes to catches. I need to experiment with differnt angles…I could see where a 90 or 45 degree bar would have a good outcome…… because basically you’re in there cutting blind, you have to “feel” your way through the cut. In this case, starting with a smaller cutter makes more sense.
Recap For Woodturning Custom
Hardwood Tool Handles
So, if I didn’t paint a picture well enough. Here’s the gist of what I’m trying to do with handles.
You don’t need to use good dried lumber glued up or just squared up to turn a woodturning tool handle.
You can find limbs and branches from trees in your area, strip the bark and turn an awesome looking handle. The wood should be free and you can get it from any municpal dumping area for firewood and woodchips. Talk to some of your local tree services and tell them what you’re looking for, they’ll probably dump a truck load off in your driveway!
I think this week I’m going to turn anywhere from 15 to 20 limbs, branches, from 2″ to 4″. I’ll just get them to round, cylinder shape. Probably have to either seal the ends and/or place them in bags of shavings so they don’t crack up on me. I’m thinking it would be best to seal the edges with something good since I went through the hassle of harvesting the wood and turning it. Wax on the ends would work or “anchorseal” ********** would be better than just paint.
If I have 10 or 20 round blanks that are 20″ to 24″ in length, I could make any tool I need or want over the winter and into spring. It will save me some time. I like making the tools, but to start with shaping the metal and then finding a handle…. well, I cut out one step if I have handles ready.
So, I want to make a fluetless gouge.
Carbide Tipped WoodTurning Tools
I want to make about 4 more carbide tipped (insert) tools, each having a dedicated cutter. Right now if I want a square cutter on my carbide tool I have to take off the round cutter…. a big pain in the butt. So having a set of carbide cutters would be a big plus. If I had the cash I would definitely purchase a set of cabide tipped woodturing tools from Easy Wood Tools. I saw a set at the local Woodcraft Store and they were impressive looking. Big, big handles and big cutters. The cutters were mounted on some hefty steel bars. They might cost more than most, but from my experience, I can almost guarantee that anyone that is new and entering into woodturning will have some fantastic results when using these carbide tipped tools. In my opinion they are a place to start, but sooner or latter I can almost guarantee you will want to try some of the traditional woodturning tools, such as bowl gouges, big scrapers, small scrapers, spindle gouges, parting tools and every type of woodturning tool. For me, and may woodturners, it becomes addicting. You always want to see what you can turn, more complicated projects. Different finishes. How to use tradional tools. How to effectively use the carbide tipped tools, or more accurately the woodturning tools with carbide inserts. It doesn’t matter how you start, it matters “that” you start. There are many frustrations in woodturning and for most, it creates a challenge. I know that’s how it is for me. I think on one bowl I must have had 100 catches, that’s why I call myself “Catch”. I can’t believe my chinese tools didn’t snap in half 🙂 ….every new project is a learning experience for me. And….maybe because I’m older, I can’t retain what I used to. I need to watch a tutorial a whole bunch of times and then go out and give it a shot. I even print out screenshots of how a gouge cuts into a bowl on the outside and on the inside.
I found that in most new approaches to woodturning you need to learn it good enough that you don’t have to think about it. Kind of like operating a backhoe, framing a house, drawing plans, runing plumbing, laying out for a foundation, setting forms or wiring an electrical service panel. You just do it, not a lot to think about. You learn the basics and then do the job….. same with woodturning. Understand how the tool cuts and then try to make it do what you know it can do.
I little aside here, I almost feel like carbide woodturning tools are cheating, if only because they are so easy to use. I use them in circumstances where I am not sure or confident in my ability to use a traditional gouge, scaper or whatever. As long as you enter the spinning hunk of wood slowly you usually won’t get in much trouble. The most forgiving is the circle cutter, the next is the radius cutter and the square cutter has its place and can be very effective. but remember these are all mostly used as scrapers, thus tearing out the grain, leaving all those fuzzies. When you get brave, hold the carbide cutter at a 45 degree or so angle and actually slice the wood…. it will come out like a glass surface. It takes time, many catches but I enjoy learning how to use these new carbide tools and they are my go to tools when I’m a little freaked out. However, my goal is to learn how to use all the traditional woodturning tools, such as woodturning gouges and chisels.
Whatever you do, do something!
Turning Wood is fun. It can be scarey and dangerous. Just remember, every time you turn a project you learn something. You carry that wisdom to the next project and it builds until you are turning all kinds of crazy stuff.
I had no idea woodturning would be so time consuming, so addictive and such a learning experience. I mention in other places that I’m pretty much a natural when it comes to anything construction related. I’m not bragging, its just the way it is …I seem to catch on fast.
Woodturning and being a woodturner has humbled me greatly. I’m surprised my lathe still works after stopping it so often with all my catches. My tools were terrible in the beginning. I’m fortunate that nothing has hit me in the head.
Somebody mentioned, “practice, practice” ….that is the only way you’ll learn how to turn wood. The more you turn the better you’ll get. The more open you are to different methods, tools and supplies… the better you’ll get.
Belive it or not, all I wanted to say and
encourage you to do is to……….
So….grab a tree branch. Turn a handle or two and make some tools. Of course you can make that tool handle into a little baseball bat and go into the self defence market.
You can find more articles on making your own woodturning tools at:
Wood Cup or Wood Bowl from
2×6 Construction Lumber
Most woodturners do not use construction lumber for woodturning.
However I saw some pretty cool projects turned from wood construction lumber. Basically, you can do bowls, cups, lamps and cylinders by gluing up pieces of 2×4 or 2×6 in alternating pieces. Just use wood glue, make sure each piece is square, say 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ and put the grain on each piece 90 degrees to each other.
This video shows the lumber glued together with the grain running the same way. I guess it really doesn’t make much of a difference except for the fact that the grain direction change is very obvious….. in my case, that is what I wanted.
Check out the video
The bowl is nicely shaped, a recess is cut into the bottom of the bowl. The bowl is sanded, looks great and a finish is put on before it gets turned around and chucked up in the scroll chuck and the bowl hollowed out.
Turning a wood bowl from
construction lumber #2
Turning a wood bowl from
construction lumber #3
The author uses Easy Tools carbide woodturning tools to turn this bowl made of construction lumber. This is really an easy project for the new turner, you can easily glue up the construction lumber, and if you have a set of carbide wood turning tools ….you can safetly and easily turn this bowl. That’s not to say that traditional bowl gouges and scapers won’t work, it’s just that the carbide tools can be a little more forgiving.
I use a carbide tool that I made. It has a circle cutter on it but I can put a square cutter either in the flat mode or in a diagonal mode. I found I mostly use the circle cutter. If I have a piece of wood that is spinning a little wildly or I’m just chicken to stick my bowl gouge into it, I’ll grab the carbide tool. I really like it and I know many of you would just like to purchase one, it takes time and a little talent…. Click here for a nice Easy Tool with circle cutter.
My 2×6 Construction
Lumber Wood Cup Project
This set of videos inspired me to give it a shot. I really liked the look of 2x material used for bowls and cups. They would make perfect gifts for those in the construction business.
Ok, maybe I got the title of this article wrong. It should be “how I finished the bottoms of some of my first bowls“!
In fact it isn’t so much about how I finished some woodturned bowl bottoms, but “that” I finished some bowl bottoms.
To be honest when I first started turning bowls, I started turning bowls. I made one, it was almost done and then I made another one… that was my MO. I did that for quite a while. I simply did not know how to finish the bottom of a bowl. I could mount a hunk of wood to a faceplate. Then I could mount a wood blank to a wood scroll…. but finish the bottom…. I needed some help. So, I collected a few bowls that were almost finished… just not the bottoms 🙂
I had some of my first wood turned bowls with recesses, tenons, and faceplate mounts. I turned the wood bowls and then really didn’t know how to finish the bottom of a wood bowl correctly. So, I finished as much as I could and set the bowls aside. I didn’t think they were worth much anyway.
After a few people said,”hey that bowl looks really cool…I’ll take it”, I decided to see what I could do for finishing the woodbowl bottoms, I thought some might make decent gifts, some might stay in the house….one or two, might hold small parts in the shop 🙂
Wood Bowl Bottoms and Finishes
The finishes on the bowls and cups varied from OB Shine Juice, Shellac, Deft Glossy Lacquer, Epoxy, Sanding Sealer and Salad Bowl Finsh by General. I kept all finishes the same except for OB Shine Juice. I applied Salad Bowl Finish over the OB shine juice and so far it seems to be a fine match. It has hardened (cured) correctly. I thought I heard Cap’n Eddie say that you can apply just about anything of OB Shine Juice or just leave it. I was looking for a little more of a shine so I tried the Salad Bowl Finish.
Finishing a Wood Bowl Bottom With A Recess
A recess is used when you have a wood scroll chuck. A small 2″ or so hole is drilled our gouged out in the center of the wood you want to turn and the jaws of the scroll chuck expand to hold to hold the soon to be new bowl.
When it comes to a recess, some wood turners will completely remove the recess, making the bottom of the bowl slightly concave. That looks great but you end up loosing 1/8″ to 3/8″ off
the bottom of the bowl, depending how deep your recess is. Some wood turners will just leave the recess, sanding the bottom of the recess and rounding off the edge. Then sometimes, they will then sign and date the bowl. This works pretty good if the recess is fairly shallow. In my opinion it looks a little funky if the recess is deep. Still, the wood turning purist will not accept this type recess finish for a bowl bottom.
An easy way to finish a wood bowl recess is to ease the sharp edges of the recess toward the outside of the bowl. That is, cut out the 90 degree edge of the recess and blend it into the bottom of the bowl. So, in essence, you have a large dimple or concave shaped center. You might then have a center mark from the tailstock to deal with (fill with CA and sawdust). Again in my opinion, this type of finish looks the best and looks like the bottom center of the bowl shape was intentional!
Finishing a Wood Bowl Bottom With A Tenon
The tenon is easily removed when using the tailstock to push the bowl up against a jam block, or jam chuck, which is basically a hunk of wood with some cushion on it. Turn the bowl at slow speed and cut the tenon off,
reposition the tailstock and then scrap the bottom center of the bowl to make it flat. Actually, you’d be better making the center slightly concave. Sand, sign and use your favorite finish. I like to take the thinnest parting tool I have and put a ring or two on the bottom of the wood bowl. I’ve found this to be one of the easiest and cleanest ways to finish a wood bowl bottom.
Finishing a Wood Bowl Bottom
Attached To A Faceplate
In the beginning, when woodturning a bowl, I always had a hard time figuring out which end was going to be the top of the bowl and which end would be the bottom of the bowl
My first wood bowl woodturning projects started with a couple of bowls that I started to turn with the wood blank (wood I was turning) screwed directly to the wood lathe faceplate. Usually the face that is screwed to the faceplate will be the top of the bowl and consequently, the screw holes would be removed when you gouge out the bowl. So the correct way to use a faceplate, when turning a wood bowl, would be turn a recess or tenon for the scroll chuck on the end opposite of the faceplate. The end that the tenon or recess is on would then be the bottom of the bowl. But what if you didn’t have a wood lathe scroll chuck? ************ Then get a couple of good woodturnig faceplates and make those work until you can invest in a good scroll chuck like the Nova Wood Scroll chuck
Had A Faceplate But Not a Scroll Chuck
Well, I didn’t have a scroll chuck. I thought I would just deal with the screw holes. I should have used a glue block after getting one side/end straight and flipped it around so the screw holes were not on top of the bowl. The glue block end would be the bottom. Plenty of youtube videos on how to deal with a glue block.
The easiest way to turn a wood bowl is to attach a faceplate, turn the opposite end as the top of the bowl and the end that the faceplace would be the bottom of the bowl. You can finish everything, the bowl bottom would end up with flat with screw holes. Of course you could take the faceplate off and use a jam chuck method to clean up the bottom. If not, just sand the bottom and apply finish. This method is a little rough but if you are just getting started, you can turn your first bowl without a bunch of hoops to crawl through and you will have your wood firmly attached to the lathe. Something I think most new woodturners freak out over. Nothing scarier than a hunk of wood rotating at 600 rpms and the lathe walking across the floor 🙂
But….I just left the faceplate attached and had some nasty screw holes on the bottom of my bowl. It was actually a pretty nice bowl except for the bottom. I could have filled all the holes and sanded them down. The screwholes would show if I filled them so I just left them and scraped the bottom level, then put a concave scrape so the center was up and out of the way. I filled the hole from the tailstock, then applied the finish. Added a couple of rings that detracted somewhat from the screwholes. Nice bowl for a realative 🙂
Woodturners have been turning bowls for a long time before the advent of Wood Scroll Chucks. Having a scroll chuck is a really nice tool and makes turning really easy in my opinion. However, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to use a glue block and faceplate. It really isn’t tgat difficult, just a few more steps!
Here’s a quick video I did on finishing a wood bowl bottom that was turned using a faceplate. Pretty easy to clean up! and then fill the holes and finish. Probably the easiest out of the 3 types of wood bowl bottoms to finish.
I created this category “Make Money Woodturning” so we can explore How to Make Money Woodturning using your woodturning skills to make some extra money because that’s what I was intending to do.
Owned Businesses All My Life
Let me start by saying that I’ve been in business all my life and basically I have worked for myself all my life. There might have been a couple of highschool jobs where I got paid by the hour, then there was the job I had while going to college …that paid a whole $1.25 an hour for hard manual labor ….needed beer and play money back in the day, so you did anything.
Actually I was hoping to use my woodturning projects to fund my woodturning habit. If it makes more, then great! Who couldn’t use a little extra cash 🙂
Here’s some crazy stuff!
I probably mentioned that I’ve been in the construction business in one form or another all my life, after I got sick and couldn’t really work anymore I learned how to hand code websites and started making websites and doing websites for others. I then learned the fine art of “internet marketing”, actually learning how to market (selling your goods and services) using the internet never changes and it is fast paced to say the least.
Need to Do Some Sales Work
to Capitalize On Our Woodturning Efforts
and Resulting Great Works of Art!
As I was growing up I swore I would never be a salesperson. Hated those guys. Then I read someplace that, “we are all salesmen” and when you really think about it, we really do have to sell ourselves in one way or another throughout life. Now that I’m a woodturner, I need to sell some woodturning stuff 🙂
I mention my website building and internet marketing because I’m pretty sure that would be the primary method I would sell my woodturning projects. Probably create an estore of some sort or possibly in combination with some of the other e-commerce marketing platforms that are out there.
Selling Woodturning Projects
Through Fairs, Art Shows, Mall Shows!
I just do not see myself sitting around at fairs, art shows, meetings or whatever some people do to sell their stuff to the locals. Nothing wrong with that, probably the easiest ….just not for me.
I might even make a template for you guys so you can set up your own website …either give it away or sell it, not sure yet.
Parts on Contract?
Another way to cash in on your woodturning skills would be to contact construction businesses or suppliers and see if you can leave a business card promoting custom turnings. When I rehabbed old houses for people we would spend a fortune on custom stair railings, spindles ….one guy I know turns a big momma bowl and turns it into a custom sink, coating with Alumilite or other epoxy coating.
Custom Woodturning Projects and
Website Project Kits You Can Sell!
How about turning so custom walking sticks? The sell brass tips and other connectors so you can make some awesome looking walking stick/weapons 🙂
Every woodturning supply site has a project tab. I’m talking about pizza cutters, pens, rolling pins etc.
You get the idea, I’ll be researching and looking at the different ways woodturners turn wood to make a profit. I’ll post each cash making project or method in this Make Money Woodturning category here and hopefully you will find it helpful.
Finally, if you’ve discovered a good niche for your woodturning skills …please send me an email (scott AT woodturningbasics.com) or drop a comment below.
How to Make Money Woodturning
My first post will be about a guy who cranks out bowls, like 20 at a time for 20 bucks! …..stay tuned 🙂
What does a broken 1/2″ drill bit, a cold chisel, a 1/2 x 1/2″ pc of steel from home depot, a 1/2″ pc of round bar from home depot and carbide cutting bits (carbide inserts) have in common?
Well, properly shaped and machined …then add a nice wood handle and you have all the tools you need to turn just about anything. On top of that once you figure out how to use these materials to make your own turning tools you have the basis to make just about any type of turning tool you might need.
Al Furtado Shows You How to
Make Your Own Woodturning Tools
My Desire to Buy Every
Woodturning Tool Available!
For me, its easy to get caught up in a Sorby tool catalog or just searching on Amazon or Ebay for woodturning tools and I get lost for hours ….thinking “man, I need 1/4″ bowl gouge, 3/8″ bowl gouge, 1/2″ bowl gouge, 5/8″ bowl gouge, 3/4″ bowl gouge and a 1″ bowl gouge all with a fingernail grind …..then I need that same set with a standard grind and I need the same sizes in a spindle gouge both standard and fingernail grind ….oh ya, I need a parting tool ….how about a couple of different sizes of parting tools. Yep, I need a full set of scrapers and then I need some of those skew gouges for perfect finishes I see the masters making, can’t forget a roughing gouge….I mean, 1/2″ 3/4″ 1″ and at least 1 1/2” maybe bigger….I need all these, right?
Woodturning Is Addictive
I know you know what I mean. This hobby of woodturning is more addictive than crack cocaine! You think more tools, the best tools will make you a better turner …maybe so, but who has the cash for all these pieces of hardware because we haven’t even started talking about the wood lathe you have and the woodlathe you want to get, not to mention all the wood lathe accessories you’re gonna need!
Make Your Own Woodturning Tools
Well, one of the things that really got me excited was making your own woodturning tools, that’s right you can be a DIY woodturning tool maker 🙂 I think there is actually a subculture out there of guys making their own tools out of anything from old screwdrivers, files to auto or truck leafsprings.
The problem for me is that I’m not a metal guy. I can draw a house, building or shoppoing center and I can build that same drawing doing everything myself …..but I never learned how to work with metal. The closest I ever came to working with metal was aluminum siding, electrical wire and rebar for concrete….. well, ok, nails for my nail guy and screws for the screw gun 🙂
Been Sick, No Money for Expensive Woodturning Tools
Truth is I’ve been very sick for quite a while. When you’re sick you can’t work, I hate sitting or laying around so by “The Grace of God” I discovered wooodturning. Not too physical. I could find a low cost wood lathe at Harbor Freight and I could also find a cheap set of Chinese turning tools at Harbor Freight. That’s how I started.
I read as much as I could online and watched a ton of youtube videos. I learned much from Cap’n Eddie and too many others to mention. So, I thought I would share some of my journey in these pages.
My Woodturning Tools Were Junk!
The one thing I quickly found out was that my turning tools were really bad. I hand sharpened them till I totally screwed them up. Then the first investment was a Oneway Wolverine Sharpening System. I learned to sharpen my turning tools properly starting at that point.
Next, once I figured my tools really were junk and I needed something better. I stumbled on some DIY woodturning tool makers.
That’s when I discovered the many different ways of making your own woodturning tools. In these pages I hope to bring some of these methods to you. Some I will have tried, others I will just pass along because I’m just too sick to try everything I see but plan on doing it or trying these DIY tool building methods soon, however, you need to know now how to make some of this stuff.
I finally did learn that I could regrind the cheap tools that I had into a more useful grind or simply something that actually worked.
Started Making My
Own Woodturning Tools
Since I did not have much money I figured I could buy a piece of 1/2 x 1/2″ steel and a piece of 3/8 x 3/8″ steel from online metals, I could get some carbide cutters for a couple bucks a piece and then figure out how to grind a small platform for the cutter, tap the steel to attach the carbide cutter and make a wooden handle. My first attempt turned out pretty good, in fact, its one of my go to tools when I’m working with a tricky piece of wood.
My CARBIDE Woodturning Tool
I made a square and circular carbide scraper using 5/8″ carbide square and circular cutters. You can find them online but you should make sure they are for cutting wood. The square cutters are fairly cheap and you can even get a 4 sided radius carbide cutters, they are a little less likely to grab, but grab they do!
I did make a 1/16″ parting tool from a reciprocating saw blade with a metal handle. That was fun, I learned a bunch and use the tool all the time. It’s very satisfying to make your own tools!
Didn’t Know Anything About Metal
Then I wanted to make a 1 1/2″ wide scraper so I picked up a piece of steel from home depot and ground down an edge on the steel, I didn’t have a handle yet but I wanted to try the tool out. It ended up burning the wood more than cutting, I tried different angles ….same thing, just wouldn’t cut. I was stumped, thought I would be cranking out all kinds of turning tools …but remember when I said I didn’t know anything about metal 🙂
Turns out there are a whole bunch of different types of steel. And then you have the hardening process, have to heat it in a special oven, air cool it or oil cool it, heat it again to get a temper ….I almost put an end to my woodturning tool making adventures!
Sorry, I got a little long winded talking about making your own woodturning tools ….only because I know you might like doing that type of thing and you might be in the same position I was in regarding not having enough cash to have all to good tools you’d really like to have!
Enter Al Furtado.
I’m not sure how long Al has been turning, but I know he really enjoys it and he enjoys sharing his projects and his tools!!! Al seems to be a frugal guy or maybe he’s just strapped for cash like a lot of us…..so, he makes do with what he has and he makes a lot of his own woodturning tools and accessories.
Al made a type of bowl gouge that is perfect for himself from a 1/2″ drill bit that was broken. He played around until he got the grind correct and now it is his “go to” tool when turning bowls. The big secret is the metal that the drill bit is made from, it is already hardened and when shapened it keeps a nice sharp edge for a long time. You don’t have to heat treat it.
Al takes a common sense approach to making woodturning tools that will save you a ton of money. In the video below he shows you some of his favorite tools and how he made them from either old, broken or leftover tools that are made with hadened steel and all you need to do is put an edge on the tool and make a handle for it.
The video quality isn’t the best but if the content doesn’t get your creative juices flowing …..then nothing will!
My shop made wood turning tools By Al Furtado
Al’s tools are not the prettiest, but they work and you can do exactly what he did. I can testify that the carbide cutters work like a dream and I look forward to making some gouges from old drill bits and cold chisels ….as far as that is concerned ….go down to Harbor Freight and get some of their tools and bits …they are all hardened steel and should work just as Al has show us.
Another piece of oak saved from the firewood pile.
I thought I could get some nice slabs or even make a couple of book ends or something out of this but the woodturning part of me got the best of it.
Roughing Out the Bowl Blank
I drew a 12″ circle on the piece with the big hump in the middle. And then I roughed out the circle on the bandsaw….very rough!
I found what I thought was a center and ended up using my Nova Scroll chuck with the woodworm screw and the far side tailstock. It was rough going at first but it settled down after I started putting some shape to it. I was using my Sorby 1/2″ Bowl Gouge and it cut the oak like butter.
Cut A Tenon For Nova Scroll Chuck
I worked the far side and formed a tenon, I decided this would be the top of the bowl since the side that was mounted in the chuck needed a lot taken off the be shaped properly. Everything going good so far.
I haven’t used a woodworm screw method of attachment with the Nova 2 Scroll Chuck much, in fact I only tried it once before. I was surprised by the fact that it held tight and did not strip out. I tried it with the tailstock against the piece at first but then pulled it out to cut the tenon on the back of the oak burl blank.
After the tenon was shaped I flipped over to the back by the chuck and started shaping the bottom of the bowl. Everthing was going good, the bowl was taking shape ….it wasn’t going to be as big as I wanted but I still might get 10″ out of it on the outside top of the bowl.
Roughing Out the Bottom
Of The Oak Burl Bowl
I did some more roughing on the bottom and the shape was coming along well, I stopped to check it out because I noticed a grabbing feeling. I was using my DIY 5/8″ circle carbide cutter to rough now, it worked great ….in fact it works much better with the circular cutter than with the square cutter. I made the tool using 5/8 x 5/8 square bar and it allows me to extend it quite far beyond the tool rest, also absorbs a lot of shock. Carbide turning tools are more forgiving than traditional woodturning tools and when I’m a little unsure of sticking my nice Sorby bowl gouge into a oddly shaped rotating piece of oak….. I use my go to carbide woodturning tools. If you haven’t tried these types of tools and you are new to woodturning, they can really boost your confidence.
Oh, Oh! ….A Great
Big Hollow Knot
Anyway, I noticed a big ole knot, actually a hole that makes the whole piece look like it is hollow on the inside. Pretty much a piece of firewood now.
But then I came up with an idea, not sure if I will follow through or if its worth the effort.
The piece is hollow enough that I might be able to fill it with epoxy …something like alumilite. I heard of someone using alumilite with coffee grounds. Not sure if I want to invest the money or time ….will put it on hold for now.
Just Placed An Order for
Some Needed Woodturning
Tools and Supplies
First let me say that I would rather support my local woodturning supply store ….if I had one nearby, and if they had prices that were reasonable.
There’s a Woodcraft store about 30-45 minutes from me and I would really rather give them my business than Amazon …simply because I know what it takes to run a small business and when I had one, I really appreciated when local folks used us instead of someone from the city or 2 towns over. That being said, today all businesses including Walmart have to fight with Amazon and Amazon crushes most of them.
Amazon for WoodTurning
Tools and Supplies
Let’s face it, Amazon usually has the best price for woodturning tools and if you join their Prime club you basically get free shipping and the best deals on many products. That’s really hard to ignore when you don’t have a lot of money. Regardless of what I think of Jeff Bezos’ and his politics!
It’s hard to keep politics out of the conversation these days, you know what they say if you don’t stand for something you stand for nothing …just something to think about.
Anyway, I still get excited when the UPS guy pulls up and drops a box at my front door. I try to look cool, like it’s no big deal but I kind of feel like a kid at Christmas even if I paid for it myself 🙂
And Amazon has some pretty awesome deals, you can get extended warranties if needed and their support is second to none. If I buy a bowl gouge from the local Woodcraft store and find out I don’t like it….they probably won’t take it back. With Amazon if a woodturning tool breaks, I send one email and I get my money back and I can try something else.
Bottom line….I want to support the local guy. But the local guy sells his stuff for full list price and that really doesn’t help me save any money. If we’re going to…. or I should say, if the paradigm is changing and there is going to be 2 or 3 suppliers of the goods I want, guess I’ll just find the cheapest and go with that!
Sorry for the babble.
My New Woodturning
Tools and Supplies
I was excited because I just placed an order to Amazon for some woodturning tools and supplies I’ve needed or wanted to try. Want to see what I ordered and have coming in the next week? Check it out
First up. I’ve been wanting to try an epoxy finish called alumilite but I ran into Max Clear Grade Epoxy System. It’s food safe once it’s cured, you can use it on bowls and cups. I have a mug and after reading some of the revies I found several guys using it on cups and mugs. I also saw one guy turning wood sink bowls and coating it with alumilite but this appears to be the same thing. I’ll do a review on it once I give it a try. You can get some here if you want to try it.
Hurricane Turning Tools,
Woodturning Round Nose Scraper, High Speed Steel, 1 1/2 Inches Nose
I’ve never had any or used any Hurricane turning tools, I’ve read a ton of reviews and I really needed or wanted a big bowls scraper. So, I got a 1 1/2″ inch round nose scraper. It’s a nice beefy scraper at 3/8″ thick and should help me get in some of the deeper bowls and cups. They had a set of 3 scrapers, the big round nose, right side and left side but I really didn’t have the cash to dish out so I thought I would see how this scraper works and then grind down the left edge about an inch and a half or so. Anyway, once again I will do a review and video on how this thing works. I was going to get one from Penn State because it was cheaper ….however, it was slightly under 3/8″ thick and I really wanted something beefy. I think my 3/4″ chinese round nose is about 1/4″ thick and it jumps all over the place. Anyway, if you think you need a big bowl scraper … check this one out
Uvex Bionic Face Shield with Clear Polycarbonate Visor (S8500)
I guess I’ve been testing my luck by not having a woodturning face shield of some sort. Just didn’t have the extra cash laying around so I tried to be careful, always tried to stay out of the line of fire and keep my turning speed as low as I could. However, I really didn’t want to test my luck much further so I ordered a Uvex Bionic Face Shield. I did so after see some pictures of a bowl that would rather fly than spin. I saw some nasty accident results mainly to the head, that would be the face. I have enough problems so I ordered one of these. Now I just have to get used to wearing one. Check out what others are saying about it, click the link below.
Robert Larson 800-2875
Plastic Center Finder
I’ve got along until now without a center finder gadget. Seems like a lot of people use one and I can see how you might be more accurate and quicker at finding centers …..anyway, I thought it was time for a center finder like this ….lots of good reviews. Can find centers in the following:
Round stock capacity 8”
Octagon stock capacity 8”
Hexagon stock capacity 5 3/4”
Square capacity 8”
Handy for all woodworkers
Starbond EM-02 Super Fast Thin,
PREMIUM Instant CA
(Cyanoacrylate Adhesive) Super Glue
When I first started turning wood I was surprised how many woodturners used CA or superglue for their projects. I was surprised how many different uses there were and then I was surprised how many different types of superglue that was. Starbond seems to be the superglue of choice for woodturners. Up until now I used those small tubes of superglue, in face I got about 10 little tubes for 10 bucks, I used them for fixing bowl cracks mostly, you mix it up with saw dust or shavings to fill voids ….works great and sets up fast. If you use an accelerator it will even set up faster. One big purpose for CA is for finishing pens and bowls. I’ve never tried it but would like to. I saw someone comment that a CA finish doesn’t last that long…..first time in reading a couple 100 videos and watching a ton of videos ….I suspect he didn’t apply correctly or prepare the surface correctly.
I soon discovered there are different viscosities of superglue or CA. The thin is like water and soaks into the wood. I had a bowl that was just about done and I found a bunch of cracks coming off a branch area. I soaked the cracks with CA glue and everything worked out fine.
I tried to use the thin CA with shavings and saw dust but it requires a little work to get it right. So I thought if I got some of the thicker CA glue, I thought it would be more like epoxy and I could more easily mix saw dust, shavings or coffee grounds and fill larger voids. For the really big ones you need to use epoxy. Anway, I got a couple of different kinds of CA glue so that I might be a little more proficient in my woodturning and woodturning repairs.