Clean Up Your WoodTurning Shavings or Else :)

How I Grew 12 Inches
While Woodturning

Ok, I’m turning a new bowl and something just didn’t feel right.

My back was killing me, I tighened my back brace. Still, something wasn’t right.

I figured out what was the problem and did a quick post to my Facebook Group at

8″ Makes a Difference When
Standing at Your Wood Lathe!

So, December I went crazy making bowls, bats, vases, cups and pizza cutters and fire starter kits. I also turned a bunch of bowl blanks and probably 15 or more tool handle blanks.

I went back out to the shop, been busy with other stuff and wanted to clear my head. I started turning a bowl/dish from some willow that floated on my beach. It was dry, I put a faceplate on and began to turn.

Something wasn’t right
with my WoodTurning!

My back was killing me, I was having a hard time seeing and positioning myself while turning this project. It was really uncomfortable, I didn’t even want to put a camera up because something was wrong.

Dummy me! Clean Your
Woodturning Shop 🙂

I’m somewhat of a slob. I’d rather do or make than clean up.

I had been planning to clean up and put all the shavings in some of the old chicken feed bags and give my chickens and turkeys some new nesting materials.

How to make your own carbide insert woodturning tool

If you haven’t figured it out, I had anywhere from a 6 inches to a foot of shavings and sawdust on the floor. It caused my lathe to be 12″ lower than normal ….just was totally uncomfortable.

Lesson learned, clean up after yourself while woodturning !!!!!

Started Turning Again in 2018

Started Woodturning Again in 2018

Yee Haw finally got out to put chisel to wood! You know you’re addicted to woodturning when you are sitting around with your family eating dinner or watching TV and thinking….. “I really want to put that new piece of oak on the lathe….when are they going home”! I love my family, I love being with them but I just want to turn wood!!!

Haven’t done much woodturning since Christmas, been feeling pretty rough. I never know when it’s gonna hit me so I treasure the moments I have that I’m feeling well enough to do something outside or in the shop. I like to call it my shop, guess it is ….but really just an old garage with a couple of additions that had an oak tree come down and take off the roof. The roof has been off and covered with a tarp for over 5 years, the first problem was with insurance, the second problem was with getting a permit. Getting close though might get everything straightened out by this spring.

So, I’m cool and call it my shop 🙂

Still not feeling that hot, but it was around 1 am, decided I would go out there and clean up.

Made A Wood Handle for A
Robert Sorby 3/8″ Spindle Gouge

As I was putting things away, I purchased a Sorby 3/8″ spindle gouge  , just the tang and gouge, in other words, a tool without a handle. I had been using it stuck in something I turned that looked like a dildo…sorry, really would like to keep this family friendly but there’s no other way to describe it.

If money is tight, most manufacturer’s will offer the tool without a handle, just turn your own and you might save 50 bucks.

So, I figured ….heck with cleaning up. This thing needs a handle. As I was turning billy clubs before Christmas I turned about 15 ash, oak and beech blanks. They were anywhere from 3″ in diameter to 24″ long. Actually, I was practicing my spindle turning, using different tools. Mainly trying my Benjamins Best Roughing Gouge. I turned extra because I knew I wanted to make some tools and would need some handles.

Moral of this Woodturning Story

I say all this to encourage you to turn some blanks and have them laying around ready to use. For me, I was able to turn a handle, make a copper ferrule and …sand and but a couple coats of OB Shine Juice on it.

I didn’t glue the tool in, but the hold is drilled. Just need to mix up some epoxy and glue in the tool and copper ferrule.

If I didn’t have the blanks, I would not have done the tool. I would not have got the enjoyment of turning again, I would have just cleaned up my messy shop….how boring is that.

Turning a natural edge wood bowl, mounting on wood lathe the Wrong WAY!
wood bowl blank for live edge bowl
Maple log cut into a bowl blank, ready to be attached to a faceplate and will be turned into a live edge or natural edge wood bowl.
How to turn a natural edge wood bowl and mount on a faceplate
Turning a natural edge wood bowl, mounting on wood lathe the Wrong WAY!

I think I’m gonna try to make 10 or 20 bowl blanks so I can have them on standby. That way, when all I can manage to do is chuck up a bowl, and start gouging….I’ll be ready to go. Guess I was never that organized in my lifetime….never too late.

Happy Turning to All

Finally Getting Some Needed Woodturning Tools and Supplies

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

Woodturners Food Safe Epoxy substitute for alumiliteFirst 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 1 1/2" round nose scrapershould 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 Uvex Bionic Face Shield with Clear Polycarbonate Visor (S8500) 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

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,
(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 Starbond CA Glue for Woodturnersfor 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.

No Wood Turning ….Gets Me Mad!!!

No Wood Turning ….
Gets Me Mad!!!

I don’t know about you, if you turn wood or consider yourself as a woodturner, do you …do you just want to go out and start turning bowls, tool handles, candle sticks, lamps, baseball bats or under the seat “personal protection device”? And if a day goes by and you’re not turning wood…..Do you get angry at yourself for not getting into the shop???

Woodturning Passion?

I do. That is, I get mad if I miss a day of doing some woodturning. I guess it’s my addictive, compulsive personality. When I fall in love with something, I want it all the time. Probably a bad character trait, but maybe it’s the difinition of “passion”!

I’ve become addicted to the hobby of woodturning. I guess you could say I’m addicted to turning wood. I was a little apprehensive at first, you need a lathe, lathe accessories and some turning tools and off you go. Putting everything together took some time and I purchased probably some of the cheapest stuff out there, harbor freight lathe, harbor freight woodturning gouges and a lot of DIY type tools. Not the best but my setup could turn a branch or log and I made a wood bowl!

I was addicted after that first bowl!

Somebody said, “that new woodturners are always so impatient“. That was me. I tried and tried to make my projects look like a piece of art, or just a nice looking bowl. But most didn’t turn out. I watched videos on new tools, new woodturning techniques and I practiced…. and I practiced.

I’m a better woodturner
after I’ve practiced.

But I still need more practice, I love learning new wood turning techniques. I love making your own tools. And I now really enjoy trying out real, professional or high quality wood turning tools like the new Sorby 1/2″ Bowl Gouge.

I was like a kid at Christmas, I just couldn’t wait to try that Sorby Bowl Gouge and when I as I used it, I was just as excited. I also picked up a quart of Food Safe Salad Bowl Finish by General from the new Woodcraft store in Buffalo Grove, IL …..can’t wait to try that out. I have a couple of blanks ready to finish so maybe I’ll be able to finish with my new bowl gouge and try the Salad Bowl Finish …..will keep you posted on how that goes.

general food safe salad bowl finish
Food Safe Salad Bowl Finish By General

I tell you all this because I wanted to share the fact that I really try not to let a day go by without doing some woodturning. Sometimes a week will go by because I’m to sick to go out, but …..I watch videos or read about woodturning.

And….. a whole day has gone by, it’s too late to do anything except to type a few words, to diclose the fact that I did not turn anything today and I was really “disappointed or upset” that I didn’t get to lathe today!

Another Day Gone….No Woodturning!

I actually wrote this yesterday and sadly another day has gone by without any turning due to a bad reaction to some new medicine I was taking …..sometimes, life just sucks! I literally thought I was gonna die, started shaking, hard time breathing, hallucinations, couldn’t walk ….should have woke up my wife but it was 3 am and I wrote her a note in case I didn’t make it through the night. But I did …that’s my life, hope you don’t mind me sharing the good and bad of it ….along with some good woodturning tricks, tips and thoughts!

As they say, there’s always tomorrow (sometimes) 🙂 But I was pretty scared last night so I share this word of God with you Psalm 103:15As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.” The older I get the more inevitable it is that life is really short. God says our life is like the grass and flowers of the field, here for a couple of days, weeks….beautiful and healthy and then gone. So are we. Question you need to ask yourself is are you ready?

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Getting Started in WoodTurning

So, how does one get started in wood turning?

The older I get the more research I do when it comes into taking up a new hobby or craft. Although I’ve been an architectural designer, property developer, contractor, remodeler, electrician, concrete contractor, excavator, drywaller, carpenter …..I could go on but there really isn’t anything I can’t do when it comes to construction and building or remodeling homes and buildings.

Although I’m not a Donald Trump, money wise or project size related …..I have been building for over 40 years.

Getting Started Wood Turning
Your First Wood Lathe

I enjoy attempting to work at find woodworking, something I have yet to master. I never really thought much about using a wood lathe and turning projects. My interest started in kind of a backwards way, I’ve been researching sawmills, looking at several forums and facebook groups and became fascinated in these machines. Turns out wood turning can quickly squirt out of an interest in portable saw mills.

First you need to do some research. Check out the forums. Take a look at some of the local wood stores. Two big names are Rockler and Woodcraft, you can source manufacturers for a wood lathe from there.

Harbor Freight Wood Lathe
Good starter wood turning lathe from Harbor Freight, if you have the cash, get the best you can afford, read the reviews on Amazon or what I post latter on this site!

You can spend a couple thousand on a wood lathe or you can do what I did. I went to Harbor Freight and purchased a medium size wood lathe for a little over 200 bucks with coupons. I’ll talk more about my lathe latter, but despite of the negative reviews that Harbor Freight often gets, I’m really pleased with my purchase. You can get an extended warranty which means you can torture you machine (at your own risk) and get a new one at the end of the year. I wouldn’t recommend that but hey, the world is full of different people.

You get everything you need to turn a bowl, candle stick hold or lamp with your Harbor Freight Lathe with the exception of turning chisels or gouges. But don’t worry, Habor Freight has ….I think 3 different sets of turning chisels.

Affordable Wood Turning Chisels
Get Started with the most expensive woodturning chisels you can afford!

Here’s the key to wood turning chisels. Two things you need to be aware of:
1. steel type of strenght
-get the most thick chisels you can afford
-I believe you need to try and stay with HSS or above type steel (do you own research because its a little confusing to me) but suffice it to say, the more expensive the chisel, the better the steel
2. Keep your chisels sharp
-good steel will hold an edge for a longer period than cheaper ones
-imagine a 100 dollar chisel when properly sharpened keeps an edge much longer than the same chisel that costs 20 dollars
3. Learn quickly how to sharpen your tools, even if you have a cheap set of tools, learn how to sharpen them properly. Unfortunately the other investment you’ll need is some type of sharpening system geared toward sharpening wood turning chisels and gouges. There are several available from $100 to $200+ along with some sharpening jigs you can make if you have a grinder ….check out youtube.

So, really, if you want to get started woodturning on the cheap you need:
1. A Woodturning Lathe
-get at least a midsize lathe, that would be one bigger than something  used to make pens
-something able to handle 30″ to 48″ in length
2. A set of wood turning Chisels or Gouges
-get the best you can afford
3. Invest in a wood turning (chisel/gouge) sharpening system

Now you can literally grab a branch or log and mount it on your lathe and start woodturning.

Simple Wood Bowl Turning Using
Just a Faceplate and Not a Scoll Chuck

I didn’t intent on talking about this but if you’ve been looking at woodturning then you undoubedly have come across the term “scroll chuck” or “lathe chuck”, a method of hold a piece of wood on a lathe. You really don’t need anything more than what comes with this basic lathe. You need a:

  1. Faceplate
  2. Drive Center
  3. Tool rest
  4. Comes with some cheap wrenches to take off the faceplate

Watch this Video on how to turn a log into a bowl using a faceplate with just the very basic tools that come with the lathe and a set of wood turning chisels!

How to Turn a Bowl with Just a Faceplate Not Using a Scroll Chuck

How to Turn a Bowl without a Chuck!