What is Woodturning?

Woodturning is the art or craft of forming objects from wood using hand held chisels and a lathe.

These objects may be purely functional ones such a bowls, egg cups, light pulls, etc but may also be of a highly ornamental or aesthetic nature.

One of the pleasures of woodturning is that it is possible to start with a piece of wood harvested from the garden and turn it into a finished product in the space of a weekend. More exotic woods may be purchased from specialist suppliers in the form of ready seasoned blanks.

Wood as the base material
Finished object

This is a bowl turned from a piece of beech that has started to rot or "spalt". The dark veins in the wood are the result of this process and add to the character of the piece.

There are many woodturning lathes available on the market. This is an example of one of the smaller ones, but one still capable of producing a wide range of work, from light pulls to boxes and small bowls.

Woodturning Chisels

There are only five or six basic chisel types required to commence wood turning. Most woodturners, however, collect a wider range as they become more accomplished and undertake a greater range of work.