Of all of the different types of techniques associated with woodworking, woodturning is one that requires a great deal of creativity. The variety of designs and shapes that it allows you to create are truly remarkable, and while you may have simply just stared in awe at some of these designs in the past, you too can actually take up your very own woodturning project.
In this piece, we will look at five basic projects that can effectively introduce you to the art of woodturning.
What Is Woodturning?
Before we jump right into the different projects, a few definitions are in order. First, what exactly is woodturning?
Woodturning is the process of creating different wood objects by turning wood stock on a lathe. Now, a lathe is a tool that rotates the workpiece around an axis, so woodturning is fairly unique to woodworking in the sense that the wood itself moves, while the tool remains stationary. Woodturning and other such wood lathe projects are actually very much similar to pottery if you think about it.
With this lathe project method, then, you can create anything from cutlery to furniture to sculptures. Coming up next, we will look at just a few of the more basic types of things that you can make by woodturning.
5 Projects for the Woodturning Beginner
While there are a whole host of woodturning projects for you to undertake, here are five basic ones that you shouldn’t have too much of a problem mastering.
When it comes to basic woodturning projects, bowls are actually some of the simplest items you can make. It may look like a fairly extensive process, but with the right tools and safety precautions in place, it is certainly a doable project. The best part about crafting a bowl is that you can start out as simple as possible, and then once you gain enough confidence and expertise, you can move on to more creative designs.
After you’re all finished with the project, the bowl or bowls you make can either be used in the kitchen or serve as a decorative gift.
Speaking of something that is great for kitchen use and that also makes for a wonderful gift, a spoon is another great basic woodturning project. You will need to do a good bit of carving to get the bowl shape that you are looking for, but there are plenty of videos and instructional tutorials that can easily guide you through the entire process.
3. Flower Pots
If you want to move onto a project that is slightly more advanced but still in that beginner’s range, then woodturning a flower pot may be the project for you.
Once you get the instructions down pat (and maybe a few simpler projects under your belt beforehand), it can be a fun project to undertake because of all the opportunities for eye-catching decoration. It is important to note that if you plan on filling the finished product with fresh flowers, you should add either large test tubes or glass inserts to the pot as this will allow you to add water and keep the wood from getting wet.
Did you know that something as small as a pen can be made by woodturning? The process does require a steady hand, great focus, and controlled styling and turning since the finished product will end up being so small. But like with most woodturning projects, there are step-by-step instructions available online.
Just think about how cool it would be to fit something that you yourself made so easily into that front shirt pocket. Pretty cool, right?
5. Baseball Bats
Woodturning a baseball bat is both a fun and fairly simple project. Just be sure that you get the right type of wood (preferably northern ash or hard maple), have the right type of tools, and pay close attention to the instructions. For a special added touch, you could even include a nice decorative customization to the bat, such as a player’s name or number.
With the right amount of attention to detail, you could soon be on the road to impressing that little leaguer in your life with a handmade baseball bat.
Immersing Yourself in the Art of Woodturning
Woodturning is a fascinating art, and with the right amount of patience, practice, and precision, you can find yourself moving from woodturning beginner to expert in no time.
To truly improve your woodturning skills, it helps to immerse yourself in the practice as much as possible. Read up on woodturning whenever you can. Invest in the right kinds of tools and materials, from the lathe itself to the wood to even the right finish.
If you want to better yourself as both as an effective and creative woodworker, woodturning is absolutely an art worth delving into.