Hints and Tips

Woodturning Tools for the Beginner

Selecting the right woodturning tools in the beginning can be a daunting experience, with every new woodturner you meet, you seem to get different advice every time. The first thing you need to decide is how much money do you wish to invest in your new found passion. Here at Turners Tool Box we recommend the use of the Robert Sorby range of turning tools and accessories, they may seem to be a bit more expensive than some of the other tools available on the market today. However the Robert Sorby tools are manufactured to far higher standards in quality and craftsmanship. Using these tools you will spend a lot more time at the lathe and not stuck behind the bench grinder sharpening and re-sharpening the cheaper tools you brought because you didn’t want to spend those few pounds more and in the long run the Robert Sorby tools will keep their edge and out live most other tools and so you would have saved money anyway by not having to keep buying replacement tools.

What tools do you need to get yourself started, you have listened carefully, you have read the books and seen the video, and you have your first lathe, a new chuck and plenty of timber. The next step is the woodturning tools; you need to think about what type of turning you want to start with, spindle turning, between centres, face plate work and the use of the chuck. As a beginner you will probably need only about six or seven tools to use in some basic work, and then as you progress and start to feel a bit more adventurous you can purchase many different tools for many different tasks, projects. Here is a suggested list of tools to get you started, including their use;

Roughing Gouge ( 843H) used for rounding the square or uneven timber between centres
Spindle Gouge (840H) used for turning more detailed shapes beads and covings
Skew Chisel (810H) this tool acts in the same way as a planer, used for shaping and cleaning the timber surface
Parting Tool ( 830H) as the name implies this tool is for the final parting off of the completed project and for creating grooves
Bowl Gouge ( 842LH) used for removing the bulk of the timber and hollowing, shaping the bowl design
Scraper (823H) use this tool to finish the surface of the timber piece
The Robert Sorby range also includes a beginner set of woodturning tools (67HS) which includes all of the six tools mentioned above. All of the above tools are full sized complete with handle. A good bit of advice is that if you did receive a set of turning tools as part of the package when you purchased your lathe, then keep these tools to one side and use them to practice your tool sharpening techniques.

After a short time you will soon learn what tool is suited for what task, and by using quality tools you will soon discover and experience and the therapeutic rewards by turning what someone would easily put on the fire into something of beauty and yet still functional.

If you are still unsure of what tools you require then contact this office with your enquiry and a member of our team will keep back to you with the answers as soon as possible.

Making a Safe Working Environment

Listed below are some simple Safety precautions that you can follow to help keep your workshop a Safe and pleasant place of work, these are in no particular order and you can add or amend each part to suit your own working style and layout of the workshop.

Eye protection, wear a full face visor FV424 while at the lathe and safety glasses CX590 or face shield when using power tools, even if you already wear glass, you should still wear some form of face/head protection CX5802 when operating noisy equipment wear some form of ear defence CX10
Ensure that you wear some form of protection against dust, especially when working on some timbers such as Splatted Beech, use the disposable dusk mask CX1730
Wear a apron APL2 or woodturning smock at all times not only does it keep your cloths clean, it will also aid in keeping any loose clothing tucked safely away
Ensure that you have no loose clothing that could get caught in moving machinery, this includes keeping long hair tied back and out of the way
Before operating any power tools, ensure you are fully aware of how it works, now where the emergency stop switch is
Inspect all workshop machines for any visible damage or obstructions before using them including the checking of the power leads
Ensure that all cutting tools, chisels, plane blades e.g. are sharp and not blunt or damaged IN82FC – HG3 – EZ210 – EZL-5PK
Never operate any electrical equipment where water or flammable materials are present
If a tool fails to operate correctly, ensure that the machine/tool is switched off and the plug removed from the electrical supply
Avoid talking or being distracted when operating power tools and machinery
Ensure that you keep your hands and fingers away from any moving machinery
Ensure that when operating machinery that it is running at full speed before offering the piece to be cut
Ensure that all cables and leads are away from the machines where they can not be accidentally cut
Keep the work area around machinery such as the table saw, band saw and lathe free from any clutter that could make you trip and fall onto any moving parts
Use a correct Push Stick PS1 when using the table saw and router

Of course the list could go on and on, Safety in the workshop is using common sense and being aware of your surroundings at all times