Working with wood is a favorite pastime for many people; it involves both patience, dexterity, and an eye for detail. The hobby does require a set of equipment to get the best results, otherwise your pieces will turn out less-than-ideal, as well as proving dangerous with the improper application of instruments. Know and utilize the essential tools to get into wood turning to make your time as successful and safe as possible.
Wood Turning Lathe
Before anything, one of the most important pieces of equipment a wood turner needs in their arsenal is a lathe. This piece of machinery enables you to attach your selected wood piece and rotate it to shave it down evenly. Doing so by hand is an extremely time-consuming process and not something that’s recommended for the sake of time and quality of construction.
The lathe also comes with a number of accessories to streamline the process of turning and to assist in the making of wooden objects. These can include bed extensions for larger pieces and extra light attachments to increase visibility.
Spindle Roughing Gouge
Usually chosen as the first step in the turning process, the spindle roughing gouge makes it easy to turn square or oblong pieces round. The thick, U-shaped flute makes quick work of removing excess wood from the piece, whittling it down to your ideal form.
However, while the tool’s best use is for working the piece down, it is not ideal for smooth finishes. You will need a more delicate tool for that. In fact, the spindle roughing gouge gets you into a position to start on the more detailed work.
This is the tool you’ll need to get the shapes and designs you want in your wooden piece. The spindle gouge has a much shallower flute than its roughing counterpart, making it a versatile instrument to carve out the necessary wood for more intricate designs.
It also comes in several sizes, expanding your ability to work on your piece. But like the roughing gouge before it, the spindle is still not the best tool for impressively smooth finishes—for that, you’ll need something a little more specialized.
It’s inevitable that your tools will dull over time. There’s no eliminating the wear and tear metal tools face when they need to grind against dense material, but you can take care of them to ensure longevity. Have a reliable sharpening grinder and different CBN wheels to properly hone your equipment. Allowing it to deteriorate will only lead to them breaking and you needing to purchase replacements. It’s far easier to fix what you have rather than purchase a whole new set of tools.
Have What You Need
Whether you need more tools to expand your skillset or safety equipment to prevent any health risks from wood dust or debris, never wait for the essential tools to start wood turning. The design of your wood pieces will suffer, and you put your own safety at risk by utilizing improper tools.