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Thread: Just starting out and could use some help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Just starting out and could use some help

    I bought a lathe and come chisels and have some wood. I'm interested mostlye in making pens but I have no idea what I'm doing.

    Does anyone have any books they would recommend for someone just starting out?

    Thanks in advance.
    Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known
    - Carl Sagan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    KCMO
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    Welcome, Scott.

    I'd start by looking for a store that caters to woodworkers and find out when the local woodturners' clubs meet and find out if they have a tutors program. You may get responses from someone nearby from your post here. Hands on with eyes over your shoulder is WAY better than books. Books are a great second step, IMO. YouTube videos might be a close second. Search for "woodturning beginner" or similar to see what you can find.

    Dean Thomas
    KCMO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Waterford, PA
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    241
    Here are some links. Look around YouTube to start.

    Some are probably better, some worse. Just sniff round.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq4VhV5YEjU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p12lV837Kag

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYZWL2ZSE8g


    I dont work for anybody or sell stuff. These are just three at the top of a YouTube search.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Haubstadt (Evansville), Indiana
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    YouTube has videos. Also if you are close to a Rockler or Woodcraft they can help. Woodturnings will
    also help you get started
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

  5. #5
    A club would be your best source of knowledge. Do a search here to find clubs in your area.

  6. #6
    I'm in the same boat. The Pen Turning group on Facebook has been an interesting read for me so far. Members there have had a ton of suggestions for sourcing pen kits, understanding problems that occurred to members and resolving them. The group is private but membership is approved quickly after agreeing to the posted rules and answering a few questions.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/220613315117/

    If you're a member at Woodworkers Guild of America, these links might help.

    https://www.wwgoa.com/video/woodturn...uction-004774/

    https://www.wwgoa.com/video/pen-turning-techniques-000120/


    If you find other good resources, post them to this thread, please.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Elmodel, Ga.
    Posts
    487
    YouTube is your best bet if there is no club or any of the woodworking stores close to you. I live in an area where there are no stores within 150+ miles from me, so I watch a lot of videos on YouTube. I am basically self taught and by no means an expert, but folks are happy and surprised by my results. Just watch safely videos first to get an understanding of what could go wrong and then just start turning. It will come to you through practice. Sure your gonna mess up some, but that's part of the learning process. Good turning.

    Steve
    SWE

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Kilroy View Post
    I bought a lathe and come chisels and have some wood. I'm interested mostlye in making pens but I have no idea what I'm doing.
    Does anyone have any books they would recommend for someone just starting out?
    Thanks in advance.
    I have a several pen books but one doesn't stand out. Look on Amazon or at the woodworking store for books.

    First:
    Buy a pen kit with a metal tube and the pen mechanism. There are a bunch of different kits Many start with Slimline.
    You can find instructions on line or in the store that sells the pen kits.
    You buy a pen-turning mandrel to fit on the lathe and some bushings and a drill bit that matches the specific pen kit.

    Then:
    Cut the pen blank to the right size
    Drill a hole in the pen blank to fit the metal tube, glue in the metal tube
    Very helpful - a drill press
    Optional but helpful - a means to hold the pen blank square for drilling
    Glue the tube in the hole with medium CA or Epoxy
    Optional but helpful - a mill tool to square and clean the ends of the tube/wood

    Now:
    Turn the wood down to match the bushings
    Smooth and finish the wood
    Assemble by pressing the kit parts together.
    Optional but helpful - a pen press

    The biggest help is attending turning club meetings in your area. You will meet people willing to help. Some are willing to have you visit their shop and help you get started. Pens take a bit of time to prepare but are very quick and easy to turn. I personally recommend a introductory lesson by a teacher/mentor on the basics of turning and get some practice before you start on the pens. I always start students with spindle turning (the type of turning you use for pens and in general things other than bowls and platters). The first tool I teach is the skew chisel. Spindle turning will teach you the fine tool control that will let you turn anything.

    JKJ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mountain City, TN
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    499
    Penn State Industries sends out a free DVD on pen turning.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Maryland's Eastern Shore
    Posts
    29
    I bought several books when I started, but what REALLY helped were the YouTube videos. There are also, tons of free articles on the web. I also love AAW, you can get a digital or print mag monthly and they have videos. They also have Woodturning Fundamentals quarterly. I'm not 100% sure, but I think you might even be able to download back issues.

  11. #11
    there is a club in Brooklyn here is the info on them also a couple on long inland look on the aaw website https://www.woodturner.org
    Big Apple Woodturners Brooklyn NY United States http://bigapplewoodturners.com 1st Tuesday 7 PM

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Smyrna Mills, Maine
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    I joined my local woodturning club, it helped but I learned the most watching youtube video.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Lilley View Post
    I joined my local woodturning club, it helped but I learned the most watching youtube video.
    Just be careful about Youtube - there are some TERRIBLE videos out there. The AAW has a list of videos that are vetted for safety and quality.

    JKJ

  14. #14
    I want to reinforce John's caution about Youtube. The videos are not evaluated for quality of content - some are good, some show poor technique and occasionally one will show unsafe practice. My favorite books and videos are those by Richard Raffan, but he does not make pens. If you can find them on Vimeo, Stuart Batty has a number of excellent videos, but he also does not make pens. A local woodturning group is a great resource, but work with several of the mentors to get subtle differences.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    freeland mi.
    Posts
    15
    Check out the International Association of Pen Turners.

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