This page is made up of Hand turned
candle sticks, Christmas trees Mushrooms Fruits Goblets and Snowmen made from various sustainable woods from around the world.
This page also describes some techniques and how to make a doughnut chuck which
is very useful when turning the bottom of bowls and hollow
Precision and Coordination :
Woodturning requires a great deal of coordination skills, accurate positioning and concentration.
Craftsmanship in this woodworking activity demands precision using different body positions. In
fact, the stance of your feet can affect the turning or spinning of the wood. In short, your body
should be in sync with the woodturning lathe to achieve the desired cut, design, shape and form
of the piece. Thus, there are factors that significantly affect the process. They include the
stance, the grip, the rubbing bevel, the attitude with tools, and the direction of the cut.
It is important to have the proper stance. This will help you to reduce fatigue. Take note that the
process requires prolonged standing. A good stance will help you endure the work at hand. A correct
stance will also let you maintain steady control over the tools. The handling of tools during turnings
requires certain movements of the hands and body. They should be synchronized with each other.
In this case, the body should provide the hands with a firm support.
Balance is very essential. When the turner begins to work on the wood, your body weight
should be properly balanced on both of your feet. Make sure that your torso and legs do
not twist or even twitch. Your whole body should be vertically aligned with your hand as
you steadily hold the tools.
Remember that your feet have to be close to the lathe. This position allows you to reach every
part of the piece without bending as much. Feet position is related to the body-to-axis of the
lathe orientation. It is recommended to stand slightly oblique. Your shoulders must cut the
axis at a 15 degree angle and your feet should be slightly spread apart. They should also
be pointing in the correct direction, which always depends on the kind of woodturning method used.
Woodturning requires unity between you, the tools and the lathe. Otherwise, you will not achieve your desired wood design or form.
Usually the first thing that many wood turners do
when seeing a new bowl or hollow form is to pick it up
and look at the bottom.
reasons for doing this are to see the artist’s signature
and to see that the bottom is appropriately finished.
For many years, an unturned bottom has been regarded as
unacceptable. Thus, one of the important steps in
turning a piece is to turn the bottom.
several methods to hold a bowl or hollow form for this
“reverse turning”. As each turning presents its own
challenges, it is worth having several options in your
mental tool kit. For large bowls, I use a vacuum chuck.
For very small bowls, I often use
“Cole jaws” mounted on my standard chuck. Another option
for bowls is to use a “doughnut chuck” and for
hollow vessels I use a slightly modified “doughnut
The doughnut chuck, in its simplest form,
consists of a plywood circle attached to a faceplate, a
separate plywood ring, and three or more bolts with wing
nuts. (Alternatively, the faceplate circle could be made
to fit into the jaws of a chuck.) A bowl or hollow
vessel is then sandwiched between the two pieces of
plywood and the bolts hold the whole thing together. To
make a doughnut chuck, you will need plywood, a
dedicated faceplate, screws for the faceplate, some foam
padding, several bolts of the same diameter in various
lengths and matching wing nuts. Begin by selecting some
plywood of the appropriate thickness.
3/4” plywood for the faceplate circle, and 1/4” plywood
for the ring. For heavier pieces, you may want to use
thicker plywood. Attach two (or more) pieces of plywood
face to face with double stick tape. Cut this stack of
plywood into circles with a bandsaw. The diameter of
these circles should be at least two inches larger than
the diameter of the largest bowl (or vessel) for which
the chuck will be used. While the plywood circles are
still connected by the tape, drill three (or more)
equally spaced holes centred approximately 1/2” in from
the outer diameter of the circles.
diameter of these holes depends on the bolts you will be
using (I use 1/4” bolts of lengths ranging from 3” to
6”). Bolt the circles together. Attach the faceplate
circle to a faceplate with screws of appropriate length.
Mount the entire assembly on the lathe.
True up the
outer edges of the circles on the lathe.
Mark the edges of the circles so that you can
align them the same way each time. With a parting tool,
remove a circle of an
appropriate size to create the
plywood ring. Note that the diameter of the opening in
this ring should be large enough to allow the foot of
the bowl to be fully exposed for the reverse turning,
but not too large. I make several different rings with
openings of various diameters so that the chuck system
can accommodate a wide range of turnings. Dismantle the
assembly. Cut some protective foam padding and glue it
to the surfaces of the faceplate circle and the ring
where they will touch the turning. You are now ready to
use the chuck.
Mount the bowl in the chuck with the rim on the
faceplate circle and the bottom protruding through the
ring. Secure with
bolts, being careful to put the
wing nuts on the headstock side. Mount the assembly on
the lathe. The tailstock can be used to align the centre
of the bowl and hold it in position as you tighten the
wing nuts. Don’t over tighten, as it is possible to
crack a thin bowl.
When the chuck is fully tightened, you can
turn the bottom. I usually leave the tailstock in place
as long as possible for safety, but it can be removed
for completing the bottom. I always use this chuck at a
fairly low speed – perhaps 600 or 800 rpm at maximum.
The hollow vessels that I turn have small entrance holes
– from 1” to 2” in diameter. To aid in aligning a
vessel, I add a wooden
cone in the centre of the
Note: You can view a
bigger version of the wood turned items by placing your mouse curser on the
image and click. A new window will open with the larger image. When finished
viewing, just close the window and come back here to view the others.
Colour and markings may differ in
appearance slightly in your finished turning from the one's shown in the photo's
depending on wood used at the time they are turned. Each item is handcrafted
individually, so slight variances should be expected especially if ordering more
than one item. The sizes listed are approximate. They may be a couple of
millimetres taller, longer, wider or little shorter, etc.
Commissioned works - Why not have that special one off piece crafted by a
I am available to make commissioned pieces for any special occasion, to your requirements . To discuss your requirements contact