Woodturning is a fun and satisfying hobby. You can try your own projects and experiment with woodturning just for fun, or make things to sell at craft stores and on etsy. There are a lot of wood turning websites that offer plans and instructional videos so that you can learn how to turn wood. If you are a beginner when it comes to turning, it is best to stick to simple woodturning projects. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Egg cups are one of the most popular first woodturning projects because they are small and relatively simple. You can use them to display other craft projects (such as carved eggs) or you can use them as a real egg cup. Why not make a set and then sell them on?
Wooden bowls are another popular turning project. You can make them as display items, or as presents. A turned bowl can be functional, artistic, or a combination of both. The simplest kind of turning project is a plain single wood salad bowl, but if you are feeling adventurous you could make a natural edge bowl, a multi-sided bowl or a segmented bowl that takes advantage of different wood grains for a striking effect. Another spectcaluar turning project is a scalloped edged bowl. This design is quite advanced but it is sure to impress if you make it for a gift!
Ball and Cup
The ball and cup toy is a traditional toy that is made from a wooden cup with a small handle, and a ball that is attached to it with a string. This toy has been popular with young children for hundreds of years, and it is still commonly seen on the streets of Latin America, where children call it a balero. This toy is quite easy to make. It consists of two parts, but each part is simple to turn. All you need to do after turning them is drill a hole through each piece to secure the string.
A Baby’s Rattle
If you feel like you would like to make something a little more sophisticated, then why not try a baby rattle. These are a fun project to make and also make a great gift; however, if you want to give it to a child for them to use, choose a tight-grained hard wood that is not covered with oil or paint. One good choice is maple. Do not paint the toy unless you are certain that the paint is safe for children. In addition, make sure that all of the parts of the toy are sized in a way that ensures that the baby will not trap their fingers or choke on any moving parts. If you have any doubts, base your woodturning measurements on professional plans.
Before you dive into woodturning projects, it may be a good idea to take a turning class. This will help you to make sure that you actually enjoy woodturning before you purchase the required equipment and some wood. You will also get some tips from experienced turners who can help you to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls.
Once you are confident that you are sure you want to try turning, the next thing to consider is what sort of project you want to take on. There are two main kinds of turning – spindle turning, which is what is used for candle sticks, ornaments and other smaller, cylindrical turning projects that do not involve hollowing out the item, and face plate or chuck turning, which tends to involve hollowing things out.
Spindle turning is usually performed at a relatively high RPM, while face plate and chick turning is a slower process, but can allow for bigger and more detailed work. You will need different equipment for each of these projects.
The good news is that turning does not have to be expensive. As long as your lathe or spindle is of decent quality, you will be able to achieve good results. There is no need to spend a fortune on tools. The most important tools for a wood turner are their hands and eyes. If you do not know what you are doing, or you are impatient while you are working, you will not achieve good results even if you spend hundreds of dollars on a gouge.
One area that you should not skimp on, however, is safety equipment. You will need some eye production and a good mask. Woodturning causes a lot of fine dust to be put out. A mask will help to stop you from inhaling the dust. However, you should also try to install a filter in your workshop that will collect as much of the dust as possible so that the amount of dust that your lungs are exposed to is kept to a bare minimum. In addition, you will need good lighting so that you can work precisely.
Finally, do not forget that in addition to your lathe you should invest in some sharpening systems. A bench grinder is an affordable and simple way of sharpening your tools. There is no need to worry about the size of the wheel or the speed that it spins at if you are a beginner. Once you learn to use a sharpener properly you should be able to achieve good results with almost any tool.
Start with some of the basic woodturning projects listed above, and hone your craft making a few of each item. It is better to start simple projects that you know you can finish, rather than take on something large and complex that you will have to dispose of if you make a mistake. Once you have finished these woodturning projects, why not try something more advanced, or come up with your own designs? You can model the items in free 3D modelling software for your computer, and then convert those models to plans that you can use in the real world.