Last weekend, Thom attended a wood turners symposium. He came home full of information, ideas, and motivation, as well as coming home with new tools and more wood.

One of the workshops focused on multi-axis turning with a chuck; in other words, starting with the piece centered on the lathe and then moving one side out so that the piece wobbles. When you sit in an audience and watch someone skilled at this technique, it looks easy.

So, this week became the week of multi-axis turning.

LESSON 1: Take your time and don’t be in a hurry.

LESSON 2: Use very sharp tools.

LESSON 3: Reduce the speed of your lathe so that you turn slowly (about 600 rpm) so that the piece doesn’t spin out of control.

LESSON 4: Watch the horizon and not where you are cutting.

LESSON 5: Periodically stop the lathe and re-tighten the chuck.

LESSON 6: Use a light touch so you don’t jam the tool into the wood and bring the piece back to centered, or worse have it come flying off.

LESSON 7: It looks a lot easier than it is.

LESSON 8: Drill out the end for a votive candle or candle holder BEFORE starting to turn the piece.


Drilling after the piece is turned can snap the piece.

LESSON 9: Don’t turn the piece too thin.


Too thin or a flaw can make the piece snap.

LESSON 10: Remember – practice will make you better.


But practice can bring success.



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