Category Archives: Books

Woodturning Books & Dvds

Carl’s “MM to Inches” for Woodturners

Meta Description: Carl often see Woodturners get all twisted up by 1" = 25.4mm. His advice is to forget about the 0.4mm! Carl does the MM to inches conversion in his head using this method.

Photo: Carl’s “MM to Inches” for Woodturners 1

Woodturners in the US often have to deal with Millimetres. Bowl gouges made in Europe are often 12mm
rather than 1/2″. Etc.

I often see Woodturners get all twisted up by 1″ = 25.4mm.   My advice is to forget about the 0.4mm!
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Steel By The Numbers

Meta Description: Quick Tip: Check out the "About Steel" page on McMaster-Carr website to find the right steel for your next project! What is 4140 steel? Etc.

Photo: Steel By The Numbers 1
Click here or on the photo for a PDF file.

Everyone knows about “cold rolled” and “stainless” steel. When you want something else you need to order steel by the numbers. 4140, 1215, etc steel. The steel industry uses a standard set of number to tell you all about the properties of a chunk of steel. How hard it is, tensile strength, easy or hard to machine, etc.

When I am looking around on the McMaster-Carr web site (www.mcmaster.com) for a nice piece of steel. The web site sometimes shows me a nice table that does a great job summarizing the different kinds of steel. (See above photo and PDF.) Other times I can get the web site to show me this table to save my life. I forget I need to search on “about steel” or “about tool steel”.

Steels I Use

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Power Carving Textures

Meta Description: Carl's take on carving textures with Reciprocating and Rotary Power Carving Tools. Recommended Burrs, Gouges, Layout, Cleaning up with Bristle Discs, etc.
Photo: Power Carving Textures 1

Here is some information I put together for a Power Carving Textures demo that I am doing at my local club.

I learned most of the stuff presented here in various wood turning symposiums and classes. Mostly from Al Stirt.

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Essential Books & DVDs for Students

Meta Description: Carl's recommended and Must Have Woodturning Books and DVDs. By topic: Spindle Turning, Bowl Turning, Project Books, Picture Books, Hollow Forms, etc.

Essential Books

Updated: 5/24/2018. Add “Project Books” section and Jordan “The Aesthetics & Properties of Wood” DVD.

Here are the books and DVDs I recommend to students when I teach a class.

You may be able to get these books from your local library, otherwise purchase from  Packard Woodworks Inc or  Craft Supplies USA or Amazon. I often save money by purchasing used books via Amazon.

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Projects at Woodturning Magazine

Meta Description: Quick Tip: Check out the "Projects" page at the UK Woodturning Magazine web site for woodturning project ideas.

I recently discovered that the Woodturning Magazine from the UK has some nice projects on the web.  Some of the projects are to simple or clumsy for me, but others are very nice.

Three Spindle Tazza from Woodturning Magazine
Three Spindle Tazza from Woodturning Magazine

I really like the “Print This Page” link at the bottom of each project page.  It allows me to print out all of the photos with captions.   This allows me to take the print outs down to my studio and give them a try.

Under the “Projects” pulldown menu on main page there are  good sub categories for faceplate work, hollow forms, etc.

Note: I don’t like the way their web page links use a database number like “page.asp?p=1943” rather than a page name.   When they change things around the links in this post will probably stop working.  Ugg!

Hard Versus Soft Maple – The Wood Database

Meta Description: Quick Tip: Carl's rant on "Hard" vs "Soft" Maple. People often say they have hard maple when it is soft. Look up the difference in Wood Database.

The Wood Database - Differences Between Hard Maple and Soft Maple
The Wood Database – Differences Between Hard Maple and Soft Maple

It seems like people always put the word “Hard” before the word “Maple”. So when people tell me they have a nice “Hard Maple” log, I think it is really probably “Soft Maple”.  Because that is what I find when I cut into the log.

Real Hard Maple needs to be species Acer Saccharum. Which is commonly known as Hard, Rock or Sugar Maple. Soft Maple is Silver, Red, Striped, Bigleaf Maple or Box Elder.
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