Category Archives: Great Ideas

Mounting Plates and Shallow Bowls

I have found that using a 2-1/2″ diameter hole that is 1/4″ deep is a good way to mount blanks for plates and shallow bowls on the lathe. It is easy and very secure.
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Meta Description: Link to Carl's "Drilled Chucking Recess" AAW magazine "tips section" PDF. A 2-1/2″ diameter hole is an easy and secure way to mount blanks for plates and shallow bowls on the lathe.

Carl’s Travel Tool Set


Updated: 12/31/2019: I now use a red tool tray rather than a Tool Roll. See new section at the end of this blog entry.

I recently created a new Travel Tool Set that I can EASILY take to demos, club meetings and symposiums. I have been using it full time in my studio recently to test it out. I am real happy with it. See photo below.

The heart of the system is a new 5/8″ Quick Release Tool Handle from Jimmy Clewes. It works really good. I saw Jimmy use it on the 2018 Norway Woodturning Cruise. I was real impressed with the Quick Release mechanism that Jimmy has come up with. Just a simple 1/4 turn of the handle with your hand (no tools) locks a tool in place or releases it. You can change tools real fast. So, swapping tools does not interfere with the flow of a demo.
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Meta Description: Carl's Travel Woodturning Tool Set. A set that can be EASILY take to demos, club meetings and symposiums. Carl also recommends this set for new turners.

Get A Grip


Here is my “Get A Grip” tip that appeared in the “Tips” section on page 18 of the AAW August 2018 “American Woodturner” Journal.

Adding a layer of elastic mesh sleeve is a cheap and easy way to get a better grip on your woodturning tools. My friends and students like it. You can purchase mesh sleeve from mcmaster.com (I purchased item #5969K23). It is made of 1⁄16″- (1.5mm-) thick polyethylene plastic and comes in different sizes and colors. The mesh I bought would cover handles with an outside diameter (OD) of 1″ to 1½” (25mm to 38mm).

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Meta Description: Link to Carl's "Get A Grip" AAW magazine "tips section" PDF. Adding a layer of elastic mesh sleeve to a tool handle is a cheap and easy way to get a better grip.

Workshop Blower for Cleanup

One of my students showed up one day with a little battery powered workshop blower. I tried it and I was sold. I had to have one.

I put it on my Christmas list last year and it is the best Christmas present ever!
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Meta Description: Quick Tip: A little blower is great for quick clean up. I just blow all the saw dust and shavings off of my lathes onto the floor and then sweep or vacuum them up.

Hang Up your Power Sanding Drills


Photo: Hang Up Your Power Sanders

I like to keep my Power Sanding Drills handy by hanging them on the front of my lathe.

My friends and students have copied this idea.  Thus it must be a good one?
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Meta Description: Quick Tip: Carl keeps his Power Sanding Drills handy by hanging them on the front of his lathe. Photos and how to.

Handy Sandpaper

I like to keep my sandpaper handy and organized. Here is how I do it.

Photo: Handy Sandpaper Handy Sandpaper

Here is how I keep my sandpaper handy. I attach it to 1/8" plywood boards and hang it up.

When I am ready to use the sandpaper I take the board over to the lathe and set it on the "ways" of the lathe.

Then all the grits are handy for quick changes.

I have one board for 2" disks and another board for 3" disks. I recently added a third board for chunks of my Stikit sandpaper.

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Meta Description: Carl shows how he keeps his sandpaper handy and organized. With 1/8" plywood boards he can hang up and take over to the lathe. Sandpaper organization tips.