Tag 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: 11/16/2021. This is still the list of book and DVDs that I recommend. Added “YouTube, Vimeo, Etc” section to the end.

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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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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Woodburners & Pyrography

Meta Description: Carl's take on the best Woodburners, Tips, & Books for woodturners. What he recommends for his students.

Photo: Woodburners & Pyrography 1
Here is my response to an e-mail asking about woodburners.

I currently own and use a Detail Master Excalibre (the silver one with 2 ports) with lots of different Fixed Tip Detail Master Vented pens (the silver aluminum ones). I also have a couple of Razertip Tips sets that I mount in a Razertip interchangeable tip pen.

If I was buying a new system today I would purchase a Burnmaster Eagle (the red one with 2 ports) with Burnmaster Replaceable Tip Pen and Tips. The 10 tips available from Burnmaster are good for beginners. In the long run you can add more tips by purchasing sets of tips from Razertip.

Photo: Woodburners and Pyrography 1
Currently the $259 “Burnmaster Eagle” available from “Packard Woodworks and other retailers for roughly the same price looks real good to me. I like having 2 pens and only need one set of 10 interchangeable tips.

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