Category Archives: Woodturning

This is a collage of

This is a collage of several of the shop-built tools and jigs that I hav constructed over the past couple of years.  Note the plywood boxes in the NOVA lathe stand.  They contain about 200 lbs of sand to help to stablize the lathe.

Spalted Birch Natural Edge Bowl


Spalted Birch Natural Edge Bowl

Above picture is of a bowl that I completed while working with Edric Florence.  Its one of my favorites so far.

New Wood Turning Project Photos


Finally got around to photographing and uploading some photographs of my recent green-wood turnings.  See woodturning Photo Album at right to view them.

Notes from my first classes with Edric Florence in 2004


Below are the notes that I took during my first two classes with Edric Florence (an excellent local turner) in the fall of 2004.  They look simplistic now, but they still do me good to read from time to time.

1. don’t be afraid to roll the gouge WAY over – almost past 90-degrees, leaving only about 1/32 between wood and top of gouge
2. remember, Ellsworth bowl gouge is 3-tools in one, gouge and two shear edges – gouge with the open face and tip, and shear with a closed face and wings
3. shearing should produce very fine shavings and little/no end-grain damage
4. don’t bother rounding the piece when first mounted, just start cutting from the back of the bowl toward the bowl edge and it will round itself
5. keep back of gouge handle LOW and face CLOSED to shear cut – choke up on the gouge if necessary
6. Keep the rest very close to the work and move it often
7. Rest can be below center as long as cutting edge is at center
8. squaring up the blank on the lathe is very important on natural edge bowls – use the fingers on the rest to measure and align otherwise wall thickness will not be even due to the difference in edge height
9. use knock-out bar to hit piece when mounting and then re-tighten pieces after a few whacks
10. don’t use the tail-stock wheel lock so that you can continually retighten
11. keep tail stock VERY tight with the wheel as you go
12. microwave on 30% power for 30 seconds about 45 minutes apart until weight does not change
13. don’t run the lathe when you sand
14. WD-40 on the oils stones and lathe ways
15. SHOULDER is most important part of chuck grip, not base against chuck unless piece is large
16. Cyano glue (thin) to stabilize spalt, bark, etc…lots of it
17. Use accelerator on the cyan glue and dry with shavings
18. never get the pith in your work piece, it can be in the tenon if necessary
19. 6-parts water to 1 part dish soap soaking mixture to stabilize green wood.
20. when cutting the inside of the bowl, RUB the bevel on the bowl wall
21. don’t grip too hard

Above is picture of one of my first natural edge bowls (spalted birch).

Hello (and a little background)!


This blog will be an experiment for me….I’m going to try and use it to help me absorb the lessons that I learn in the woodshop. I’m teaching myself, with occasional help from professionals, to work wood. I’m learning to be a cabinetmaker (see cherry bed above), and have recently become hooked on the lathe.

Until recently, I’ve been taking turning lessons from an excellent local turner named Edric Florence.  I’m taking a break from the lessons for a few months to give me some time to practice what I’ve learned so far.

I manage a technology consulting group during the day, and am a father and repressed woodworker by night. I finally have equipped my workshop to the point where I can no longer use it as an excuse, so here I go!

Matt