Turning Wood into Classic Bowls, Table Legs, Bedposts and Elegant Keepsakes

The art of creating a classic in wood turning can be defined as creating an object of beauty that is not only formal and balanced, but also decorative and enduring. For a novice wood turner, the item might be a small saucer, plate, bowl, or cup. For an advanced or master wood turner, it might be a set of beautiful table legs, elegant bedposts, or stately columns, just to name a few. If you are new to wood turning, besides a wood lathe, you will need turning tools, supplies, and the knowledge to begin turning your own projects. All of the information that you will need to begin an incredible journey into the art of turning wood into classics is available on this site!

Becoming a wood turner is choosing to enter into one of the world's oldest known crafts, where knowledge has been passed on through the ages. In ancient times, craftsmen began turning wood on primitive lathes in response to the need for utilitarian goods. Two of the earliest known wood turned items, dating back to about 700BC, are a wooden bowl in Italy, and a wooden disk in Perthshire, Scotland. The bowl is completely intact. The disk is perfectly round and bears indentations around its entire circumference, indicating the use of a lathe. The passing on of wood turning skills and the modernization of the wood lathe have elevated woodturning from a craft into the art form that it is today. By becoming a student at this web-site, some of that knowledge will be freely passed on to you.

Apprenticeship is, for the most part, gone in today's world. However, I have had a student (apprentice - if you will) for over three years. Cody began his study with me in May 2005, at the age of 12. After teaching him the fundamentals of working with tools in the shop, I started him on the wood lathe. With his talent, he progressed rapidly to the level of creating plates and bowls. With practice, he learned to turn classic table legs and bedposts. In fact, he has progressed beyond woodturning and is able to turn wood into fine woodworking projects on which to attach the turned legs and bedposts.

To begin a classic bowl wood turning project, click

To see what I taught my apprentice in the woodshop during his first year, click "Apprentice 1"; to follow his progress, click "Apprentice 2"; to see museum pieces we built for the Robert Cleveland Log House in Wilkesboro, NC, click "Apprentice 3".

To learn how to build a classic wooden table by using an old door as the top, to turn long table legs, and to use mortise and tenon joinery in the understructure,

begin with

Door-to-Tabletop 1

From there, go to Apprentice 1 to apply your long-table-leg-turning skills to turn classic bedposts from the pattern you see there and by using the pictures of the bedposts and bed.

For step-by-step instructions on how to build an elegant keepsake - a Shaker Sewing Table -

begin with


Please be sure to read our disclaimer before beginning any wood project on this site.

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