Woodturning is an incredibly rewarding and fun hobby to do. It provides professionals and hobbyists alike an opportunity to create some of the most unique and amazing designs. Items made by woodturning are highly sought-after for being durable, sturdy, and beautifully designed.
Woodturning makes use of a unique tool called a lathe. Woodturning might be new to you, and this is why in this article we will be discussing what woodturning is, the various techniques/tools used, the products you could create, and a range of other topics that will definitely interest you as you seek to kick-start your woodturning career.
What Is Wood Turning?
As mentioned earlier, woodturning is an aspect of woodworking. In fact, it has been described as the most unique and dynamic part of woodworking. Woodturning is the unique art of crafting beautifully shaped objects on a lathe. Originally created 3,000 years ago, a lathe is a specific machine that has been built to hold and rotate materials like wood, stone, brick, etc., so that they can be carved with the help of special tools. Objects turned with the help of a lathe over time have ranged from basketball bats and rolling pins to chair legs and ceremonial bowls.
To become a greet woodturner, it takes time, effort, and skill. While it dates back to ancient Egypt and Rome, this craft continues to be one of the most recognized crafts across the globe. Even with the advancement of technology, woodturning still remains relevant and valuable. Simply proving that woodturning is an important skill.
Woodturning according to some experts has been described as the simple and quick process of using specific tools to cut and mold shapes into wood while it turns on an axis. Woodturners make use of the wood lathe which has been built to perform various functions such as: knurling, cutting, deformation, drilling, facing, and turning. Using woodturning, it is easy to make items like candlesticks, egg cups, rolling pins, and other wooden pieces. While the industrial revolution replaced most aspects of woodwork, wood lathes are still being used to create uniquely designed pieces.
Ideal Wood Type For Woodturning
Because softwood tears easily, hardwood is ideal for woodturning. In addition to this, hardwood holds better over time, making it ideal for the creation of chair legs, tables, and other pieces that need to be sturdy, durable, and beautiful. There are a variety of hardwoods to choose from: cherry, maple, ash, birch, etc. Exotic wood can also be used to make beautiful pieces.
Brief History Of Woodturning
This beautiful art craft dates back to ancient Egypt. Lathe woodworkers would use their feet to hold the cutting tools in place, then use their hands to power the lathe. The first known use of woodturning to produce cups and bowls dates back to 1500 AD. Back then a fly-wheel was built to power the lathe but with the advancement of technology a plethora of power sources were discovered and conveniently used.
The 19th and 20th century proved to be one of the best for woodturning. At this time, it was the best way to craft bowls and other items. Woodturners opened shops where they taught apprentices this craft. Woodturning was even included in school curriculums along with furtner building and tool management. The incorporation of this into the school curriculum helped pave the way for the growth of this craft.
What Is A Lathe?
As mentioned earlier, a lathe is a machine that has been built to allow the wood to be turned on its axis. Craftsmen use this machine to create a variety of objects, bowls, and other items. Dating back to ancient Egypt, the design and features of this tool have evolved over time. Currently, most of the lathes available for purchase are designed to be as powerful and efficient as possible.
Before diving into some of the woodturning projects that sell, it is ideal that we take a look at some of the various woodturning techniques used by woodturners.
Arguably the most common woodturning technique is spindle turning. It has been identified as the simplest and best technique out there. All you have to do is turn the spindle once the wood is mounted between the head and tail of the lathe. There are currently a plethora of spindle types to choose from based on individual preference.
This woodturning technique allows for more freedom. A faceplate is a metal plate circular in shape that fixes on the lathe and is capable of holding the wood.
This is an ideal technique for advanced or expert woodturners. This technique involves holding wood in a bevel gouge, then transforming it into a bowl-shaped wooden item.
This technique involves taking several pieces of wood and forming a wood plank. Each segment or part of the wood is glued together before turning takes place. This woodturning technique is capable of creating some of the most exciting patterns and formations.
Decorative Spindle Turning
This differs from the spindle turning technique in a number of ways. Unlike the spindle technique, decorative spindle turning involves roughing, sizing, and smoothing segments of wood. Unlike the other techniques mentioned, this process requires a more elaborate form of cutting which is capable of making more curves as well as intricate grooves.
Woodturning Projects That Sell
Woodturning is becoming increasingly rewarding with more homeowners opting for these wooden items because of their quality. While there are a plethora of woodturning projects you can try out either as a beginner or an expert, you will agree that not all are profitable. In this section, we will take a look at some of the best woodturning projects that sell currently.
This is the most common item and proven to be one of the most profitable woodturning projects. It is the easiest project to complete because of the versatility of the bowl. Create bowls for any occasion: fancy dinners, breakfast, or storage. You can decide to decorate the bowl however you like.
Table and Chair Legs
Furniture is not cheap, especially if you want it to last long and add value to your home. For most people, the legs on tables and chairs take a regular beating and can wear down. To prevent this from happening, it is best that you opt for a strong or sturdy piece with firm legs.
Furniture legs have become one of the most profitable woodturning projects out there due to their sturdy design. Hardwood is used for woodturning, thus, making the final project sturdy and reliable. Fortunately, chair and table legs are easy to turn and pretty straightforward, you simply need to attach them to the chair or table once it is done. This project is not only profitable but easy to carry out.
Whether it is a knife, hammer, chisel, or machete, handles are as important as the tool itself. Without a firm and sturdy handle, your work tool becomes utterly useless. This fact has spurred the increase of wood turned handles making it one of the most sought-after and profitable projects.
This is quite simple to do. All you need is a lathe and a piece of hardwood. Regardless of the shape, size, and style, most of the handles are turned exactly the same way, the only difference being your design choice.
One core benefit of mastering this woodturning project is that you can earn money when helping tool owners modify or replace handles for their tools.
Pencils and Pens
Aside from being one of the best ways to test your woodturning skills, this has to be one of the most profitable woodturning projects.
In the last couple of years, pens and pencils have become an important suit accessory for company executives and board members. A high quality pen does not come cheap because of its sturdy, beautiful, and appealing design.
Looking to kick-start your woodturning journey? Consider turning beautiful and sturdy pens with the right wood type. For aesthetics, you can mix these pens with brass, gold, or any other design that you think will appeal to your target audience.
Wooden Wall Clock
Overtime wall clocks have become a cool home accessory. With most homeowners already owning wristwatches and smartphones that tell time, these wall clocks are more of an aesthetic piece.
With most homeowners going traditional and using wood to construct certain parts of their home, a wooden and well-designed wall clock is needed to complement the look and feel of the home. With the increase in demand, you can make good money with this woodturning project.
Currently, most homeowners like to have an entryway organizer right at the front of their homes. This project consists of a few shelves, a coat hook, a storage space for letters, keys, and other vital items. While this does require some expertise, it is one of the best selling woodturning projects right now.
Since it needs to be durable and rust-resistant, it should be made with the best types of wood. Depending on your personal preference or that of your target audience, you could add certain items to give it a beautiful and appealing look. Maybe consider painting it.
This is another beautiful and easy woodturning project to sell. This could be a perfect project for homeowners seeking that beautiful and strong wooden candle holder for their fireplace mantle. It is easy to start and finish.
Alongside the pen and pencil project mentioned above, this is an excellent project for beginners. For aesthetics, you can combine or add certain beautiful items to this project to increase its market appeal.
Regardless of who you are, you’ll definitely need a coat rack in your home, especially during the winter season. A perfect coat rack should be sturdy, reliable, and well designed.
With the use of a lathe and hardwood, you are sure to create something sturdy, reliable, and well-designed. Once this project is turned, it is important that you make it appealing by painting or adding extra elements and items. It is currently one of the best woodturning projects to sell.
Serving trays have evolved over time. They are no longer mere tools for serving food but are now used as perfect tools to complement the aesthetics of any dining room.
There are actually a couple of reasons why this woodturning project has become profitable in the last years. Those reasons include being reliable, well-designed, sturdy, and their ability to come in various designs, shapes, and sizes. Regardless of the design of your dining room and table, there is definitely an ideal serving tray for you.
This is another pretty straightforward woodturning project that sells. It is an ideal stepping stone for woodturners that have mastered the art of creating pens, pencils, candle holders, and bowls.
Pet Bowl and Stand
This is another amazing and profitable woodturning project that is easy to create. Food bowls take a lot of wear and tear over time, especially if it is not sturdy enough to withstand the force at which they devour their meals. To avoid changing bowls regularly, most pet owners have settled for a well made wooden bowl.
Aside from being a woodturning project that sells fast, it is easy to carry out and could be an ideal starting point for beginners.
Basic Woodturning Kits You Should Own
For everyone seeking to venture into this rewarding craft, there are certain items you need to familiarize yourself with – a modest chisel being one of them. After mastering how to use a chisel, you can slowly add other items to your toolbox. Other items you include:
Spindle roughing gouge
This tool shifts the weight of the item you are creating. While it can be used to give your final work a beautiful finishing, it is typically used to create ruff shapes. It is an excellent tool for taking a blank square and turning it into a round item. Typically quite wide.
This is an ideal tool for planing wood. It offers an amazing finishing, and depending on your skill level, a skew chisel can be used to create exciting and beautiful curves and details. While using this tool, always use the middle part to get your job done.
Otherwise referred to as a shallow fluted gouge, this is your go-to tool for making coves, beads, and shaping in your spindles.
As the name implies, this tool parts wood. When using this tool for work between centers, it is of utmost importance that you never put it all the way through your wood. You simply have to part it halfway then use a saw to finish the job. Always remember to turn the lathe off before you begin using the saw.
Also known as a deep fluted gouge, this tool has been designed with the channel running deeper than the spindle gouge. Depending on the type of project you’re working on, this tool can be interchanged with a spindle gouge. This tool has been designed to help shape your bowl, giving it this beautiful and amazing look. It can also be used for finishing once your job is complete.
Woodturning is currently one of the best ways to earn money as more people want wooden times. Woodturning has gone from being a hobby into a valuable skill.
We have discussed some of the best woodturning projects that sell. The projects mentioned are quite easy to create and are perfect for prospective buyers. We have also shared some of the best tools you can use to create a beautiful project.