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).

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!

These little blowers are light weight and just the right size 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.

I have a big air compressor and air hose. But, my little blower is a lot more fun. There is no hose to drag around. I don’t have to waste money at the end of the day running my air compressor. My blower has 3 speeds. Low speed puts a lot less dust in the air then my air hose.

My blower is a Bosch model GBL18V-71. I just needed the blower because I already had a battery for my other Bosch tools. All the other manufacturers (Makita, Dewalt, Milwaukee, etc) make similar blowers. So, if you already have a battery you should be able to pick up a blower. The bare blowers (no battery) sell for around $80.

The blower also works great for cleaning my car out. Open all the doors and blow the dirt out. Blow out the dirt and bark after I haul logs around.

Note: These blowers are smaller than the ones they sell for leaf blowers. The air speed is also lower, so they create less dust and are easier to control.

A Day in My “Winter 2018 Studio Class”

Tom, Scott & Steve with Finished Pieces Photo: Tom, Scott & Steve with Finished Pieces

Here are 3 students with the pieces they made in my class on Thursday 3/22/2018.

Left to right. Tom, Scott, and Steve.

They were taking my "2018 Winter Woodturning Workshop" class in my Studio in Poughkeepsie NY.

Scott was a new student. Scott very quickly became a very good turner.

Tom and Steve are both very good turners. They have taken the same class over and over a couple of times. We just keep doing more and more complex things. They enjoy coming to the class for fun and camaraderie.

Tom made a Vase out of Ambrosia Maple. The shape was from a photo I took in Portugal of some pottery.

Scott made a "Natural-Edge Vase" from page 101 of Mark Baker's "Weekend Woodturning Projects" book.

Steve made a "Burr Oak Bowl" in Maple (not Burr Oak) from page 131 of John Hunnex's "Woodturning Forms & Materials" book.

Future Classes

The Fall 2018 version of my "Woodturning Workshop" class in my studio is already full. I have 2 returning students and 1 new student.

The Fall 2018 version of my "Woodturning Workshop" class at the Brookfield Craft Center in Brookfield CT has space available. I have 2 returning students already signed up. The class is limited to 6 students.

For more info on my classes click here.

Scott Cutting Out the Top of the Vase Photo: Scott Cutting Out the Top of the Vase

I took a couple of action shots for each student. I am just going to present them with no commentary.

I was too busy teaching to take more photos.

Scott Cutting The Stem of the Vase Photo: Scott Cutting The Stem of the Vase

Scott with Completed Vase Photo: Scott with Completed Vase

Tom Roughing Out the Shape of Vase Photo: Tom Roughing Out the Shape of Vase

Tom Roughing Out the Rim of Vase Photo: Tom Roughing Out the Rim of Vase

Tom Finalizing the Outside Shape Photo: Tom Finalizing the Outside Shape

Tom Hollowing Out the Inside (Lathe Stopped) Photo: Tom Hollowing Out the Inside (Lathe Stopped)

Tom is using my Hollowing Rig. For more info click here.

Note: I have 2 of these Hollowing Rigs. Thus 2 out of 3 students in each class can use my Hollowing Rig. I plan to getting a 3rd Hollowing Rig, if I run into a real need for it.

Tom Hollowing Out the Inside (Lathe Running) Photo: Tom Hollowing Out the Inside (Lathe Running)

Tom with Completed Vase Photo: Tom with Completed Vase

Steve Finalizing the Outside Shape of Bowl Photo: Steve Finalizing the Outside Shape of Bowl

Steve Roughing Out the Inside Photo: Steve Roughing Out the Inside

I got distracted, talking to other students, etc. and forgot to take more photos of Steve. Sorry Steve.