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Beginner’s Guide to Woodturning: Unleashing Creativity with Every Turn



Woodturning is a captivating craft that allows you to transform raw wood into beautiful and functional objects. Whether you’re a complete novice or have some experience with woodworking, embarking on the journey of woodturning is an exciting endeavor. In this informative guide, we’ll take you through a step-by-step process of getting started with woodturning, ensuring that you unleash your creativity with every turn.


Step-by-Step Guide to Woodturning



Step 1 – Set up your workspace

Create a well-ventilated, organized area for your woodturning projects. Prioritize safety, lighting, and accessibility. #WoodturningWorkspace



Step 2 – Acquire the necessary tools

Invest in quality woodturning tools and equipment, including a lathe, chisels, chuck, faceplate, and centers. Opt for reliable brands to ensure a smooth experience. Carbide woodturning tools are an easy way to get started and learn as these tools are slightly more forgiving than the traditional tools #WoodturningTools

Robert sorby lathe tools

Here are some suggestions on woodturning tools form our shop

Robert SorbyEasy Wood Tools DiscountRecord Power Discount


We would also recommend these lathes to start



Step 3 – Select your wood

Begin with forgiving wood species like maple or birch. Choose dry, stable wood with a moisture content of 8-12% to avoid cracking. Experiment with different woods as you progress. #WoodSelection


HowTo members get an exclusive discount of 10% off all wood blanks from Yandles. Click here to claim your discount!



Step 4 – Prepare the wood

Roughly shape the wood using a bandsaw, if you have one, if not try to find a round blank to work with first. ensuring it is securely mounted on the lathe with a drive center and a faceplate. Proper wood preparation sets the foundation for your project. #WoodPreparation



Step 5 – Master the basic cuts

Learn essential woodturning techniques, such as roughing, spindle, bowl, and skew cuts. Practice these techniques on scrap wood to hone your skills before tackling larger projects. #WoodturningTechniques

Watch some videos here to learn what tools to use first and how best to use them

Axminster Tools



Step 6 – Begin turning

Start with simple projects like pens or small bowls. Follow a plan or design, focusing on technique refinement and building confidence. Gradually push your boundaries with each project. #BeginnerWoodturningProjects

Beginner's Guide to Woodturning: Unleashing Creativity with Every Turn



Step 7 – Sand and finish

Achieve a smooth surface by sanding your turned piece with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. We would recommend you start with 120 Grit then work your way up the grits to that perfect smooth finish you require. Always use a good sander sealer first, then add your polishes and waxes #FinishingTouch

Here are some suggestions


uBeaut products

Once you have added your sanding sealer, Yorkshire grit is a popular next product to apply. Try this and then add your polish after.

Yorkshire Grit

Hers a few polishes you can use



Step 8 – Evaluate and learn

Reflect on your finished project, identifying areas for improvement. Embrace mistakes as valuable learning opportunities. Seek feedback from experienced woodturners and online communities, like the HowTo App. #ContinuousImprovement



Step 9 – Expand your horizons

As your skills grow, take on more complex projects like vases or intricate bowls. Explore different woods, shapes, and techniques to expand your repertoire and ignite your imagination. Some like to add in resin to make the piece more interesting? #WoodturningInspiration

If you fancy adding in some resin you can find some recommendations here

Entropy Resins



Woodturning is a fulfilling and creative craft that allows you to unleash your artistic spirit. With this comprehensive beginner’s guide, you’re equipped with the knowledge and steps necessary to embark on your woodturning journey. Remember to prioritize safety, practice patience, and embrace the learning process. With dedication and passion, you’ll transform raw wood into stunning works of art.


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