random #28: Archival footage: Wood turning in Germany, 1926

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 09-15-2009 11:05 AM 2922 reads 2 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 27: New Rule: Face shield mandatory (when turning barked pieces) Part 28 of random series Part 29: Brian May's guitar »

This video from 83 years ago follows a German woodworker as he selects a log half, cuts out a bowl blank on a large band saw, and then turns 3 separate parts to create a lidded bowl. It’s neat to feel such a kinship with a guy at his lathe some 13 years before his country would enter into WWII. I wonder if he made it to the war, and what he thought of it. There’s something a lot more tangible about this video than the still black and white photos of men with saws over their shoulders standing by huge, fallen trees – my usual window into woodworking during this period.

I watch the wood chips pile up on his left arm, just as they do for me here in my own present time. I wince sympathetically when his hook tool catches at 6:08. I note the injuries on at lest 3 of his fingertips, dark marks around his cuticles. With some small amount of introspection, I realize he’s a much snappier dresser than I. Also, his lathe is bigger, and he has a more complete set of tools.

Wait… what was that? Was that jealousy? I think I need to get me one of those hats.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

19 comments so far

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 4729 days

#1 posted 09-15-2009 11:53 AM

Your right, all your missing is the hat! Interesting!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View jeffl's profile


289 posts in 4649 days

#2 posted 09-15-2009 01:15 PM

I got that hat !

-- Jeff,

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 4826 days

#3 posted 09-15-2009 02:47 PM

Neat video. Makes me look like I turn in slow motion.
There are therapy groups for people with lathe envy Gary…

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5161 days

#4 posted 09-15-2009 02:59 PM

Thanks for the video, Gary. That was interesting.

I could see you in that hat. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4625 days

#5 posted 09-15-2009 05:26 PM

Great video—-Thanks Gary


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


23328 posts in 5015 days

#6 posted 09-15-2009 06:06 PM

The bottom of the bowl must be awfull thick to take the screw point in stead of using a chuck.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 5076 days

#7 posted 09-15-2009 08:39 PM

Gary, Excellent video!!! Thanks for posting it!!!

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5405 days

#8 posted 09-16-2009 05:16 AM

Thanks, that was entertaining and a great piece of history.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4916 days

#9 posted 09-16-2009 06:12 AM

Cool Gary very interesting


View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4769 days

#10 posted 09-16-2009 08:46 AM

Great post Gary, Nice look into history.

I like your turned hat better then his. haha

Thanks for shareing.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 4752 days

#11 posted 09-16-2009 09:33 PM

Nice video Gary.

Thanks for sharing

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4609 days

#12 posted 09-16-2009 10:37 PM

Cool video….I wish my turnings came out so smoothly….love the old tools and centers….lot of them are the same we use still…

Thanks Gary for sharing such a nice piece of history….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4897 days

#13 posted 09-16-2009 11:00 PM

Reminds me of Grandpa who by the way came from Germany. Veryyyyyyy Coooooooooooooooooooooooooll

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5296 days

#14 posted 09-17-2009 03:25 AM

View Luke's profile


546 posts in 4633 days

#15 posted 09-18-2009 05:20 AM

Suweet!, I like the music too. I want a lathe so bad. I’ve never turned before but man would it be fun.


-- LAS,

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