Beginning Wood turning projects

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Project by guitchess posted 02-23-2015 11:42 PM 5715 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been turning wood for about two weeks now. Being a professional carpenter for about 25 years, I have to kick myself for not trying it sooner. I had written turning off as a impractical skill, only being useful once in a while. However, it is so much fun, that it is totally worth the space in the shop. It’s kind of zen like. I’m hooked. Plus, I’m now constantly seeing practical uses that I had not thought of before.

Thanks for looking.

Any tips, etc. you want to send to a newbie, let’s have em.

10 comments so far

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 3014 days

#1 posted 02-24-2015 05:43 AM

Welcome to Turners Anonymous. You’ll never pass another wood pile.

Nice work.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3256 days

#2 posted 02-24-2015 02:50 PM

These are nice. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View clieb91's profile


3622 posts in 4324 days

#3 posted 02-25-2015 12:19 AM

Welcome to the addiction.. er I mean club :)
Some nice stuff.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2396 days

#4 posted 02-25-2015 12:28 AM

Lookin good. Start squirreling away every spare dollar you find. You’re gonna need it for THIS hobby :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Vicki's profile


1115 posts in 3733 days

#5 posted 02-25-2015 03:48 AM

I love your pens. Nice designs and beautiful woods. How did you do the decal?

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View nerdkraft's profile


57 posts in 3407 days

#6 posted 02-25-2015 08:53 PM

As others have said – welcome to the addiction!
Have you tried turning any wet/green wood bowls yet? So much fun although a long wait until you get a finished dry piece.

View guitchess's profile


85 posts in 4098 days

#7 posted 02-26-2015 02:33 AM


Thanks. It’s actually not a decal, it’s a heat transfer from a laser printed gloss paper. I brought the technique over from homemade printed circuit board etching.


Thanks. I have not tried any green wood turning yet, unless pressure treated counts. I turned some replacement finials for my MIL’s deck.

View Vicki's profile


1115 posts in 3733 days

#8 posted 02-26-2015 05:31 PM

I looked up: homemade printed circuit board etching on the web and found an Instructable. That process wouldn’t work with wood due to the chemicals. Can you explain how you did it, if it’s not too much trouble or too lengthy. I want to make ‘12 cent’ pens to raise money for a couple of charities and I know that type of personalization would make them sell better. Thanks

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View guitchess's profile


85 posts in 4098 days

#9 posted 03-06-2015 04:34 AM


Here’s a quick and dirty how-to.
1. Prepare print paper. I stick a 4×6 piece of shelf liner in the middle of a regular piece of printer paper. I get the best results with Contact brand white shelf liner, from Walmart. The Duck brand is too thin, it gets to hot in the printing process.
2. Print reverse image of what you want to transfer. I usually printer several copies of the text on each sheet, for multiples or screw ups. Laser printer only. Mine is a Samsung from walmart.
3. Smoothly tape the piece of transfer text to the object. Any wrinkles or slack will allow the ink to smear. That’s why the text area of my pens are simple cylinders. Use masking tape. Transfers better if you don’t let the tape overlap.
4. Use an iron to press the transfer. On high. Move it around to make sure the entire transfer has even heat/pressure. Don’t be too heavy handed with the pressure, it could cause smearing. I usually heat/press until the pen is hot enough that I can’t let my most sensitive fingers stay on the surface long, around 30 seconds.
5. Let cool completely, or at least to where it is just barely warm to the touch. The peel the tape/transfer off. Depending on the variables, cuss or celebrate.

Transfer only works to bare wood. At least, I have not been able to transfer to a prefinished piece.

Hardwood works better than soft. If you do use soft, white pine works better than fir.
Tighter the grain the better.
Sand to high grits. I go to 600 for the best results.

You will have to experiment to perfect it. There are too many variables for it to work perfectly out of the gate.

When finishing, do not apply any heat/pressure to the transfer area, it can be smeared. Although, I have had success finishing over the top of it with lacquer, OB shine juice, and poly.

View Vicki's profile


1115 posts in 3733 days

#10 posted 03-06-2015 04:32 PM

Thanks so much for explaining. I will practice this on scrap. It will be a big help and money saver.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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