The New Turning Wood with Richard Raffan (2008)

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Review by Kreegan posted 10-18-2012 03:51 PM 2608 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The New Turning Wood with Richard Raffan (2008) No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I just recently purchased a lathe and have been looking at videos and tutorials online about turning. I went to the library closest my office to see if they had any good turning books and found a DVD instead. The DVD is put out by Taunton for Fine Woodwoorking and is called “The New Turning Wood with Richard Raffan.”

The DVD is 120 minutes long and is broken up into 14 chapters. The first couple of chapters cover lathe basics, turning tools, workshop layout and sharpening. I very much liked that in the sharpening section of the video, he used a standard bench grinder, since that’s what most beginning turners are likely to have, instead of his Tormek system, which is what he said he’d normally use for the bulk of his sharpening. He mostly worked freehand, but did use some jigs and fixtures as well.

After the introductory chapters, he moves into a series of project chapters. Each project builds on skills established in earlier projects. The projects include spindle, bowl, hollow form and solid turnings. Raffan does a really good job of explaining what he’s doing and why as he’s working, usually talking while he’s working, but there are also some voice over explanations.

One of the best parts of the project segments is that there are a few times where Raffan makes a mistake or does something out of order. He doesn’t get upset or anything and these parts aren’t edited out. Instead he explains what went wrong and how to fix it. I love that. That to me is perfect for a beginner, not just showing an expert turning out a flawless piece, but also showing that they make mistakes too and how to deal with them.

Overall I really liked Raffan’s approach. He’s very good at explaining what he’s doing and why. He has a calm, soothing voice that’s easy to listen to. He’s obviously very good at wood turning. The projects were things I feel like I could take on after watching him, with a lot of practice. This is definitely a DVD I’d recommend to new wood turners.


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#1 posted 10-18-2012 05:26 PM

thanks, i read his book with the same title and liked it also

-- Joel

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#2 posted 10-19-2012 04:26 AM

I will surely have to check it out since i just recently started turning. Thanks

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

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#3 posted 01-09-2013 07:34 PM

I wrote this review almost 3 months ago, and it’s amazing to me how often I go back and watch this DVD and pick up something new. There are people who are good at what they do and there are people who are good at teaching, but it’s fairly rare in my opinion to find people who are both. Richard Raffan definitely is good at both.

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