Turning Furniture Parts by Charles Neil

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Review by mikega posted 09-09-2009 12:30 AM 3841 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Turning Furniture Parts by Charles Neil No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Turning Furniture Parts is Charles Neil’s latest DVD series. This is a 2 volume set that includes 4 DVD’s. The title of volume 1 is “The Basic – a Foundation”. This volume is designed for the woodworker who wants to step their furniture building up notch and has not done any turning before or for the turner who has not done much spindle turning. He begins with an overview of the lathe and then moves onto the different chisels and how to use them. Don’t worry if you do not have the latest and greatest tools. Throughout the series Charles uses the basic tools like the flat and round nose scraper, roughing gouge, skew and spindle gouge. The one newer tool that he demonstrates is the Skewchigouge. This is a 3 point tool used for beads and v groves. Then it onto sharpening. He shows how to freehand sharpen along with how to use some of the commercial jigs that are available. For those who do not have a grinding wheel he shows you how you can use a belt sander along with some very simple jig to maintain the correct angle on the tool. There is a quick talk on how to find the center on square and round stock and how to mount the piece on the lathe. Now it’s time to turn. He starts out by showing how to round a long spindle and then how to make the spindle the same thickness from beginning to end (this is easier said then done). Next is a discussion on chisel profiles where he shows how to use the different tools to cut beads, v-groves, and concave shapes ECT. Turning a table leg is next. Here he shows how to turn the leg and how to deal with the problem of spindle whip. Charles talks about different types of steady rest and shows you how to build your own steady rest using roller skate or in-line skate wheels and some MDF. After a short talk on sanding and smoothing he talks about making a pattern and how by using auto body filler you can change and redefine your pattern to get the correct shape, form and flow of the piece before you start turning your good pieces.
The second disk in volume 1 starts out by showing how to duplicate the pattern that was created on disk one. A more detailed discussion of chisel techniques as he shows how to turn the leg. Fixing tear out is also shown along with how to use the lathe to do horizontal drilling and some simple jigs you can make to keep everything on center.
The title of Volume 2 is “Advanced” The first thing he shows is the Vega duplicator. If you are planning to do a lot of spindle turning this might be something you might want to add to your tool collection. Charles takes you through the proper set up and use of this tool. From here he moves into a lot of different topics like using different chucks, out feed turning where he shows how to turn a large cherry top or platter, turning a rosette, turning a small peg, turning a bird cage for a tilt top table and turning a padded foot. Also included on this disk is how to carve a lambs tongue. Although this is not turning it is an element that you find on many turned post.
The second disk in volume 2 is really interesting. Here Charles shows how to make a 60+ inch bed post on a midi lathe. He starts out again by creating a pattern. He shows how to figure out the different sections and how he goes back and modifies each section to get the proper proportions and flow when everything is put together. He shows how to layout and do the reeding on the post using a jig that he developed. Finally he show to put it altogether from the foot to the finial.
The camera work on the DVD is excellent. There is a lot of close up filming that make you feel like you are looking over Charles shoulder as he is doing the turning and the editing keeps the DVD flowing in an easy to follow manner.
If you are new to turning or someone who has turned for awhile, I am sure that you will fine the Furniture Turning DVD’s a welcome collection to your DVD woodworking library.

-- Mike

View mikega's profile


81 posts in 4668 days

5 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35224 posts in 5201 days

#1 posted 09-09-2009 12:43 AM

I’ve been thru the first DVD. I guess I need to get going on the others.

Nice review, Mike.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4359 days

#2 posted 09-09-2009 12:50 AM

Ireally should have ordered that set. Maybe I still need to. Thanks for the review.

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

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 4533 days

#3 posted 09-09-2009 01:30 AM

Great review, thanks!

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View Johnny Boy's profile

Johnny Boy

76 posts in 4020 days

#4 posted 12-18-2012 08:36 PM

This is my opinion but honestly there are much better DVDs on the market.
Spend your money wisely.

-- Johnny Boy

View a1Jim's profile


118079 posts in 4378 days

#5 posted 12-18-2012 09:12 PM

Thanks for the Review Mike I think this is one set I don’t have ,Charles in all of his videos has something to learn even for the seasoned woodworker.


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