Woodturning Tools For The Serious Woodworker


Woodturning Tools3What is woodturning and how does it work?

Woodturning is a type of woodworking which uses a lathe to craft and create beautiful objects from ordinary pieces of wood.

Unlike stationary woodworking, however, the lathe, often powered by a motor, rotates a piece of wood on an axis so that it can be worked upon from any number of angles at any time.

Woodturning can be more difficult than typical woodworking, but with the right set of woodturning tools, anything from a simple bowl to a complicated chess piece or even a lamp can be produced with practice, patience, and time.

The Different Woodturning Tools:

Before embarking on a woodturning project, it is important to know the different types of woodturning tools you’ll be using. Each has a specific purpose and when used correctly can help transform a dull, uncrafted piece of wood into something beautiful and unique.

1) Gouges:

Gouges are one of the most important woodturning tools out there. Similar to a chisel, the gouge contains a curved or angled bladed edge.

There are several types of gouges and it is important to know the differences so that they are used properly: rough gouges are used to shape the piece of wood while spindle or detail gauges are used for detailing spindles.

Both are highly useful and necessary but generally unsafe for producing bowls, so any set of woodworking tools should also include a bowl gouge.

2) Skew Chisel:

The shew chisel has a wide and steeply pointed chisel with a razor-sharp edge that runs angle to the length of the tool.

Instead of gouging into the wood, it is used to produce smooth flat spindles, add exciting details, and cut beads. Due to the razor edge, caution must be taken when using the skew chisel.

3) Hollowing Tool

The gouge is useful for shaping and decorating wood but for cutting deep into the cross sections of your most recent project, the hollowing tool is needed.

With a longer handle than other woodworking tools, it offers greater leverage and hand rest when hollowing out bowls, vases, and vessels.

4) Scraper:

This woodworking tool does not cut into the wood, but scrapes wood fibers away from the wood to smooth and shape wooden items better than with a gouge.

Despite the name and purpose, however, sharp scrapers are able to cut into the wood and for actual scraping, a dull scraper is needed. Chatter tools are flexible scrapers used for adding decorative chatter marks to the project at hand.

5) Other tools:

There are many other important woodturning tools that can add excitement to any project. The bowl saver, with the use of gouges and hollowing tools, cores out the inner part of a bowl while limiting the amount of wood chips created when hollowing.

Augers are drill bits that drill holes through the wood and are useful for cutting holes into lamp cords or for first hollowing out a future bowl. And finally, Wires can add a decorative touch by burning lines into the wood with friction.


As with any form of woodworking or carpentry, there are potential safety hazards. The most important woodturning tools you can own are your safety tools.

Always make sure to have proper eye protection to protect your eyes from loose wood chips, some sort of respiratory equipment or dust collection system to protect your lungs, ear protection because woodturning can become a very noisy process, and protection for both your hands and feet.

Remember to always where gloves and shoes but most of all to just have fun!



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