Woodturning Information Sources on the Internet
by Ron Radliff
The internet is an outstanding source of valuable information on woodturning. Of course, you can just Google “woodturning” and see what pops up. Or, even throw in a specific subject such as “woodturning bowls” and get right to the point. It will pull up all sorts of websites, images, or videos depending on what you’re after. The purpose of this document is to list a few specific sources to help get you started.
This listing is aimed at new turners and novices mostly. However more experienced turners may find answers to nagging problems or even find different ways of tackling a particular project.
Everything listed below is free (a pretty good price).
Ah yes, Facebook. For people not on Facebook, the mere mention of the name conjures up mental images of adolescents posting their every bodily function, location, and thought in glorious detail. Well, not so fast. There is a ton of information out there for adults too. One such example is a closed group called “Woodchuckers“. A closed group is one in which you must be authorized to join. This is done to keep the group focused on the subject at hand. In the case of Woodchuckers, the subject is woodturning. “World Wide Woodturners” and “Woodturning Connection” are some other great Facebook groups just to name a few.
Online Woodturning Forums
There are a few woodturning forums on the web with members ranging from people without any woodturning tools who want to get started, right up to seasoned turners and artists.
The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) has a great site which includes a forum among other features.
Sawmill Creek is a large forum for all types of woodworking including a separate forum that covers only turning.
Woodturners Resource is a great forum with sub sections broken down by subject such as tools, tips, videos, turning talk, segmenting, finishing, etc.
Turn A Wood Bowl isn’t a forum, but a really good website with a lot of valuable info on turning wood bowls and turning in general. The owner, Kent, also has a great YouTube channel.
There are others, but the ones listed seem to be the main ones.
With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve all become familiar with using Zoom for meetings. Several of the well known (and lesser known) turners present demonstra-tions. Most of these will cost a couple of dollars per view, but well worth the price.
One free Zoom site is “World Wide Woodturners”. This group meets every Wednesday evening and as I said, it is totally FREE. The meeting is hosted by Captain Eddie Castelin and usually has between 90 and 110 participants at it’s peak. Typical meetings involve open discussion, question & answers, gallery, and demonstrations. Got a question? Throw it out there, you’ll get it answered. Want to show something you turned? You’ll be spotlighted and can show and tell all about your project. Want to try your hand at doing a demo? We’re always looking for more demonstrators. Go to the website and look near the middle of the page. There is a link that will take you directly to the meeting. A countdown on the left side of the page shows the date and time of the next meeting and a countdown timer.
YouTube on the web is a great source of show and tell videos. There are all sorts of turners out there who produce turning videos regularly. Some of the demonstrators are professional turners, some are expert amateurs, some are demonstrating as they themselves are learning to turn. Some post frequently and some have only one or two posts. All have something to offer and are well worth the time to check them out. If you subscribe to any of the turners’ accounts you can adjust your settings so that you are notified of each upload as they happen. Lots of great info on YouTube. Here are just a few(?) links.
- Cap’n Eddie Castelin
- Carl Jacobson
- As Wood Turns
- Mike Waldt
- Lyle Jamieson
- RJBWoodTurner (Pens)
- woodturningwithtim1 (Tim Yoder)
- Steve Krumanaker – YouTube (Some very good info on pyrography)
- Matt Harber – YouTube
- ThePapa1947 – YouTube
- Mike Peace Woodturning – YouTube (Good basic instruction and tips)
- Kim Tippin Wood Turning – YouTube (a lady turner working mostly in resin/wood)
- These channels have some great instruction for new turners:
- Turn A Wood Bowl – YouTube (Outstanding resource for bowl turning showing tips and techniques)
- Dean’s Woodworking – YouTube (Easy projects well explained)
- Eric Lofstrom – YouTube (Our club’s friend and frequent demonstrator shows all the ins and outs of using a skew)
- Brian Havens – YouTube (The late Brian Havens really goes in-depth how each tool (especially the skew), why one angle is better than another, and tool presentation. Personally, I couldn’t constantly roll a bead with a skew until I saw his video)
Some clubs will occasionally post recordings of their meetings on YouTube. Here a few:
YouTube isn’t the only game in town. Well known turner, Stuart Batty, has several videos on the Vimeo platform.
We always tell new/novice turners the best way to learn is join a club. There’s no better way to learn than to watch another turner in-person and ask questions or to have them mentor you. The next best resource is turners on the internet. Forums offer great discussion and the ability to ask questions of other turners. YouTube is great if you’re watching the right turners. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe so, but a video can be priceless.