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Complete Illustrated Guide to Turning by Richard Raffan - Free PDF

The wood lathe is one of the oldest means of mass production, along with the potter’s wheel and metal casting. Round wooden objects so pervade our daily lives that we tend to forget that all those variations on spindles and knobs are turned.

Most turnery is now mass produced on automatic copy lathes, but almost within living memory most was done by hand on man-powered machines. In the 17th century, mechanically minded European aristocrats became the first hobby turners, working on lathes that cost more than most families earned in a year. And although small inexpensive hobby lathes were marketed through the great mail order catalogs of the early 20th century, it was not until the mid-1970s that woodturning started to become a popular retirement hobby.

Since the mid-1970s, interest in woodturning has increased exponentially and been transformed by a new breed of professional studio woodturner who creates one off objects rather than mass producing just a few standard items. In the 21st century, lathe-based art is working its way into art galleries. 

Much of the attraction of woodturning is the speed with which an object can be completed. Its very low establishment costs are also a factor, and the fact that raw material abounds often costing little more than your time to retrieve it. But a lathe only spins the wood.What is crafted from that spinning wood depends on the skill and vision of the individual at the lathe. This book can set you on the way to a new passion, and happy hours turning wood.

Complete Illustrated Guide to Turning by Richard Raffan - Free PDF

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Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening by Thomas Lie-Nielsen - Free PDF

 Sharpening common woodworking tools is not a difficult or complicated process. You don’t need a metallurgist’s understanding of steel, or serve a long apprenticeship, to produce durable, razor-sharp edges.Woodworkers will find a large selection of good tools and materials on the market, and the methods of getting the job done properly are usually straightforward. A bit of practice is necessary, but much less than it would take to perfect your golf swing.

Don't worry about ruining a blade. Steel tools are forgiving, and many of the mistakes you inevitably make in the beginning are easy to correct. A blade that has been over-heated and scorched on a bench grinder can be ground back, and a lopsided bevel can be straightened and squared. Even if your early attempts at sharpening a blade actually ruin it, you can always buy a new one. The experience you gain will be worth the price.

It is important first to learn the difference between a properly sharpened tool and a badly sharpened one. Shiny surfaces are not enough if the cutting edge is uneven or rounded over. A plane blade whose back is not flat will never be truly sharp even if it is polished to a mirror finish. Think of a razor blade -straight and sharp. Use a magnifying glass and good light so you can really see what you’re doing, and think in terms of simple geometry: the intersecting planes, lines an angles that produce a sharp working edge.

This book is not about turning sharpening into a hobby. Sharpening woodworking tools is a means to an end, and that end is woodworking. Your collection of sharpening tools and your work area should be arranged so it is convenient to use and designed to help you get accurate, predictable results in a minimum amount of time. If you succeed in doing that, you will be encouraged to sharpen often and not avoid it as people often do. 

An inevitable question is just how sharp a blade really needs to be. Competitors in planing exhibitions try to make the longest, thinnest shavings they can (usually in a cooperative species of wood). This is a fascinating exercise, but the point of knowing how to sharpen your woodworking tools is not to make specimen shavings but to accurately dimension and smooth wood. Honing a blade until it can remove a shaving of wood no more than one-thousandth of an inch thick is overkill when all you want to do is remove the high spots from a rough board with a scrub plane. On the other hand, if you’re trying to create a glassy smooth finish on hard maple with a handplane alone it will help to know how to prepare your blade. The trick is in knowing what kind of edge you really need. 

To that end, it is helpful to keep things simple, to focus on results, and not to worry too much about theory or opinion. The best way to sharpen is the way that works for you.

Complete Illustrated Guide to Sharpening by Thomas Lie-Nielsen - Free PDF

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