Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Wood Turning

Wood Lathe Projects for Fun and ProfitBelieve it or not, wood turning is a very sociable activity, so if you want to do a craft that enables you to join a local club and meet new people, here’s your chance.

Most clubs meet monthly and there are shows, exhibitions and so on to attend. Of course, the actual turning itself is a solitary occupation and you will need a shed, garage space or some other largish area in which to put your lathe and the other pieces of kit that you will require.


Craft topics and links

In essence, wood-turning is the craft of using a lathe to produce wooden objects such as bowls, stands, plates, cheese-boards, cups, rolling-pins, spinning-tops and so on. So you can easily impress your family and friends with useful and attractive wooden items for them.

You fix the wood to the machine, which spins the wood.

The turner holds a special type of chisel on a tool rest for support, and then moves the chisel towards the revolving wood. Thus shavings are quickly removed and the wood is shaped.

Wood-turning is not easy, and can be quite dangerous. Long hair, ties, and loose clothing could be caught up in the machine and wood can be thrown from the lathe if it isn’t properly mounted, injuring the turner. If you wrap anything around your fingers, or wear rings or bracelets, your fingers can be damaged. Wood-turning generates a huge amount of shavings and sawdust, so you must try not to inhale too much of it.

Turning Wood with Richard Raffan

A good introductory guide is Richard Raffan's book, Turning Wood. If you’re tempted by wood turning, read the book before you spend money on a lathe. It’s also a good idea to talk to a wood turner, to find out exactly what you need, how much it will cost, which lathe to buy and how to observe the safety aspects of turning.

There has been a Guild of Turners since 1295. In 1604 it received its Royal Charter and became the worshipful Company of Turners of London, and it’s still going strong!
There is also The Association of Woodturners of Great Britain where you will find all the local clubs listed.

It’s therapeutic, satisfying but not cheap to set up. However, think of all the money you’ll save through the years by not having to buy Christmas presents!

This Guide to Arts and Crafts is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
Back to Arts and Crafts


Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti