worn out abrasive cloth.
If you think that a piece of well worn abrasive will do as the
next grade down, think again. The grit is still the same size but
there is less of it. If your abrasive doesn't produce a fine dust
(if you are dry sanding) it isn't cutting. Don't waste time on one
grade by over-sanding. All that will happen is that your work piece
This is for sealing the grain and also has some hardening effect.
You do not need it on a close grained wood, but on an open grained
wood you may need two or more coats to seal the fibres. If you have
some torn end grain, sanding sealer will help before you start sanding
with your coarsest grit. Do not be afraid of using 80 grit to take
out turning marks. You do not get any prizes for getting a beautiful
finish straight from the tools.
Sanding sealer is best put on with the work stationary and then
you can dry it off with a handful of shavings. This produces a nice
surface for your chosen finish.
There is much faulty conception about health and safety regulations.
In the domestic situation the health and safety regulations do not
apply. Thus you are quite free to breathe in your toxic dust, fall
off your ladder, not wear protective clothing or use rags wrapped
round your fingers for polishing.
However, if you are paid to do a job or are paying someone then
the regulations apply. Thus a professional turner giving instruction
must abide by the regulations. Sanding at home you can do as you
like and it is your own responsibility how you work.
of Finishing Polishes and Oils etc.
Friction polish is best reserved for small pieces, but if you apply
it in small doses and keep your polisher moving you will not get
streaks. It can be applied with the work turning or with it stationary,
but must be buffed up to a polish before it dries. Usually you can
see the sheen developing as you buff it up.
Some of the finishing oils are to some extent oxidising agents and
there have been reports of polishing rags catching fire, but I have
always found that someone knows of a fellow to whom this has happened
and I have yet to find even a third hand example.
An awful lot has been said about this but to be safe treat ALL
wood dust as harmful. If you smoke you are already damaging
your lungs, but dust protection is still advisable. The only
true safeguard is to wear a good respirator mask or helmet.
These cost a fair bit but are probably worth the expense.
professional turners use their tools straight from the grindstone.
The sharper the tool the better it is to control, so if you have
the time, hone them. Carbon steel takes a better edge than HSS but
doesn't keep it as long. By all means use a jig, if you have the
money, but again it is not essential. The best grinding wheels are
the aluminium oxide ones which come in white and coloured, depending
on the grit and manufacturer. The ordinary grey wheel will generate
more heat and not give such a good edge. Carbon steel will lose
its temper if it gets too hot but, contrary to belief HSS does not.
as woodturning is an individual sport, don't believe there is a
right way and a wrong way. In my experience the professionals contradict
each other all the time but still produce some fine work. A good
turner is not necessarily a good presenter or demonstrator.