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Manual and Class Handouts

You are welcome to use the material in “Let’s Go For A Spin” for your own use and club or class use, but please note the manual and all content in “Let’s Go For A Spin" are the copyright of Alan N. Leland and may not be reproduced or copied in anyway without the author’s permission.  I hope that you enjoy the manual but most of all Happy Turning!

"Let's Go For a Spin" Manual: CV


About the manual, Safety Guide, Table of Contents



Bead and Cove Stick; The purpose of this session, is to practice tool techniques

and to develop turning skills without the worry of damaging a project. Body positioning and movement through the various cuts can be developed. The three basic cuts in woodturning Bead (convex cut), Cove (concave cut) and the flat or filet (straight Cut) will be taught and practiced while turning a Bead and Cove Stick.

Bead and Cove Stick Introduction and Practice Work

Tips & Techniques for Using a Spindle Gouge


Projects Using Beads and Coves; This session begins with a simple project such as a weed pot, mallet, candlestick, honey dipper, toy soldier/snowman/angel ornament, etc. For a 6 session series of classes, I like to have the students turn a tool handle and then, using a 1⁄4” piece of round HSS bar stock, grind a pyramid (point tool) on one end and a skew on the other end. I teach how this tool is used in sessions 4 and 5. This would also be a good time to briefly touch on sharpening techniques.

Make Your Own Point Tool, Skew or Skewgie With a Handle

Turning a Weed Pot
Ring Holder With Finial
Seam Ripper Handles

Simple Ornaments

Cutlery Handles

Laminated Candle Stick

Turning Mushrooms


Facing Cut, Convex Cut and Concave Curves Exercise; In this session we delve further into the use of the spindle gouge, as we explore its use in end grain hollowing and the very useful facing cut across end grain. This exercise makes use of the 3/8” spindle gouge and is followed by a project such as a goblet, a box, or a birdhouse ornament. In this session chucks are introduced by using a compression foot to hold the work in the lathe

Session 2 Curriculum
The Goblet And Its Relatives (Long Stem Flowers)

Notes On Lidded Boxes

Mushroom Box with Threaded Lid
Bird/Fly House Ornament in a Variety of Styles

Turning Spheres


Hollowing Project; This session gives students some experience with the skills and techniques for turning and hollowing vessels. Possible projects are a hollow globe with an icicle ornament or a small hollow form. This session introduces a variety of hollowing tools and methods.

Session 3 Curriculum

Hollow Globe with Icicle Ornament

Tips & Techniques For Turning Hollow Forms an Introduction to Shape & Form


Faceplate or Side Grain Turning using dry wood; Repeat facing cut, convex cut and concave cut exercise, using a 3/8” bowl gouge. To practice the concave and convex cuts and to practice shaping the ogees cuts, sometimes used in faceplate work. This exercise also provides a good review of some of the basic gouge techniques. This short exercise is followed by a project such as a platter or shallow bowl using dry wood. This might be a good time to discuss Band saw safety if you use a band saw to cut the platter/shallow blank into a circle. This session also introduces using a chuck to hold the work in an expansion foot. Bandsaw safety and use is explained while preparing a blank for turning.

Session 4 Curriculum

Tool Techniques for Turning Platters & Bowls

Notes On Turning Platters and Bowls
Ikebana Flower Vases

The Artistic Lazy Susan

Turning a Contemporary Laminated Lamp

Notes On Turning Clocks

Miniature Stool

24” Three Legged Stool


Turning Green Wood; It is now time for the students to experience the fun and pleasure found when turning green wood. Projects include turning a bowl or natural edge bowl from green wood. Before beginning this project try doing a couple of tool technique practice exercises. One of the best exercises for improving bowl gouge skills, is to mount a blank of wood on a screw chuck and just waste it away practicing shaping the outside of a bowl using both the push cut and the pull cut. Another good exercise is to mount a waste blank on the lathe and practice hollowing it with a bowl gouge with a side grind (David Ellsworth grind, Celtic grind, Irish grind, etc.) and one with the traditional grind that has a small micro bevel to enable it to under cut the rim or to make tight curves on the inside of bowls. A discussion on finding and preparing green wood for turning should involve proper chain saw safety and how to prepare and preserve the green wood for turning.

Session 5 Curriculum Turning Green Wood

Bowl Turning Fundamentals


Discovering & Exploring Shape and Form; This session is intended for intermediate to advanced students. Short exercises will help the student to develop a sense
for what makes a good shape and form. Basic principles of design will be discussed with student participation and feed back through class critiques of their work. If time allows surface ornamentation such as coloring and texturing may be added to the skills being taught. Student participation is a critical element of this session.

Curriculum Discovering Shape and Form

Discovering & Exploring the Wonders of Shape And Form


Miscellaneous; This section is chock full of miscellaneous handouts including my thoughts on teaching turning with tips on teaching young turners and a handout on turning cabriole legs and one on turning miniatures and other small scale turnings.

Alan Leland's Tips and Thoughts on Teaching

Woodturning Tips for Teaching Young Turners

Projects For Young Turners

Turning For Furniture, The Cabriole Leg

Turning Miniatures And Other Small Scale Items

Turning a Salt and Pepper Mill

Make and Grind a 3/8" Box Scraper/Skew Tool


Sharpening For Woodturners; This session can be taught at anytime. I have placed it at the end of the manual to make it easily accessible for quick reference. I have also included my notes for doing a demonstration on Sharpening.

Alan Leland's Thoughts on Sharpening

Sharpening for Woodturners

Demonstration On Sharpening And Tool Techniques

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