LaymarCrafts Woodturning Books


Woodturning Masterclass is one of those Books that is both good and bad for Woodturning, the idea of a Photographer meeting fellow Woodturners and giving us an insight into who they are, how they work and what they produce is perhaps a unique concept however when the Photographer gets this close to a Woodturner his private world is bound to be revealed and therefore there are pictures here that show many instances of poor safety standards being employed, and that is why in part this is a bad book.

The Safety issue is real and it is relevant to everybody, it should not be ignored but more importantly we should not record bad practices and then publish them. I accept what we do in Private is our own decision and therefore our responsibility but we should never encourage others to follow suit.

Twelve Woodturners are represented here from almost all four corners of the United Kingdom, with such names as you would expect from Anthony Bryant to David Woodward, Photographed at Work in there various Workshops, Sheds or Out Buildings with a Gallery of finished work.

Each of the Turners is given twelve pages of exposure which starts with Black & White Picture, often candid and showing the other side of the individual and his family, this is then followed by a potted history of the person and it is interesting to read how each of these Turners started of in Woodturning and the path it has led them down.

With two of the twelve pages gone the remaining ten are split six of Photographs showing the various stages of making, often outlandish sized pieces, and finishing a typical piece, here there are only pictures and the most basic of description, you are left to sift through the results and come to your own conclusion as to the full extent of what is going on and being done.

It is interesting to note the various Tools and Lathes these Turners use, the fact that some are more tidier than others and that Shavings and Dust is in plentiful supply. There are also tucked away many useful sightings of "Gadgets" we could all benefit from.

The final four pages are always given over to a gallery of pieces from each of the Turners and many of these will be instantly recognisable as the Turners Trademark Pieces so often seen in other Books and in Magazines. There are no prizes for guessing what is included in for instance the Jules Tattersall Gallery or Melvyn Firmager's, Ray Key's and Bert Marsh's as well.

This, apart from the poor safety aspect, is an interesting Book and one that would be a benefit, for inspirational purposes, for any Woodturner who wishes to progress his or her Woodturning.

Woodturning Masterclass by Tony Boase
Published by Guild of Master Craftsman Publication Ltd.
ISBN 0-946819-84-X

Some time back I came across an Exhibition of Kaleidoscopes, some of which were assembled from Wood with many, if not all, of the elements Turned from various Exotic Woods with a wide selection of other Materials also incorporated.

Many Books exist on the subject of the Kaleidoscopes and The Kaleidoscope Book was selected as my purchase for no other reason than it was the better one available at the time from my local Book Store, having said that it has fulfilled its purpose and presented me with all the information I needed to design and make a Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscopes offer the Woodturner an opportunity to diversify from the "standard" formats associated with Woodturning, giving an opportunity to adopt and develop new methods, use different materials and create something unique in every sense.

The Optics and Mechanics of the Kaleidoscope can span from the Very Simple to the most Complex, and therefore the opportunity for any Woodturner, whether a basic Hobbyist through to the most proficient exponent of the Art, to make such an instrument is possible.

The Book itself is divided up into 5five basic sections with a couple of pages of interesting information at the end, not least an invitation to join "The Brewster Society" a Kaleido-Club for Designers, Collectors and Lovers of Kaleidoscopes.

The History of the Kaleidoscope, which was invented in 1813 and Patented in 1816, is the start of the first section of this Book and continues onto the Main Components of any Scope with "Viewing" concluding the section.

In the Contemporary Gallery, which forms section two, we are shown the work of twenty-three Artists each with his or her (and sometimes his and her) distinctive design and approach clearly shown, a number of these use Wood as the base material and you can instantly see the potential for the Woodturner in many of the Designs whether they are in Wood or one of the many other materials used.

The next two sections cover The Principles of Design and Basic Construction Techniques which are if you like the more important sections for anyone wishing to make a Kaleidoscope, as it is the Optics that are the important element what we as Woodturners put round this is purely supportive of the Optics and decorative.

Here you learn what type and how many Mirrors you will require, what to view through and what to put in the Kaleidoscope to get a pattern of your choice and design.

The final section of this Book is taken up by eleven Kaleidoscope Projects of various Designs and Difficulty from numerous materials, including one using Wood, these projects are well illustrated with written instructions and a complete Materials list.

As an introduction to Kaleidoscopes I found this Book more than just useful and it certainly wetted my  appetite for making a Turned Scope, initially of a simple design, but with sufficient information given for constructing one of the more complex designs possible.

The Kaleidoscope Book by Thom Boswell
Published by Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
ISBN 0-8069-8370-1

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Last update 16 July 2007
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