LaymarCrafts Woodturning Books


Both 0f these Books, Decorative Techniques for Woodturners and the more specilised Woodturning Jewellery are by Hilary Bowen.

These Books cover different aspects of Woodturning but are clearly related when it comes to many of the Techniques and Materials used.

As you will see the Book Content is often duplicated and therefore you only really need the one applicable to the type of Woodturning you wish to pursue.

Decorative Techniques for Woodturners first came to my notice by way of a review in one of the Magazines back in 1996 and the Title alone was sufficient to make me read on, as I already new this would be my next purchase, as it related to the very subject that I was most interested in at the time.

The Book covers the majority of the Techniques you can see incorporated on Turned Items as you Browse through the Web's Woodturning Gallery's or visit Exhibitions, with a few more besides, Hilary covers the use of Metal (Rod, Tubing, Molten and Laminated), Colouring, Wood-Composites, Burning, Resins, Texturing and Carving, in total 15 different Techniques are detailed with over 44 step by step Projects to follow.

Each Technique is described in simple terms and supported by a series of quality Pictures and Illustrations that highlight the key areas and procedures, alongside this, each section has a list of "Essential Equipment" and "Recommended Equipment" which is a nice concept that immediately highlights those Techniques you can or cannot tackle without having to purchasing any special tools.

Through out the Book in each of the sections there are various "Hints & Tips" applicable to the procedure or method being described, these often suggesting alternative methods that can be used if a certain item is not available to you, again this is a nice concept and leads the reader into developing his (or her) own way of working rather than just copying.

The first thing I done when I received my copy of the Book was to list out all the various types of Wire, Metal, Inlays etc. etc. that I would need if I was to attempt any of these Techniques, and as I traveled around I would at every opportunity look out for any of the listed items as I visited potential suppliers (as opposed to the normal Woodturning stops) or found a Re-Cycled Source.

Like many Books whole sections of this have been taken and reproduced in the Monthly Magazines, having bought the Book to find that a Magazine then reproduces parts, not so much to inform but to entice the reader to buy the complete works, means I am paying for the same information twice or even more times.

There is so much in the 150 pages of this Book that to describe any of them here would not do it justice, suffice to say that if you want to add too or Embellish your Woodturning in any way then this Book has a wealth of ideas and should have most of the answers.

The verdict on this Book is, if this is your style of Woodturning then you should obtain a copy, if you believe Woodturning should be only about Wood then it is not really the Book for you.

Decorative Techniques for Woodturners by Hilary Bowen.
Published by Guild of Master Craftsman.   ISBN 1 86108 015 8.

I purchased Woodturning Jewellery only quite recently, mainly because I have been asked on numerous occasions if I in fact did make items of Jewellery, to which my response has always been a "NO". so when the Christmas List's were doing the rounds this Book ended up on mine.

As I found the Authors other Book to be so useful I thought this Book would also give me a better insight into Jewellery, however as I had not been able to have a prior look between the covers (Why is it that the majority of outlets for these Books always have them sealed up?) I was not sure what to expect. 

The first thing that became apparent was that many of the Techniques detailed in Hillary's other Book are here also, I cannot say repeated because this Book was published first, and as a result there are whole sections that are duplicated, or with very minor changes (some obviously changed for the better for the later publication), across the two Books.

The format is very much the same with the useful "Essential's" and "Recommended" information at the start of each section and the "Tips" although here they are referred to as "Note's" each with a number (Chapter + Serial i.e. 6.2 etc.).

The Jewellery itself is fairly ingenious in Design and Concept and many of the ideas and techniques could just as easily be applied to other forms of Turning and in fact I have used the "Bangle" technique to Turn some Circular (what else) Picture Frames.

The subjects covered includes the previously mentioned Bangles, plus Brooches, Earrings, Necklaces and Rings, and within the limitations of the Lathe and the Material available it is amazing the variations that can be Turned around a single theme.

A great deal of what is included here is related to Miniature Turning and that requires a certain amount of, not so much special but smaller Tools and Chucking methods and you need to understand that before you decide whether this form of Turning is for you.

There are various Tips on making your own Specilised Turning Tools, and her idea of using "Masonry Nails" certainly works as I have tried these out and for small detail work, having come across the idea  some years ago and they are not only cheap but can be really useful. 

But the suggestion for using re-shaped Screwdrivers is, in my opinion, not so clever as without knowing what type of Steel the Screwdriver is made of you cannot be sure of its strength or it's ability to hold a sharp edge. Let us not forget Chisels are for Wood and Screwdrivers are for Turning Screws and it is best kept that way.

A book for the Specialist Turner wanting to make Jewellery Oh! and by the way, when asked! my answer is still "NO".

Woodturning Jewellery by Hilary Bowen.
Published by The Guild of Master Craftsmen.
   ISBN0 946819 83 1

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Last update 16 July 2007
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