LaymarCrafts Woodturning Books


I obtained my copy of Woodturning Wizardry as a part of a buy 2 and get a third book free offer and took this opportunity to have a Book I would perhaps otherwise never have purchased.

I was, like most Woodturners, already familiar with some of David Springett's work and I was therefore expecting something a bit different from this Book and I was not  disappointed.

With just over 230 pages this is a serious Book but what it has in quantity it lacks somewhat in presentation which apart from a Gallery of 6 pages in the middle of the Book which are in Colour every other page is blessed with Black and White Photos of which there are many.

The only other criticism I have is the repetition of the same Drawing for one of the Special Tools required, which appears three times in all and various other items are also repeated, I do believe a chapter on the Special Tools would have been a far better approach at the same time showing the reader exactly what will be required in the way of Tools.

The Book breaks you in gently to this Form of Turning, for what appears to be almost impossible objects, by starting Simple and progressively through 20 Projects getting evermore Complex and therefore this is definitely a Book that you start at the beginning and months later you may get to the end.

Apart from a good understanding of Wood and Woodturning you will require 3 Additional Skills if you are ever to succeed here, Engineering in particular Metalwork, Mathematics and a book on Trigonometry may also be required here, then you will need plenty of Patience.

If you do not have Engineering Skills and/or the necessary Equipment then you could find this a Hurdle as you will need a number of Special Tools (David prefers to use modified Wood Chisels but you will get through a good number) of less than straight forward shapes plus a carrier. Although I see that some of the Tools in the Book are now commercially available.

The Jigs he uses are less of a problem as most are made from Wood and are Turned on the Lathe, however they do need to be accurate and therefore a good deal of Turning Skill is required.

One Jig in particular would be of interest to any Woodturner, the Ball Turning Jig in either it's basic wooden construction form as detailed in the Book or as the more sophisticated metal version as seen in one of the Photos covering this section, this has numerous uses beyond the items in this Book.

Mathematics plays a big part in all of the Projects and although only half a page is taken up with Formulae, marking out is a constant subject with words like datum point, primary points, center of the Sphere, equidistant points and intersections etc. abound get them wrong and who knows what will result.

Patience will be required, these projects are long term and you will not finish them with a single session in the Workshop, but the results will I'm sure be rewarding, I assume this fact because I must admit apart from making a couple of the Jigs and Tools for other Projects I have not made any of the Projects one day maybe I will but not yet.

Great Book but not for the Faint Hearted David Springett has to be admired and if nothing else, I now know how you get the Wooden Arrow with two captive rings through the Small Holes in a Wine Bottle. If you like a Real Challenge then this is the Book to give you it.

Visit Dave's Web Site for Information on all his books   >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Woodturning Wizardry by David Springett
Published by Guild of Master Craftsman
    ISBN 0 946819 38 6British

Bert Marsh Woodturner is the only Book in my collection that has the Turner's name as the Title, does the content justify this Brashness? in my opinion maybe but there are others who could do the same equally as well, if the Book had been just a Gallery of his work then definitely Yes, but the "Fill Chapters" detract, with one exception, from the Art.

There is no question that Bert is a Fine Turner and scores with his approach to Form and Shape and Chapter 2 of his Book cover's this subject under the heading "Philosophy" and this is perhaps the best writing on the subject relative to Woodturning I have come across to date.

Walking down the Street (or even through the Graveyard) will take on a whole new meaning after reading this Chapter, so do not venture out without your sketch pad or Camera again.

His use of everyday items to highlight Shape and Form is interesting, Pyramids (Stand on your Head for this one)  and Crocuses I can see but The Parthenon needs a bit more of an understanding on my part. Likewise the Domes of Brighton's Royal Pavilion are fine but the Gravestones? It does however make the reader "Think" about shape and Bert's thought pattern is a good example to follow, forget Pottery and Wood look around you open up your mind.

Two Gallery's of Work are presented in the Book and these take up 50% of the 140+ Pages, again the pictures are of superb quality but lack the scale of size that I have already mentioned in earlier reviews. It will also not go unnoticed that Bert signs the bottom of all his work and the signature is as that shown on the cover, but I'm not sure that we needed to see this aspect of his work so many times. 

Do not expect a vast array of Shapes from these two Gallery's they are more a Show of variations based on a small  number of Basic Shape but adapted to bring the best out of the piece of Timber used.

Bert's Style is easily recognised, although much copied, and you start to wonder what was the original influence, was it a Crocus, part of the Pavilion at Brighton or a Gravestone.

The two Chapters between the Gallery's are titled "Timber" and then "Techniques" neither of these are unique in any way and too short to be of real use, apart from the many pictures of finished pieces, these pages detracted from the Books main content. Any book with the Name of the Turner as the Title I feel should show his (or her) work and leave the rest to others.

This Book is worth every penny if only for Chapter 2, the extra value comes with over 70 pages of inspirational Pictures of Woodturning by a fine Woodturner.

Bert Marsh Woodturner.
Published by Guild of Master Craftsman
   ISBN 0 946819 51 3

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