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May 2007: Inside This Issue

  • Website Update
  • Blog Reminder
  • May Website Special
  • Questions & Answers
  • Hot Tip of the Month
  • Turning Tip of the Month
  • Subscription Information

A big Texas welcome to all of our new U.S. and International subscribers! This is the sixth edition of Lathe Talk, a free monthly newsletter (e-zine) for subscribers of Steve Russell’s “Woodturning Videos Plus” woodturning website. This newsletter will be delivered on or about the first of each month to the email address you indicated on your sign-up form. Back issues of this newsletter are available to subscribers here to subscribers.

Lathe Talk will offer tips and tricks to make your woodturning easier and more productive. I’ll also show you ways to save money in your studio, so you can stretch your hard earned money. In addition, we will periodically offer subscribers only specials on our videos and e-books. If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a favor by forwarding it to them. If a friend DID forward this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting our subscription page.

Woodturning Videos Plus Website Update

We have been busy in the studio recently, shooting our new woodturning sharpening videos which will be available in the near future on our website. When completed, my sharpening series will contain videos on:

  • Freehand sharpening on dry grinders
  • Using the Kelton sharpening jig
  • Using the Oneway Wolverine sharpening jig
  • Using the Woodcut Tru-Grind sharpening jig
  • Using the Tormek sharpening jig

We are also considering producing videos on using a belt sander to sharpen your woodturning tools and using the new Jool Tool sharpening system to sharpen your woodturning tools.

Woodturning Videos Plus Blog: For our new subscribers, we have a free Blog/RSS feed on our website. You can keep up with any changes made to the website including new product releases, new additions or updates to the education library, e-zine mail out dates, special news and much more. It's easy to subscribe to our blog. For additional information on what a Blog is and how it operates, check out What is RSS?

May Website Special – For Lathe Talk Subscribers Only

Receive an additional $5.00 discount off my Volume #3 Double DVD video on bowl turning. For the month of May 2007, you can save an additional $5.00 off the current sale price of $40.00 on any Volume #3 "Bowl Turning, Step-By-Step" Double DVD order. With your special discount, a copy of my two bowl turning videos will only cost $35.00, plus postage (and taxes only if you live in Texas). That's a savings of $5.00 off the current sale price of $40.00 and $10.00 off the regular price of $45.00. You can preview the bowl turning video on our Video Preview page.

To access this special offer, enter the coupon code 220 on the shopping cart page in the coupon box area. Click the "recalculate" button and your discount will show on the screen. Offer ends May 31, 2007 at 12:01 midnight, CST. Additional subscriber only discounts and specials will be offered in future editions of Lathe Talk.

Questions and Answers

Lathe Talk will feature questions from subscribers about woodturning in general, the website, my studio, research and development testing in my studio and more. If you have questions, please email me. Question: I've been enjoying turning some plastic pen blanks lately and I would like to start casting my own polyester resin pen and bottle stopper blanks, but I'm not sure where to purchase everything I need. Is there a one stop shop where I can get the supplies I need? Where do you purchase your casting materials? I live in a rural area in Oregon, so I need to order either by phone, or on the Internet, as there are no suppliers near me. Thanks for your help! P.S. What's the best way to get a high gloss finish on my plastic pen barrels? L. D. – Oregon.

Answer: Hello L.D. and thanks for your question. Casting your own pen and bottle stopper blanks is lots of fun and it allows you to customize the color and look to suit your personal taste and style. It can also be quite a bit less expensive over the long run, than purchasing plastic blanks from a supplier.

You can get polyester resins, colors and luster powders from Douglas and Sturgess or Mr. Fiberglass. Douglas and Sturgess carries lots of liquid and powder colors, as well as a large amount of powder lusters. For the molds you will need, look for Environmental Tech Resin Molds.

You can also get some luster powders at a local arts and crafts store like Michael's. I have gotten some really nice mica powders and pearl luster powders at Michael's. Michaels also has a 40% off on "one item" coupon in their sale paper usually, which can save you some money on your casting supplies. Lots of other arts and crafts stores carry a few things you will need to start casting, but the best one stop source I have found is Douglas and Sturgess, or Mr. Fiberglass.

Getting a high gloss finish on your plastic barrels is a snap! I wrote an article on this very subject. There is another article on pen turning that also discusses high gloss finishes. These two articles will give you my protocol for obtaining an ultra high gloss finish on plastics and similar materials. Take care and best wishes in all of your woodturning endeavors!

Question: I've stopped by the Thursday night Turning Chat on Wood Central and found that you are the new moderator for the chat – Congratulations! How is the chat organized and what topics do you typically cover? Thanks J. B. – California

Answer: Hello J.B. I just started moderating the chat last week and we are in the process of changing the format, based on user suggestions. Our new format includes a 15 – 20 minute meet and greet before the chat begins, followed by a 15 minute show and tell discussion with photos, of a members recent turning. The show and tell can cover completed works where the member wants a critique, or on an unfinished piece where the member needs some assistance with a particular technique, or procedure.

Following the 15-minute show and tell, we spend the next 45 minutes on our primary woodturning related topic, which varies each week. Previous topics have covered:

  1. Approaching galleries and how to sell your work in a gallery
  2. How to price your work for retail, wholesale and consignment and how to survey the market to see what your competitors are charging for similar work

There is also an optional post chat wrap-up following the official chat that lasts 15 – 30 minutes or longer, where we can continue the discussions, or open it up to any woodturning related topic. Check out Wood Central and the Turning Chat for more information. Take care and all the best to you and yours!

Hot Tip of the Month - Getting More Value From Your Bowl Blanks

With a Kelton Center Saver system, you can core out the centers of your bowls as a solid block of wood. This saved core can then be remounted and turned into additional bowls. To view the full article, click the link below.

The Kelton Center Saver System:
Getting More Value from Your Bowl Blanks

Turning Tip Of The Month – Micro Turning Tools

Micro turning tools are very useful for many tasks on the lathe. Learn the benefits of these tools and how they can become an essential tool in your woodturning studio. To view the full article, click the link below.

Micro Turning Tools: Elegant Tools for Fine Detail

Closing Thoughts

Thanks to all of our new and existing subscribers! Lathe Talk's membership continues to grow at an explosive pace and is now being distributed to woodturners in many parts of the world. If you have any suggestions or topics for Lathe Talk, or any other comments, please let me know.

Also, please let your woodturning friends know about my newsletter and encourage them to subscribe. Working together, we can make Lathe Talk a valuable educational resource for woodturners around the world. Take care and let me know if I can help you with any of your woodturning questions or challenges.


Copyright © 2007 - Steve Russell,
All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of images, thumbnails, descriptions or editorial content without written permission is strictly prohibited.

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