Product Reviews
and Other Comments

Independent Product Reviews: In the August 2006 issue of "More Woodturning", Fred Holder reviewed our Volume III DVD Video, "Bowl Turning: Step by Step". The article is reprinted here, with permission.

This new 2-disk DVD Video from Steven D. Russell takes you from the log yard where Steve cuts up a log to obtain a bowl blank through the rough turning and then all of the steps in final turning the dry rough turned bowl.

Disk one shows Steve doing the necessary steps to convert a piece of green wood into a bowl blank including chain sawing instructions and the use of the bandsaw to round the blank for mounting on the lathe. Steve discusses and illustrates different methods of mounting the blank on the lathe and shows how to use a center saver to core out the center of the blank to reduce the size of the pile of shavings in your shop. He discusses drying options, proper lathe speeds, gives his rules for roughouts, and provides a number of useful safety tips.

Then in Disk 2 he takes you through the processes of remounting the rough turned bowl onto the lathe, finish turning the outside of the bowl including the addition of decorative design elements to make the bowl more attractive. He then finish turns the inside of the bowl and shows the proper cuts with the gouge and proper shear scraping techniques for the interior of bowls.

Steve goes through the complete power sanding operation for both inside and outside of the bowl. Then he goes into some detail on completing the foot of the bowl. He discusses various finish options for the bowl and also spends some time discussing design and form review for the bowl being turned.

He has a very good section on sharpening your turning tools with jigs. He points out that we all need jigs to get the best cutting edge on our turning tools, regardless of how competent of a turner we are.

This DVD is self produced by Steve and his wife and is very professionally done. There are good close up shots where they are needed.

I have to recommend this DVD for anyone planning to turn bowls from wet wood or from dry wood either.

Here are some more comments about "Bowl Turning: Step by Step" from the Spring/Summer 2006 edition of The Woodturners Catalog, Craft Supplies USA.

In this two-disc set, professional woodturner and demonstrator, Steven Russell, shares his extensive knowledge of woodturning. These professionally produced videos teach you everything you need to know to succeed in woodturning in an easy-to-follow format with frequent close-ups that allow you to see every detail of the turning process. From harvesting green wood, cutting blanks, drying options as well as bowl coring, disc one covers everything you need to know pertaining to wood preparation. Disc two covers chucking options, turning techniques, sharpening, decorative techniques and many helpful tips and tricks. Steven effectively uses diagrams throughout the videos to explain techniques and procedures in a step-by-step process.

Highly recommended.

You may obtain additional information on Bowl Turning: Step by Step or order your own copy.

In the August 2005 issue of "More Woodturning", Fred Holder reviewed our Volume II DVD Video, "Turning Elegant Writing Pens". The article is reprinted here, with permission.

Steve Russell did several articles for publication in "More Woodturning" several years ago. He had one I thought was especially suitable for "Woodturning Magazine" in England and sent it to the editor, Mark Baker. As a follow on, Steve wrote a large number of articles for "Woodturning Magazine". I had also encouraged Steve to write a book with all of his writings and postings to the newsgroup (rec.crafts.woodturning). He decided to do his book as an ebook and, some time back, published Volume I.

When we were visiting at the Utah Woodturning Symposium, Steve asked me if I would consider reviewing his Volume II, which also included a comprehensive DVD video on pen turning, plus some helpful tips, like sharpening bandsaw blades and sharpening tools on the Tormek sharpening system. The video itself is well worth the price of the combo pack!!

In the video, Steve uses an Americana pen kit that is available from Craft Supplies USA and takes you through the process of selecting material to make the pen and briefly discusses the various materials available. For this pen, Steve chose to use buckeye burl that had been stabilized. He then took us through the process of drilling on a drill press, gluing in the brass tubes, trimming the blanks to square the ends, mounting on the pen mandrel and turning to size. He finished the pen with an application of sanding sealer, followed up EEE Polish and Myland's Friction Polish, which was followed by an application of Renaissance Wax. He says that the Renaissance Wax gives you an excellent finish that doesn't mark with handling.

A very good presentation on making the Americana style of pen and a good basis to people wishing to get into pen turning. It takes about 70 minutes to view this work.

In the combo pack was included the ebook Volume II of Steve's articles on woodturning. Articles contained on this CD-ROM ebook include: Air Drying Green Wood, Buffing Your Work, CA Finish for Pens, How to Find Free Wood, Tips for Better Boiling, Shear Scraping Techniques, Turning Flower Frogs, Turning Mini-Kaleidoscopes, Build a Bulldog Rolling Cart, Choosing Turning Tools, Dry Grinder Sharpening, Applying Oil Finishes, Processing Logs into Blanks, Bandsaw Blade Resharpening, Paper Bag Drying, Chainsaws and Bandsaws, Turning a Platter with Inlaid Rim, Turn A Galileo Thermometer stand, and Organizing Your Small Components.

All told, this CD-ROM contains more than 60,000 words and 450 pictures. A lot of reading.

You may obtain additional information on Volume 2 Combo or order your own copy.

Safety Note: Always follow all manufacturers safety instructions before working with your lathe, or any of the tools or products you may use. If you are unsure about any operation, obtain competent professional instruction before proceeding. Use and wear all necessary safety devices during turning and observe safe woodturning practices to prevent accident or injury.

Steven D. Russell is a professional studio woodturner, teacher and writer. He has written numerous articles for international woodturning magazines, which have been published in more than 78 countries around the world. Steve has demonstrated in numerous cities across the United States. His studio, Eurowood Werks, specializes in bowls, platters and hollow forms with unique visual and tactile treatments.

Steve is also the current and founding President of the Lone Star Woodturners Association, Inc., an AAW member chapter. The LSWA is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching and demonstrating the art and craft of woodturning.

Steve is also a featured writer for the Guild of Master Craftsman's "Woodturning" magazine, published in London England. Woodturning magazine is the world's leading magazine for woodturners. Look for his articles covering technical topics, or project based articles in an upcoming issue.