Video Tips


Cliches are cliche for a reason. Everyone has heard "a picture's worth a thousand words." Well, video can be even more helpful. As I refine my website Tips section (time permitting), there are a number of videos and projects that I intend to post from hollowing, to turning finials, to turning winged bowls. There are other video tips like turning wallhangings, tool making and specialty tool sharpening that I plan to develop. To that end, I have two YouTube channels - AustralianBurls and Jim Syvertsen Woodworking - established to meet my objectives. So please check back. I have a LOT I want to add.

Turning a Hollow Form

I love the challenge of turning hollow forms, especially forms from small cutoffs that might otherwise go unused or be discarded. As with larger forms, I always turn twice, allowing sufficient time after rough turning to air dry or drying/stress relieving in my homemade kiln, then re-turning to final form. Below is a small Gummy Yorrel Burl vessel I turned. I was excited about the form and had merely planned to finish shaping the bottom of the vessel, then parting and reverse turning a rim. But being incapable of letting a small flaw pass, I chose to take that "one last cut." Sound familiar?

Well, the end result of that one last cut is shown in the second video. But as I remark, a broken piece is not in vain if one learns a valuable lesson. I this case, the lesson I learned was not to avoid taking that last cut, but that I could have been a bit better in my execution of undercutting the top of the vessel and/or that I need to make another tool (with perhaps a different shape) to more easily access that section of the vessel and achieve desired wall thickness in the top third because that has great bearing on the execution of the bottom two-thirds or so of the vessel, specifically uniformity of wall thickness (which is always the goal).