In today’s world of growing and ongoing stress, wood turning allows for a time to relax and to enjoy a time of recreation without all the tensions that surround us on a daily basis. Also, it permits a time of creation in what for many has become an existence of familiarity with too many things in the rat race of competitive business. To put it simply, wood turning is a hobby that opens the world of both recreation and creativity to a stressed and tired population.
One of the great stresses that inflict us in the western world with our unpredictable economy is the uncertainty of income and the need for recreation without undo cost. For woodworkers in general, the costs keep coming in the sheer rising value of lumber. Wood turners do not have this problem because they like to work with local woods in forms that are very inexpensive and sometimes free. While a cord of firewood will keep many a hobby turner busy for more than a year, it costs less money than a traditional woodworker would spend to build a table or a luthier to make a guitar.
Many wood lathes are available for less than the cost of a table saw and basic tools may be had for less than the cost of a couple of good table saw blades. All that is left is a means to sharpen those tools and most woodworkers will already have the necessary grinder. Safety goggles should be worn by woodworkers on the lathe as well as on all other power tools.
With sharp woodturning tools in hand, there is now the question of approaching the tool. Working with a wood lathe is different from other power tools in the woodworking shop. In most cases wood it manoeuvred, often awkwardly, into a moving blade or cutter. This is an inherent danger and stress producer in its own right. At the wood lathe, the opposite happens.
Wood is mounted to the lathe and made to turn. The tool rest of the lathe is placed so that any branch stubs or other protrusions from the wood miss it as the wood rotates. Otherwise the wood simply can not move. As the tools are held in the turner’s hands, the cutting edge advances to the wood while the hands remain behind the tool rest. Danger is removed from the process and stress leaves.
Finally, there is the difficulty that most woodworkers face concerning the need to produce a high quality item from expensive woods. Woodturners have no such worries unless they have gone out of their way to purchase expensive woods for a project that they are sure they can achieve. Practise with inexpensive woods is easy, fun and stress free. Besides, many times a wood turner starts with fire wood and at the worst is left with a piece of fine kindling.
With all those stresses removed, there is now the opportunity for a wood turner to settle down to some peaceful moments of creating a lovely piece of wood work in the midst of great recreation.