Hardy's Handful of Helpful Hints for Woodturners

Rub the bevel.

The projection of your rubbed bevel, from cutting point to heel of the bevel, should be in the direction generally opposite to the direction of the cut.

While the bevel must rub, do not put a lot of bevel pressure on the wood. Just ensure that it touches the wood from cutting edge to heel.

Rub the bevel.

Be ready to cut wood when you are ready to cut wood.

Except for roughing with a roughing gouge, do not cut with a gouge or skew straight into the wood. It becomes a ‘scrape’ at that point and not a ‘cut.’

The gouge is nearly always cut with the tool rolled over about 45 degrees.

Adjust the tool position on the wood until it "feels good." If the cut does not feel good you are not doing something just right. Either (1) the tool is dull (2) the speed is too slow, or (3) the bevel is not rubbing. It is usually number 1 or 3. Number 2, increased speed, is mostly a matter of preference or comfort level, but can lead to a smoother cut.

Rub the bevel.

Cut with your body.

Adjust the tool rest as close as possible to the wood. Frequent adjusting is needed in roughing.

Use the tool rest as a hand rest.

Rub the bevel.

When making beads with the skew, cut with the point.

For faceplate work, do not run the tool off the wood. Always cut the edge with the tool coming toward the wood. Otherwise you    pull off the edge fibers.

For cross grain mounted faceplate work (normal bowl mount) cut the outside from small diameter to large diameter. Cut the    inside from large diameter to small diameter. This ensures that you cut the fibers against a firm backing for a crisp cut.

Never scrape the inside of a bowl side from the middle out. Always scrape toward the center. It is OK to scrape straight         across the bottom in either direction.

Rule of thumb: Bowl bottom diameter should be about 1/3 rd of the diameter of the bowl at the widest point. A much wider bottom will make the bowl look heavy and chunky.

Rule of absolute necessity: Rub the bevel.

Make final inside and outside bowl cuts with a very sharp, small gouge without coming off the wood from start of cut at the bottom or top edge all the way through the opposite end of the cut.

Do not have any straight parts to the side of a bowl. It breaks up the flow of the curve.

A wide rim surface on a bowl shows off the wood and "presents" the bowl’s contents.

Cut coves with gouges and beads with skews.

Use a gouge no larger than half the width of your intended cove for cutting the cove.

Rub the bevel.

Rub the bevel.

Rub the bevel!