The Treen Shop

Beginners Page


To give something back to woodturning, a pursuit that has been very good to me, I am implementing these beginners pages. I hope you find them helpful.

Beginning woodturners have my permission and encouragement to copy my designs for educational purposes with the following limitations:

I do not want to see obvious copies of my work in a gallery or shop

with someone else's name on them.

Otherwise feel free to use them to educate yourself about form and design and to improve your technique.

Teachers of woodturning have similar permissions.

I have a great deal of design information available and am quite willing to share this information. If you wish to take advantage of this offer, send me an email with your name, location, the item number of the piece that interests you plus a description of the information that you would like to have. I will then be glad to email you what I have.

Any time that I learn to make a new piece, I write down the turning sequence. I then transfer that information to my personal computer. I suggest that you do the same if you have a pc. A year later, that information can be invaluable. I will make some of these instructions available as well if you are interested in them -- just ask. A caveat: sometimes another's procedures just do not work for me. You may find this to be true with my procedures. In that case, don't use them. Instead, treat them as a starting point to figure out your own approach to making a particular item.

Copying has an up side and a down side. The up side is that it provides a definite goal and something concrete to shoot for. And, hopefully, the design being copied has good proportions and form -- but there is no guarantee of this. The down side is that the one doing the copying is unaware of the designer's intent and can get caught up in adhering slavishly to measurements. And slavish adherence to measurements can lead to an item that is technically correct but artistically dead. The sooner one is able to create his or her own designs the better the articles will be and the sooner your own style will emerge.

Click on one of the following links to visit additional pages. Be sure to visit the downloads page where you can find some drawings, a box design aid in the form of a MS Excel spreadsheet, and box turning instructions as MS Word documents.


Useful Devices And Jigs


Finishing Information


Turned Box Designs





Useful References

The books and videos by Richard Raffan are extraordinarily well done and I recommend them highly.

"Turning Wood with Richard Raffan", Taunton Press, 2001

"Turning Bowls with Richard Raffan", Taunton Press, 2002

"Turning Boxes with Richard Raffan", Taunton Press, 1998

"Turning Projects", Taunton Press, 1991

"Turned-Bowl Design", Taunton Press, 1987


This project book by Keith Rowley contains projects for all levels of turning experience except those most advanced.

"Woodturning Projects", Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd, 1996


For those interested in turning boxes, the following design book by Chris Stott is a good source of ideas. It is not a technique book. For box-turning technique, see Richard Raffan's book above. (I never got Chris's procedure for stacked boxes to work for me. So I developed my own with valuable input from Englishman Ray Key.)

"Turned Boxes 50 Designs", Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd, 2002


The following book by Mike Darlow has some good historical information as well as some quite useful information for turners who are a bit more advanced.

"Woodturning Methods", Fox Chapel Publishing Co. Inc., 1999