The Frugal Woodturner
Make and Modify all the Tools and Equipment You Need
by Ernie Conover

215 x 280mm

Published by Fox Chapel Publishing Co. Inc., East Petersburg PA USA

NOW $23.00

ISBN 978-1-56523-434-5

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As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 153

If you are hesitating about taking up woodturning or you feel that you are being held back in your development in the craft because of cost, this book offers a host of interesting ideas.

Ernie Conover is one of America's foremost woodworking educators. He is a regular contributor of articles to woodworking magazines and a highly experienced teacher. His family owns and operates Conover Workshops which offers a range of courses in woodworking and boasts graduates from all over the US and Canada.

The Frugal Woodturner covers topics such as Choosing the Right Lathe and Finding Good Tools without Breaking the Bank as well as Sharpening, Finding Wood without Spending Lots of Money and Holding Wood on the Lathe.

Each chapter provides general information in a concise and easily read format, plus notes on innovations that can assist with both saving money and increasing enjoyment of woodturning.

For example, the chapter on tool care includes a description of a home made sharpening system while the chapter that deals with holding wood on the lathe contains notes not only on the making of a number of different styles of chuck but also their use.

The book ends with a description of Simple, Inexpensive Finishes and examples of complete woodturning set-ups based on three budgets - Tight, Medium and Large.

Since The Frugal Woodturner is aimed at helping woodturners get more out of the time they spend in their workshops, it should appeal to everyone from the beginner to the more advanced 'turner.

The internationally renowned woodturner, Dale Nish, says of it that 'anyone wanting to invest in a wonderful and fulfilling hobby will find this book a gold mine of information'.

Photos: Colour



Chapter 1: Choosing The Right Lathe
- Lathe Types, Small to Large
- A Brief History of the Lathe
- Saving Money: Making Your Own Spring Pole Lathe
- Sizing Up a Lathe, New or Used
- Saving Money: Building a Shopmade Lathe Stand

Chapter 2: Finding Good Tools Without Breaking The Bank
- The Three Families of Turning Tools
- Tools for Spindle Turning
- A Short Course in Steelmaking
- Tools for Faceplate Turning
- Tools for Spindle and Faceplate Work
- Saving Money: Grinding Your Own Scrapers
- Saving Money: Making a Chatter Tool
- Saving Money: Making a Scraper From a Screwdriver
- Measuring and Marking Tools
- Saving Money: Making Your Own Tool Handles
- Finding Good Used Tools
- Tools You Can Live Without
- A Short Lesson in Heat Treating

Chapter 3: Be Smart About Sharpening
- The Basics of Grinding and Honing
- Choosing the Right Grinder and Wheels
- Using Handy Grinding Jigs
- Sharpening a Spindle Gouge
- Sharpening a Bowl Gouge
- Saving Money: The Heiple Sharpening System
- Honing: The Final Step to Sharp Tools
- Whetstones and Slipstones

Chapter 4: Finding Wood Without Spending Lots Of Money
- Finding Free or Cheap Wood
- Understanding Wood Movement
- Spindles: Splitting and Riving, Then Turning
- Turning Green Bowls

Chapter 5: Holding Wood On The Lathe
- Commercial Chucks
- Saving Money: Making Your Own Faceplate.92
- Making Your Own Chucks
- Saving Money: Making a Jam Chuck and Using it to Turn a Box
- A Typical Bowl-Turning Session
- Saving Money: Making Your Own Steady Rest

Chapter 6: Simple, Inexpensive Finishes
- Build a Durable Finish With Shellac
- Saving Money: Mix Your Own Shellac
- Polishing With Carnauba Wax
- Safe Oil Finishes
- Saving Money: Making Your Own Oil/Varnish Finish

Chapter 7: Good Woodturning Setups For Three Budgets
- Tight Budget /Basic Setup
- Medium Budget/All-around Setup
- Large Budget/Upscale Setup

Appendix: Schools and Programs of Study