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    Review ------ The overriding idea here is that woodturning is actually affordable. The cost of lathes, tools, and accessories has made the pastime seem expensive but Conover proves it need not be. A longtime author of woodworking books and a teacher at Conover Workshops, a craft school founded by his family, he compares woodturning with many other lost arts and proposes, through this book, that it needn't be lost to commercialism. He shows you how to set up an affordable workshop (three different budgets offered), have woodturning fun on a budget and how to do so with greenwood, firewood, and discarded lumber. Along the way, the craftsman achieves a heightened appreciation of the process of turning itself. The marvelous, and large, color photos seem to bring the reader right up to Conover's work bench. 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 butalso 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'. Woodworking hobbies can be costly, but this book helps take the edge off expenses. Conover (Woodworker's Guide to Dovetails) offers original advice on making better purchases, making tools or using existing tools, and finding inexpensive materials. This specialized book works well with other titles on wood turning and lathe work. Recommended. The timing of The Frugal Woodturner could not be more appropriate Today,much of our focus in making has shifted to our finished products rather than the value of the time and the methods we use to make them. Conover's thesis is to reclaim the value of being problem solvers as we relearn to make the things that allow us to make the things that fill our lives with joy. The tools, the jigs and the methods of making - it's all here. This do-it-yourself book from Ernie Conover shows how to get started on three different budgets: The Tight and Basic Budget in which readers learn how to make their own spring pole lathe and tools: the All Around Budget which teaches how to buy quality used equipment; and the Upscale Budget for readers who want to purchase new equipment. For experienced turners, Ernie's advice on making your own gouges, scrapers, and chisels is invaluable. He also provides instructions for making your own faceplates, chucks, and more, plus he shares insider secrets on where to find cheap or free wood. Ernie Conover is no stranger in the woodworking fraternity. He's the co-designer of the now out-of-production Conover lathe, author of numerous books, frequent contributor to multifarious woodworking magazines, and he operates his own woodworking school. Which, I suppose, accounted for the high expectations I had for Conover's new book. The focus of the book is, as stated in the subtitle, to show readers how to 'Make and Modify All the Tools and Equipment You Need'. The first chapter of the book focuses on three topics: the kinds of lathes that are currently available; how to make a spring pole lathe; and what to look for when purchasing a lathe. Conover's overview of the different types of lathes is disappointing. His two page overview is much to sparse, and he fails to describe the benefits and limitations of each type of lathe. His contention is clearly that 'big is better': "Full-size lathes are the best buy in the end if you are going to pursue turning to any degree". Certainly pen turners, furniture makes looking to turn custom hardware, and hobbyist turners whose interest might be in turning small bowls and the like would be well served by a benchtop lathe. Conover, however, lumps mini and midi lathes into the same category, while virtually dismissing them as viable options: "Bench-top lathes have nearly disappeared with only a couple of models on the market". I think that Delta, General, Jet, Penn State, Shop Fox, PSI Woodworking and other manufacturers might take exception to Conover's assessment. I felt that the inclusion of plans to make a spring pole lathe somewhat out of context placed, as it is, between the discussion of the types of lathes available, and what to look for when choosing a lathe. It seems better suited as Appendix material. Making a pole lathe can, I am sure, be an enjoyable project, but, realistically, how many people are going to make and and use it for their day to day turning? I doubt if Ernie does. The section on what you need to know before selecting a lathe is very good. He covers all the basics here, and, to my amusement, includes the plans for a lathe stand, which looks ideal for a benchtop lathe. The following two chapters are filled with useful information on what to look for when searching for used turning tools and accessories, and tips for sharpening your tools. I like his recommendation to buy a few tools (used, preferably), develop some proficiency using the tools, and then buy (or make) additional tools as required. There is some very good info here on the different types of turning chisels and what they are used for. Conover does recommend that carbide insert cutters be avoided, as they are "actually designed for metalworking". However, a number of companies, such as Easy Wood Tools, are now making turning tools with carbide inserts, and turners, particularly novice turners, are finding them a viable alternative to conventional HSS tools. Dismissing them at this stage seems somewhat premature. The chapter on finding free or inexpensive wood is somewhat sparse, though he covers wood seasoning, wood movement and turning green wood. Finally, at the fifth chapter, we start to get to the meat of the book - making and modifying tools (though really the focus is on accessories). Conover describes how to make two turning tools (scraper and chatter tool), handles, sharpening jig (though he doesn't use this jig in his chapter on sharpening), a faceplate, screw, jam and pressure chucks, locking nest, tapered mandrel, drill pad, soft jaw, steady rest and a vacuum chuck. You'll find lot so good ideas here, and novice turners should be able to easily make all of these accessories. The book ends with a short chapter on finishes, and a recommendation for lathe setups for three budget configurations. Conover is a very good writer, and the book is an easy read. The photos are good and the illustrations well done (though many seem to be much larger than warrant). Overall, the book is disappointing, though the chapter on making and modifying tools is very useful. Read more ( javascript:void(0) ) From the Back Cover ------------------- Spend Less and Have More Fun Turning To enjoy woodturning, you don't have to spend a lot of money. You don't need a lot of space or a lot of wood, and you can make and modify your own turning equipment from easily found or low-cost items. And, now, thanks to author and teacher Ernie Conover, you can discover all the practical and savvy knowledge you need to affordably set up a workshop and enjoy woodturning on a budget. With The Frugal Woodturner, you'll learn how to: - Choose the right lathe - Find good tools without breaking the bank - Be smart about sharpening - Set up a shop on three different budgets - Make your own finishes and varnish - Use greenwood, firewood, and discarded lumber Best of all, by being a frugal woodturner and crafting your own tools and equipment, you'll get a deeper understanding of-and have as much fun as-the process of turning itself. Read more ( javascript:void(0) ) See all Editorial Reviews ( /dp/product-description/1565234340/ref=dp_proddesc_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&isInIframe=0 )

    The Frugal Woodturner: Make and Modify All the Tools and Equipment You Need (Fox Chapel Publishing)


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