Category Archives: Books

Woodturning Books & Dvds

64ths of an Inch Ruler / Table

64ths of an Inch Ruler / Table
Quick, off the top of your head. You need a drill bit that is a little bigger than 3/4″. What size do you need? 49/64″ Right?
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Carl’s “MM to Inches” for Woodturners

Photo: Carl’s “MM to Inches” for Woodturners 1
Photo: Carl’s “MM to Inches” for Woodturners 1

Updated: 9/8/2022.

I recently discovered “ezunitconverter.com” mm to inch converter. I like it because it shows you a table with all the surrounding mm conversions and how close they are to your input mm value. See photo above on right and details at the bottom of this blog entry.

Woodturners in the US often have to deal with Millimetres. Bowl gouges made in Europe are often 12mm
rather than 1/2″. Etc.

I often see Woodturners get all twisted up by 1″ = 25.4mm.   My advice is to forget about the 0.4mm!
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Steel By The Numbers

Photo: Steel By The Numbers 1
Click here or on the photo for a PDF file.

Everyone knows about “cold rolled” and “stainless” steel. When you want something else you need to order steel by the numbers. 4140, 1215, etc steel. The steel industry uses a standard set of number to tell you all about the properties of a chunk of steel. How hard it is, tensile strength, easy or hard to machine, etc.

When I am looking around on the McMaster-Carr web site (www.mcmaster.com) for a nice piece of steel. The web site sometimes shows me a nice table that does a great job summarizing the different kinds of steel. (See above photo and PDF.) Other times I can get the web site to show me this table to save my life. I forget I need to search on “about steel” or “about tool steel”.

Steels I Use

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Power Carving Textures

Photo: Power Carving Textures 1

Updated: 8/10/2022. This is an old blog entry. All of the information is still valid. But, you should also click here to check out my other “Carving” blog entries.

Here is some information I put together for a Power Carving Textures demo that I am doing at my local club.

I learned most of the stuff presented here in various wood turning symposiums and classes. Mostly from Al Stirt.

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Essential Books & DVDs for Students

Essential Books

Updated: 5/31/2024. I reviewed this blog entry and decided no changes are needed. These are still my “go to” and favorite books and DVDs.

Updated: 11/16/2021. This is still the list of book and DVDs that I recommend. Added “YouTube, Vimeo, Etc” section to the end.

Updated: 5/24/2018. Add “Project Books” section and Jordan “The Aesthetics & Properties of Wood” DVD.

Here are the books and DVDs I recommend to students when I teach a class.

You may be able to get these books from your local library, otherwise purchase from  Packard Woodworks Inc or  Craft Supplies USA or Amazon. I often save money by purchasing used books via Amazon.

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Hard Versus Soft Maple – The Wood Database

The Wood Database - Differences Between Hard Maple and Soft Maple
The Wood Database – Differences Between Hard Maple and Soft Maple

It seems like people always put the word “Hard” before the word “Maple”. So when people tell me they have a nice “Hard Maple” log, I think it is really probably “Soft Maple”.  Because that is what I find when I cut into the log.

Real Hard Maple needs to be species Acer Saccharum. Which is commonly known as Hard, Rock or Sugar Maple. Soft Maple is Silver, Red, Striped, Bigleaf Maple or Box Elder.
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