Category Archives: Popular

Carl’s Travel Woodturning Tool Set


Carl's Travel Tool Set 1

Updated: 12/31/2019: I now use a red tool tray rather than a Tool Roll. See new section at the end of this blog entry.

I recently created a new Travel Tool Set that I can EASILY take to demos, club meetings and symposiums. I have been using it full time in my studio recently to test it out. I am real happy with it. See photo below.

The heart of the system is a new 5/8″ Quick Release Tool Handle from Jimmy Clewes. It works really good. I saw Jimmy use it on the 2018 Norway Woodturning Cruise. I was real impressed with the Quick Release mechanism that Jimmy has come up with. Just a simple 1/4 turn of the handle with your hand (no tools) locks a tool in place or releases it. You can change tools real fast. So, swapping tools does not interfere with the flow of a demo.
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Workshop Blower for Cleanup

Photo: Workshop Blower for Cleanup 1

One of my students showed up one day with a little battery powered workshop blower. I tried it and I was sold. I had to have one.

I put it on my Christmas list last year and it is the best Christmas present ever!
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Carl’s New Powermatic 3520C Lathe verses My Old Powermatic 3520B

Chick here for printable PDF

Updated: 5/31/2024. My google and web server stats say this blog entry from 2018 still gets a lot of web hits. Thus, I reviewed this blog entry and decided no changes are needed. I still stand by what it says here.

My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe verses my Old Powermatic 3520B Photo: My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe verses my Old Powermatic 3520B

I decided to replace my old Powermatic 3520B Lathe with the new C Model.

Here is my unpacking and set up experience. Plus some comparison of the B and C models.

I purchased the new model C on 2/1/2018 for a little less than the $4400 list price. Continue reading Carl’s New Powermatic 3520C Lathe verses My Old Powermatic 3520B

Carl’s Studio July 2015

Here are some photos of my studio in July of 2015.

Note: Click here for more studio info.

Updated: 3/2/2023. I took these photos in 2015. Things have not really changed much since then. Cleaning things up for photos takes time. I rather spend my time turning and making other more useful blog entries. Thus, these photos are good enough for now.

Photo: Carl Ford Studio Woodturner Carl Ford Studio Woodturner

The entrance to Aladdin's Cave
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So you want to buy a lathe? A real lathe?

Updated: 9/10/2020. I have a lot of trouble updating this blog entry. It is to big. WordPress often crashes when I try to do anything in this post. My php buffer size is not big enough. I am waiting for GoDaddy to upgrade my web sever.

In general everything in this bog post is still valid. However, some good new 110 volt lathe options have become available. See my Revolutionary New 110 Volt Lathes blog post.

Updated: 7/8/2017. Change bars in Purple on left. Add new “Parts of a Lathe” section with link to AAW video.

Updated: 2/5/2017. Change bars in Blue on left.  Summary of updates:

1. The new version of the 10″ Penn State Mini Lathe is still my favorite Mini Lathe.

2. I do not like the new Jet lathes. Add them to the list of “Lathes I DO NOT Recommend”.

3. The new 110 volt version of Laguna Revo 18/36 lathe has won me over. Move it to my list of “Recommended 110 Volt Lathes”.

4. The 220 volt version of the Laguna Revo 18/36 is now my low cost “Recommended 220 Volt Lathe”.  It replaces the 220 volt Jet 1642 EVS that is now longer available.

5. The US economy has been stuck in neutral. Thus, lathe prices have not increased by much, if any, in the last 2 years.

Updated: 8/9/2015.  Change bars in Green on left. Add Laguna lathes to not recommended list.  They are close but no cigar.

First published on 7/31/2015.

What lathe should a newbie purchase?

Here is a long winded answer I gave to a student who had a Shopsmith and decided it was time to buy a real lathe.

For the record.  I personally own  a VB36, a Powermatic 3520B,  two Oneway 2436s, and a Penn State TCLPROVS lathe.   At various schools and clubs I have turned on Stubby, Vicmarc, General, Delta, Rockwell, Jet, Grizzly, Vega and old metal cabinet lathes.

pm_3520bIn a Nutshell

Hands down the best lathe out there in my not so humble opinion is the Powermatic 3520B with a Oneway Banjo.

The list price is still $3999 on 2/5/2017. It was the same price back on 7/26/2015.

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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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