Review by John Lucas in More Woodturning magazine, June 2000
I just got a new book and man I am excited . . . The book is worth the price just to see all the interesting steady rests. Now for the real fun. The chapters on turning spheres, eccentric turning, multi-axis turning, and elliptical turning will get your blood pumping. This isn’t just a simple project book. Mike explains the problems in detail and how to deal with them . . . I expect to get years of fun from the techniques I will gain from this text.
Review by Terry Martin in Australian Wood Review, March 2000
I recommend this book to anyone seriously interested in wood turning. It is probably the most comprehensive reference of its kind, clearly the result of years of dedicated research. The book will suit the dedicated amateur as much as the professional and will make the work of future researchers much easier. Terry Martin, Australian Wood Review, March 2000.
Review by Alewyn Burger, Amazon customer review April 2000
This is a wonderful book. It won’t teach you how to use a skew or how to turn an ordinary bowl. It starts where that kind of book leaves off. You will find thirteen ways to turn an accurate ball, eight ways to drill or bore holes on a lathe, three machines that can turn ellipses and umpteen ways to steady slender or unbalanced turnings. The first chapter deals comprehensively with chucks from the time that Noah turned the handles of the ark – and it transpires that the ‘modern’ scroll chuck was in use more than a century ago. There are chapters on turning rings of al kinds, turning objects on multiple axes, eccentric turning and therming (go look that one up).
The book is not for the timid. Some sections are positively heavy going; the author backs up the pretty pictures with just enough theory and math. All the illustrations were drawn, photographed or scanned by him and they are superb. His care in devising, setting up and executing them is very apparent. Text is about equally divided between body and captions and is concise, clear and easy to read. At the end of each chapter are copious endnotes and right at the end a seven page bibliography for further reading.
I could not put the book down and finished it in a sitting, and have since gone back to re-read several sections. I can see that I will repeat this often in future. The book will definitely have several reprints or editions and one hopes that the author will then get rid of the unnecessary typographical errors. One also hopes that he will come to grips with the spelling of words like ‘asymmetrical’ and will learn the difference between ‘centripetal’ and ‘centrifugal’.