Woodturning Techniques is the third book in Mike’s colour woodturning series. It contains 530 colour illustrations comprising 40 historic engravings, 90 diagrams and 400 photographs. It and the series’ second book Woodturning Methods each have 200 pages and together thoroughly cover special techniques. Some of these techniques require special equipment (much of which you can make) and particular procedures which utilize the basic woodturning techniques described in The Fundamentals of Woodturning.

The books’ chapters are:

  1. Gluing, 29 pages. Special joints, split turnings, structural and decorative gluing.
  2. Tool grinding, 39 pages. Grinding tools to your desired sharpening angle irrespective of how worn your grinding wheel is using Darlow computer-designed templates.
  3. Spindle turning, 2 pages. Burning rings, cluster legs.
  4. Cupchuck turning, 15 pages. New hollowing tools, the flute-down hollowing technique, turning nests of cups.
  5. Faceplate turning, 27 pages. Rings, frames and paterae.
  6. Bowl turning, 15 pages. Slicing blanks, water blasting to remove bark, turning nests of bowls, reverse chucking.
  7. Threading, 58 pages. History, threading not using a lathe, threading in the lathe with chasers, rotating cutters, and jigs.
  8. Where next, 1 page.
  9. Index, 4 pages.

Front cover

Fig 4.23   A nest of cups in the collection of A. L. Robinson

Figure 7.3   The earliest form of nut (here cut in half) used projecting thread pins

Figure 7.46   Hand carving a female thread. After being carved both halves will be glued together


Christian Bonczek on Amazon.com, January 2017

This is a great book, whether just starting out, or if you have more experience turning. I still frequently check it 10 years after purchase for techniques I haven’t tried yet.The book is well illustrated and uses easy language to explain the why’s, how’s, and when’s of turning. It’s laid out so it’s easy to find a particular subject as well. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a great reference or a beginners guide. It more than met my expectations, and still does years later.

Paco on Amazon.com, March 2018

I own a copy of this and Mr. Darlow’s design book. Both are excellent. Most woodturning books are about how to make something, or a survey of things people have made. They’re interesting and useful. Mr. Darlow’s books focus on a few areas and really dig into them. The last chapter of this book is on threading… we see wooden threads frequently and we wonder about how they are made, but this book goes into the details of threading in general, and how that knowledge migrates to practices for threading wood, and provides examples of things that work (and don’t!). I thought this treatment was excellent and easily the best (really the only) I’ve seen.

In another chapter he talks about the tools for making nested bowls… not the one tool he uses, but a cross-section of homebuilt, and commercial off-the-shelf tools.

In another chapter he talks at great length about how to use sharpening jigs, and shows you jigs to help you make better use of your jigs. The three goodies in the upper-right corner on the cover are examples of these jigs. Great stuff!!

These books don’t seem popular, probably because they’re more detail than most people want. But, if you want to get into the real shizz on a few topics, this book will help you go go go.

Australian Wood Review magazine

The good looks of this book with its copious quality colour images and diagrams will make digesting its facts and figures a pleasure . . . If you love turning, you’ll love this book which glories in the depths of its subject. Australian Wood Review

Figure 2.50   Setting the projection of a pivoting jig’s sliding arm with a template. Craft Supplies USA’s Raptor Set Up Tool looks much the same

Figure 2.16   The theory of Darlow templates. In my computer I move the pink parallelogram within the green crescent until all four corners of the parallelogram touch the crescent’s edges. In moving the parallelogram its internal angles and the bevel thickness, here 5 mm, must remain unchanged, but its inclination and the length of its two shorter sides can change. When the ideal fit is achieved, the lower edge of the parallelogram is on the reference edge of the template

Figure 2.19   The Darlow template for an 8-mm-thick skew chisel.

Figure 2.12   Setting the tilt of a tilting-platform jig with a Darlow template. The correct bevel angle of 12.5 degrees will be ground irrespective of how far the grinding wheel’s diameter has been reduced by wear and dressing below its original 200 mm (8 inches)