The DVD The Practice of Woodturning is converted from three videotapes. The picture quality is therefore not as high as in Mike’s other two DVDs, but is perfectly adequate. The DVD:

  • Introduces woodturning, and explains and shows you the basic techniques in great detail
  • Uses 860 separate camera set-ups, many in close-up, and often taken from the turner’s viewpoint, so that you can clearly see what to do
  • 7 hours on 2 disks. Originally made as a 3-tape video in 1993, and converted to DVD format in 2003. The picture quality is therefore not quite as good as in Mike’s new series being shot in high-definition DVD. It, like Mike’s other DVDs, is in NTSC format, has no regional restriction, and should therefore play on almost any DVD player
  • A tremendous resource for the beginner. Gives you a thorough, yet economic, grounding in the woodturning basics

The contents are:

  Disk 1

  • Introduction: The lathe, turning theory, tool design, sharpening safety
  • Spindle Turning: roughing, planing, V-cutting, bead rolling, filets, coves, calipering, leaving squares (pommels), turning a leg, sanding, slender turning
  • Cupchuck Turning: chucking, turning a knob, turning an egg cup, hollowing, turning a lidded box

  Disk 2

  • Introduction
  • Faceplate Turning
  • Bowl Turning: introduction, design, wood preparatoion, chucking equipment, chucking procedures, tool theory and use


Zachary Taylor, Woodworker, March 1994.

I expect you are all wishing me to give an evaluation on a star rating basis. Impossible. I will say this much, if I was stuck on a desert island with a lathe and a video recorder and asked the question, “which of all these [reviewed] would I choose if the choice was limited to one?” I would prefer to keep the Mike Darlow set. If I had seen it twenty-five years ago I would be a better wood turner.

Rodger Jacobs, American Woodturner, March 1994

Any woodturner, from novice to expert, should consider adding these tapes to his or her reference sources. The amount of information they contain is immense and valuable, and requires repeated viewing to adequately absorb and understand. Teachers and educational institutions will especially appreciate Darlow’s latest contribution to woodturning instruction.

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