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Whether you are a novice or veteran woodturner, this tape will interest, entertain and educate you!
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Turning Projects With Richard Raffan

Run Time - 90 minutes - VHS

Released by Taunton Books & Video

Text & Photos by Tom Hintz

Whether you are new to woodturning or a veteran, Richard Raffan will amaze and educate you in his Turning Projects video. Raffan, a superbly talented woodturner, has an easy- going on-camera demeanor that allows him to be highly educational and refreshingly self-deprecating. Rather than edit his work to perfection, Raffan leaves his (few) mistakes where they happen, allowing the viewer to see first-hand what can go wrong, followed by suggestions on how to prevent or deal with those situations.
   While Turning Projects is not an instructional video for the rank beginner, those with a basic understanding of how to put turning tools to wood will find this a very useful tape. Raffan takes the viewer through a series of projects that employ a wide range of basic turning skills, all of which are useful when turning many other objects. These projects make great practice subjects with which to refine basic turning skills and expand the range of your capabilities.
   The list of projects Raffan demonstrates includes favorites like mallets, a small bowl, tops and a hollow vessel. A few of the more unusual offerings include a trivet, spurtle and a ridiculously thin piece of spindle work that by itself is worth the price of the tape to watch. Every wondered how to turn a wooden ball on a lathe? Raffan shows you how.
   Raffan goes through the whole project from roughing the blank to a cylinder through turning the shape to sanding and waxing. Throughout each project, Raffan provides an understandable narrative on the procedures, when to apply them and other pertinent tips, all in down-to-earth terms.

Woodturning at Speed

   It's a good thing video tape players come with pause and reverse. Raffan, a veteran of many years in production woodturning, is amazingly quick at the lathe. At times, he is so fast it is difficult to see exactly what he is doing. You will find yourself rewinding and watching some scenes several times to see all of what Raffan just did.
   It is important to remember that speed at the lathe comes naturally as skills are learned and then practiced. Trying to emulate Raffan's speed rather than his technique will only get you in trouble. The key to Raffan's tapes is his demonstration of technique. Watching how Raffan holds and moves his tools can take your turning to a new level.


   Turning Projects is a very useful video, beneficial to woodturners of all experience levels. The quality of the camera work and audio is first class, letting the viewer concentrate on learning, not trying to decipher not-so-clear images.

   A companion book is available that provides more detail on the subjects covered in the video. Together they are the next best thing to a private lesson with Richard Raffan in your shop.

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