Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Taunton Press; 2nd ed. edition (September 1, 1993)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,055,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #53 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Woodworking > Tools #1593 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Woodworking > Projects #29391 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies
Conover starts with descriptions of typical woodworking lathe construction, features, and advantages of different styles of lathes. There is a lot of discussion of lathe features and accessories. This is a good overview for someone to read BEFORE buying a lathe. There's also a good section on maintenance and repair. I found this very useful since I recently acquired a used lathe without a user manual. Your user manual probably doesn't discuss much overhaul, so it might be quite handy as well.He discusses various tools (gouges, chisels, etc.), how to grind / regrind / sharpen them, and how they're actually used. He describes a lot of basic techniques and types of cuts. I had some trouble following this section because I'm a complete lathe beginner. It took some rereading and experimentation. I think this is because Conover is primarily an expert turner and not so much a how-to writer. However, I think this is better because his craftmanship comes through, and he's actually DONE what he describes -- the techniques are accurate have have been tested.I especially like his directions for building your own chucks, tools, and other accessories. It's too easy to slip into accessory envy (the New Yankee Workshop syndrome), where you feel like you have to buy a small fortune worth of chucks, tools, and accessories. Conover describes a lot of tricks that certainly cost less and probably work better than if you loaded up on toys at the woodworking store. His style here is great because it encourages you to come up with your own creative solutions.Finally, there is a short section with step-by-step instructions for three example projects: a finial, a drawer pull, and a Windsor stool. It might be good to add another book on just projects.
For $10 I could rate this as a good book. It just doesn't have $20 of usefull info. Its coverage of lathes to buy is very limited for a beginner. The section on making chucks, while usefull, is not anything you can't find on the web. The technique section is the big weak point. The author obviously has a great deal of skill, but does a terrible job of getting it across. This is especially true in his description of how to use the skew chisel. This is an OK first book, but should not be your only book on how to use a wood lathe.
Ernie Conover book has a lot of interesting ideas. He seems like very pleasant man, some one you would enjoy meeting sometime.
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