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There are four things you need to become a woodturner: a workspace, the equipment, some timber and the necessary skills.

DIY Craft Essential #1: Washi tape

You'd be surprised at how many things you can do, and how many tutorials out there are obsessed, with washi tape. The versatile paper tape with adorable designs makes great wall decor, paper crafts or can even spruce up your furniture.

DIY Craft Essential #2: Needle nose pliers

This tiny tool is great for small projects. "This is not only your go­-to tool for opening and closing jump rings, bending wire, and securing crimp beads and ribbon ends, but pliers are also great for cutting through jewelry chain and wire," said Morin.

The workspace
The space you can dedicate to the craft determines what you can do. Woodturning can be noisy and dusty, and you need somewhere to store materials and valuable equipment, so the workspace is the first thing to sort out. A proper building, secure, insulated, heated, powered, dry and well lit is ideal. But lots of people do great work in just a garden shed or garage. Whatever you use, if possible, allow nothing in the workspace that does not relate to turning – no bicycles, lawnmowers etc. They take up the space that you will need, and detract from the proper dignity of the craft. And, unless your workspace is very large, try to find somewhere else protected from the weather to store the wood.

The kit
When you start, the bare essentials are

DIY Craft Essential #3: X-acto knife

If you love stationary crafts, jewelry crafts or any delicate work -- you'll need a proper cutting tool. Not all scissors can do the job. "Remember first using scissors and cutting along the dotted lines in grade school?" Morin asked. "Hopefully, you’re attempting more challenging crafts as an adults."

DIY Craft Essential #4: Spray paint

Acrylic paints are also great for any DIY starter kit. However, if you're looking for a perfect, seamless finish on your furniture, art and home decor -- make some space to spray. It doesn't hurt to keep some cans in your favorite colors (as long as you store them properly).
  • a lathe with a chuck or at least a faceplate. The lathe should be the most substantial possible. If you start with a cheap, flimsy machine, you will soon want to replace it. A good used machine is much better than a poor new one.
  • a grinder for sharpening. Blunt tools will not give you the results you want.
  • a sharpening jig for gouges. Scrapers and chisels can be sharpened using the grinder's own tool rest.
  • some basic turning tools – a good start would be a small roughing gouge, a small spindle gouge, a small bowl gouge, an 18mm skew chisel, a square nose scraper, a round nose scraper and a parting tool
  • an instructional DVD or book
  • a face shield and dust mask
  • the usual workshop tools – screwdrivers, power drill, handsaw etc.

With these, you can make bowls and vases, boxes, all kinds of spindles, and lots of mess. Later, you will need a bandsaw, a chainsaw, a drill press, a dust extractor, power sanding equipment, additional turning tools, buffing equipment and lots more. No woodturner ever has all the equipment they would really like. But don't fall into the trap of thinking that buying the latest advertised tool will make you a turner.

The materials
In the beginning, you can buy readymade turning blanks, but this is the most expensive way to buy wood. Better to convert small logs and branches to turning blanks yourself, at no cost. Unseasoned timber is fun to turn. A hammer and splitting wedges can stand in for a bandsaw. You will soon find you have more timber than you can use, and will need somewhere to store it, protected from the weather while it seasons.
For practice, almost any timber will do, but it is easier to turn wood that is free of large knots, decay and splits, and not too hard. It is a mistake to buy tropical hardwoods when you are starting out. They are beautiful, but hard to turn.

The skill
A turner must be able to prepare the wood, sharpen and use the turning tools, and make pleasing shapes for the finished items.
To learn the craft, read the books and magazines, study the DVDs, take lessons, join a turning club. If you practice, you will improve. Practice some more. Eventually, practice makes perfect. Learn from people who have gone before, then go your own way to establish your own original style.

DIY Craft Essential #5: Painter's tape

Painter's tape is "perfect for for attempting the c​olor block trend," said Morin. Plus, you'll need something to keep your projects neat and tidy, no matter what type of paints you use.

DIY Craft Essential #6: Hot glue gun

There are some tools that are too functional not to have. "This is one DIY workhorse tool you shouldn't do without," said Morin. Hot melt glue works on a variety of materials.
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