Can You Use Wood Turning Tools To Carve Wood?

A woodwork Artisan never stands still. They always look for new ways to express themselves through their craft in many ways as possible. So, a woodworker could spend their entire lives turning wood, but then suddenly decide to try their hand at carving wood instead.

This is a widespread phenomenon, and you’re likely one of them if you looked this article up. However, many people who try to make this transition want to know if they can use their old tools in a new way. So, that’s the question. Can you use woodturning tools to carve wood?

The short answer is that we can’t recommend it. Carving and turning are vastly different even if they’re concerned with the same materials. If you want optimal results, you’re better off buying carving tools. Why? Well, let’s find out.

Turning Tools

If you’re trying to transition from turning tools to carving, then you should already be familiar with what makes these tools so unique. They are much thicker and more rounded than their carving counterparts. The design centres around minimizing how much of the tool cuts into the wood. This is ideal for turning wood, but not carving them.

You’ll notice that these tools are more rounded in general. They need to dissipate a lot of heat while turning. Each aspect of its design needs to be able to withstand downward pressure on the edge. They are also made of highspeed steel to make them capable of such feats.

These tools prevent catches from ruining your work. However, these precautions make them more massive and cumbersome. While this added weight is excellent for a when you’re turning, it’s not for carving. They also come with two-handed handles which is also superb for turning.

Why are they not Suitable for Carving?

Everything that makes turning tools great for turning makes them less than ideal for carving. The added weight hinders the required precision needed for carving. They aren’t as sharp as carving tools need to be to shape the wood.

Carving tools are usually one-handed. It gives your open arm the option to support your body as you make precision cuts. Unfortunately, the two-handed feature of turning tools means that they aren’t as efficient. Yes, you can use them with one hand, but the extended handle increases its weight to hinder your progress effectiveness.

The thick gouges do a poor job at cutting through wood like you’d need carve wood. In every way, these tools obstruct your progress and make the process harder than it should be.

It’s only natural; they aren’t built for work like this. The fingernail style grind, the signature style of turning tools, is also inefficient when it comes to carving. So, turning tools aren’t useful for carving.

Carving Tools

These tools are vastly different in terms of purpose and style. You’ll notice that the heads are more squared rather than rounded. This is because the shape is simply better for carving. The edges are also sharper to cut the wood more accurately and precisely.

The handles are suited for just one hand. This reduces the weight of the tools and makes them more capable of precision. You’re more likely to make accurate cuts if you aren’t held back by weight. Every tool for carving possesses this characteristic to make the process smoother and faster.

To reduce even more weight, the tools are also smaller in size. It grants you more control, but that’s not all. The small sizes also give you more precision when it comes to making intricate designs. However, much like how the turning tools aren’t suited for carving, these tools aren’t suited for turning.

The flat shaped heads aren’t good for making round shapes. At the same time, they are too sharp. This means that you are likely to make mistakes and end up with catches, ruining the entire process. You will also have to turn slower and with a lot more care.

That’s because everything about the carving tools was meant to give you the best carving experience. Each gouge is perfect for carving. You’ll also get a dedicated carving knife for precision cuts.

Why Are They Suited?

They’re suited for everything mentioned in the above segment. Every aspect of its design is expertly crafted to carve wood. The general sharpness, the inclusion of a knife and the flat-headed edges are vital for woodcarving.

The tools make the whole process a lot easier as well. Their weight gives you more control over how you maneuver the tools. Control is paramount to the quality of your carvings.

This is how they are so different from woodturning tools. As such, we can’t recommend you use them for carving. Simply get a carving tool set instead.

Conclusion

Trying out carving is a great way to experience woodwork in a new way; especially if you’ve only been woodturning. However, there is no denying just how important it is that you get yourself a carving tools kit.

You can use your woodturning tools, but it’ll end up frustrating you and making you give up carving in general. Sure, it will cost some extra money, but we guarantee that you won’t regret the new set. Happy carving!

What Are The Upsides And Downsides Of Pontoon Boats?

Thinking about buying or renting a pontoon boat? You’ve likely seen them everywhere. Just from that, it’s easy to believe that pontoon boats are reliable and capable. In actuality, they’re more complicated than that.

You should evaluate your alternatives if you’re planning on getting one of these vessels. Although we love these boats, we can’t recommend them to you until we discuss all the pros and cons of these kinds of boats come with. After all, even the highest rated pontoon boats have flaws.

So, let’s have a look at all the reasons why you should or should not get a pontoon boat.

The Upsides

Let’s focus on the positives first. There’s a lot of reasons why you should consider buying a pontoon boat. What are they?

Sound Financial Investment

These boats depreciate slowly. They are incredibly rigid and long-lasting. They are easy to buy and resell due to how slow they depreciate. This makes them both affordable and risks free.

The risk-free aspect comes from the fact that once you buy this type of boat, you can sell them for a little less than the buying price. So, you’ll hardly make a loss if you need to sell it at a later time.

This is further boosted by its high demand. Even today, people love to get their hands on these vessels; used or new. You can be sure that the demand isn’t going anywhere; making this an excellent financial choice.

Stability

Are you prone to motion sickness? We are happy to report that these boats offer excellent stability to take your motion sickness down to a minimum. Its design keeps it still and stable during regular conditions. You won’t get that jarring feeling from strong waves.

Instead, you’ll get a slow and smooth ride. Although that might not appeal to thrill-seekers, it’s a superb option for those who want a safe and healthy travel option.

The stability also allows it to stand strong against tougher conditions as well. Your boat will be hardly likely to tip over by strong waves or other forces. As such, it gives you the added benefit of safety as well.

Suitable for the Entire Family

Pontoon boats are practically the perfect affordable family boat. They aren’t big, but they’re big enough to fit your family perfectly. At the same time, they aren’t filled with numerous features, but they have several qualities that suit family use.

You’ll see families taking trips on these boats a lot. They offer the space you’d need to fit everyone. They also offer a serene and steady tide for the whole family. The aforementioned stability also makes it ideal.

However, the most important aspect that makes it good for a family is just how cheap it is compared to other alternatives.

Versatile and Economic

Pontoon boats are useful for all kinds of purposes. They are great for family trips like we mentioned before, fishing trips, tubing trips or just a relaxing trip across your local lake. It’s suitable for all of that and even more.

Unless you’re pining for speed, these boats should have you covered for whatever purpose you need it for.

Its versatility is increased through its low maintenance costs. You won’t find yourself taking it to the repair shop all that often. It won’t ask you to spend too much time with maintenance procedures either.

The vessel is easy to keep and easier to work with. It even demands less fuel; saving you from having to buy more in an age of increasing fuel prices.

Storage Space

The reason why this type of boat is so popular for trips is due to its high storage capacity. Other boats tend to lack this feature, making them less ideal. Pontoon boats offer you plenty of space to stuff your belongings. This is extremely useful for fishing trips as well. You’ll have ample space to store your big catches.

Consequently, it’s the go-to option for fishermen. It’s also optimal for transporting your goods along a lake. As such, pontoon boats are highly recommended by a vast number of people.

The Downsides

Despite the pros, there have to be some cons. So, let’s examine what makes these types of vessels unsuitable for your dock.

They are Slow

You won’t ever see anyone pick a pontoon boat for a race. Even with powerful engines, these boats remain quite slow. That’s great for those who want a leisurely cruise. However, thrill seekers will get bored fast. At the same time, if you’re looking for a boat to transport yourself fast, then it simply isn’t for you.

Right now, most of these boats travel at about 28 – 35 miles per hour. Although newer models are beginning to pick up more speed, they still aren’t that suitable for travelling through large lakes.

Not Suitable for Storms

We’ve mentioned that these types of crafts are very stable. In normal conditions, they are famous for keeping things still and wobble-free. Even when the weather gets bad, they are still capable of keeping you stable. However, it has a limit.

Once a storm kicks in, and the waves get crazy, you can’t rely on a pontoon boat much. For scenarios like these, you’ll need boats with V-shaped hulls that can cut through the water and travel fast. However, the design of pontoons makes them weak against strong waves and other powerful disasters.

Not smooth to Handle

You don’t feel like you’re in control when you’re piloting your ship. It doesn’t feel responsive as it should. Instead, you feel like something is pulling the boat. This cuts your connection to the cruise and makes you feel like you aren’t really driving it.

This can make it hard for you to navigate through narrow paths. So, if you were looking to make sharp turns and navigate through narrow channels, then you might want to reconsider a pontoon boat.

In Conclusion

There’s a lot to love about pontoon boats, but they aren’t perfect. However, they are still spectacular vessels that deserve your recommendation.

So, consider all the ups and downs before you finally choose to get one of these boats. Whatever you choose to do, we hope you make the right choice. Happy Sailing!

What’s The Best Way To Build A Wooden Canoe By Hand?

Canoes are, without a doubt, the best boats to take out for a camping trip. They’re spectacular for a leisurely cruise along your local park or river. However, the trips become more rewarding and serene if you built your canoe with your own hands.

It isn’t easy, but a lot of enthusiasts often build their canoe themselves. It’s an enriching and exciting experience to see your work take its first maiden voyage. However, that doesn’t mean building one is easy. On the contrary, it’s reasonable difficult.

That’s why many beginners and seasoned experts want to know the best way to build these magnificent boats to make better use of time and effort. Nevertheless, the answer isn’t simple.

There is No One Best Way

The term “Best way” is highly subjective. It heavily depends on the kind of trips you want to go to, the kind of effort you want to put on or your aesthetic values. The order in which you prioritize these preferences is paramount to which method you’ll find the best.

This is why enthusiasts have debated for so long without coming to a consensus. As such, we can’t sit here and recommend a single method. Instead, we’ll introduce you to three separate and highly popular methods that contend with each other for the best way to build a wooden canoe.

Each of these styles will cover a criterion that might make it the best method for you. So, give them a read and decide which one would be the most favourable for you.

Cedar Strip Canoe

This may be the most popular method of building these boats out there. A lot of enthusiasts like to build. Sure, the building takes a lot of time and effort, but once you’re done, you get an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. This rings true for the Cedar Strip method.

These canoes use cedar as most of its material. What sets it apart from all the other types is just how beautiful they look once you’re done. This is because cedar strips open doors to a lot of customization. You’ll get a big window to customize your canoe the way you want. The results will vary based on how much work and effort you put into it.

This style easily lets you express yourself with your boat. Not to mention cedar is superb material for any boat. However, this method is not for everyone. We highly recommend this style to those who want to take their time while they build their canoe.

It’s meant for people who want to customize more. Obtaining a ridable boat as soon as possible isn’t their priority. They have to enjoy the long building process to appreciate this method truly.

So, if you enjoy the whole building process and appreciate the work that’s put into making the canoe, then this method is for you. Get your plans and necessary cedar materials and start building. It will be a while before you’re done, but you’ll love every second of building it.

Stitch and Glue

Renting Canoes aren’t cheap. Building one usually isn’t cheap either. If you’re not all too interested in building them either and just want to get one done so you can begin canoeing, then the stitch and glue method is for you.

This is a very fast, easy and cheap way to make a canoe. The process consists of using glue, Epoxy, and Fiberglass to attach plywood to make your canoe. Plywood is reasonably cheaper compared to a material like cedar. They’re also easy to bend and shape the way you want it too.

Moreover, the method takes full advantage of the material and gets you a fully functional canoe in practically no time at all. This is highly recommended for people who are new to canoeing and want to try to build one of their own. It’s an easy method to get into and can eventually help you learn how to build more intricate boats at the same time.

The process also saves you time if all you want is to simply build a boat to take canoeing as soon as possible. All in all, if all of these characteristics appeal to you, then the stitch and glue method is the best for you.

Hollowed Out Log

There are a lot of other methods we could talk about, but the Hollowed log is a classic and good place holder for the others. It’s representative of all the other methods that appeal to the builder’s sense of aesthetic values. In this sense, it’s their values for a traditional design.

The hollowed log is a tried and true method of building a canoe. It’s as old as people can remember. It also grants that sense of connection to culture and heritage that no other method can boast. However, it may not be ideal for those who want to express their creativity or build fast.

This is because the hollowed log is both simple in its design yet time-consuming to make. It’ll take you a while before you’re finished, but once you do, you can feel at one with an age-old tradition.

This style is only suitable if it fits your preferences. Otherwise, it’s not a good idea to try out. That’s why it’s a representative of several methods that take your personal preferences to account. For those it fits, it’s the best method. For others, it is not.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the best way to build a canoe is subjective. It depends on what you want and what you get from the results. If you choose a style based on those preferences, you can never go wrong. For us, Cedar Strip is the best since we adore the aesthetics of the resulting canoe. That might be different for you, and that’s okay.

So, if you’re going to get into building canoes, then pick the method that fits you the most. Happy canoeing!

How Difficult Is It To Learn Woodturning?

Have you ever seen the legs on a bed and asked yourself, “If only I could make those myself!” It’s not just bedding; a lot of spectacular works of art seem to round to be made of wood. However, with the help of woodturning, it’s more than possible.

This art is over 3,000 years old, originating in Egypt and spreading rapidly all around the world. Back in the day, only skilled artisans could partake in woodturning to make something spectacular. However, that’s different now.

With modern technology and the drastically improved wood lathe means that practically anyone can get into woodturning. How difficult is this though?

Well, let’s get down to the details.

Just How Difficult are they?

The art of woodturning is easier than it has ever been. The basics are easy to get into. A simple course should teach you how to make baseball bats and the likes. However, mastering woodturning is a completely different story. You can spend your whole life turning wood, but you’ll still end up learning something new every time.

With proper training, a beginner can start learning how to turn fast. They’ll need to learn everything about the lathe and how to work it properly. All of these can be attained quite easily due to just how accessible woodturning is nowadays.

Accessibility

You can easily learn woodturning through a variety of sources. The internet should give you enough tools to get you set, but if you’re looking for something more hands-on, then you should be able to find courses to teach you as well.

In addition, you can find wood lathes and material to turn in pretty much any hardware store. With this setup, you can start getting to work and learning the intricacies of the woodturning arts in a jiffy. However, if you want to get started, you’ll need to get the tools first.

Who are into Woodturning Nowadays?

You might be surprised to know that this art is a very popular hobby. It’s relaxing and opens a ton of windows to express yourself creatively. Many people interested in baseball learn how this art to make their own custom baseball bats that express them the most.

People who just want to add a unique flair to their furniture also get into the craft to make superb bed legs and chairs. So far, we’ve only talked about people who do this as a hobby. Professionals take this art to the next level.

If you want to become a professional, then you need to prepared to dedicate a lot of time and effort into this craft. This is a kind of craft, and it reflects in just how steep the learning curve becomes once you start doing this professionally.

As such, it’s evident that there are a ton of people who are interested in woodturning. It’s not just professionals, but hobbyists as well. As such, the spectrum of crafts is vast and fascinating.

Wood Lathes

Your experience with this craft hinges on how well you use the wood lathe. These are the primary tools for woodturning, and a quality lathe makes a huge difference in the output. So, it is wise to get quality machinery to get into the craft.

There are several great brands you can watch out for. And for more information on the brands, you may visit WoodenUKnow.

What Can I Get out of It?

To put it bluntly, woodturning is incredibly fun. It feels rewarding when you’ve finally made a goblet or bowl from a block of wood. That’s why there are so many people who love this as a hobby.

You can also use it to add a personal flair to your equipment. There’s just something very rewarding about using a baseball bat you’ve built yourself. It feels more like a part of you rather than a tool you use.

You’ll also get to make various household items rather than getting them from a store. Even as a beginner, you should be able to make bowls, goblets, and other mostly symmetrical items. Most of all, it’s not that hard to learn at a basic level. It’s, in fact, easier than most others out there. So, if you’re looking for an easy to get into crafting hobby, woodturning has your back.

What Are My Limitations?

Like we’ve stated before, although basic levels are easy enough, once you try to get to professional levels, it’s going to become much more difficult. Once you reach that stage, you’ll know just how intricate the process can be. It’s a steep learning curve, but it’s one worth overcoming.

However, the biggest barrier that stops people from learning woodturning is the lathes themselves. They come at a variety of prices. However, that does not mean they deliver the same level of quality as each other.

Expensive lathes drive away beginners who don’t want to invest so much in something they know nothing about. Cheap and poor-quality lathes come at the cost of being frustrating to work with. First impressions are important. If someone is starting out and they are already frustrated with their tools, it’s unlikely they will follow through.

Bottom Line

There’s a lot to love and learn about woodturning. It’s easy to learn but almost impossible to master. However, the difficulty ultimately comes down to how much you’re willing to dedicate yourself to the task. Even the basic levels can be hard if you’re not putting your heart into it.

So, if this art interests you, then your motivation will drive you towards superb results. Woodturning will always give you new challenges to keep you on your toes no matter how much experience you build. There’s never a dull moment. Don’t let the barriers stop you and craftworks you’ll love. Happy crafting!

How To Build A Wood Kayak?

Do you want to trek through rivers in style? Fight through deadly waves or take a stroll through the oceans with a friend?

In that case, you’ll probably want to get a Kayak. Kayak building isn’t easy. You should be able to tell how intricate the designs are just from a single glance at the schematics. You need to make sure you’re doing everything right or else your Kayak might break down while you’re riding them!

That’s why we’re here to help. We’ll walk you through each step to make a proper Wood Kayak for you to ride around in.

Some Things You Need to Get a Hold of

Before we get started on actually building the Kayak, here are some of the things you need to gather.

Wood Working Tools

We’ll be dealing with a lot of wood, so we’ll need these tools to maintain and condition our materials. As such, we’ll be needing tools like wood sanders to smoothen the wood and saws for cutting them down to the length you need.

If you don’t want to use a kit, then you’ll have to use more woodworking tools to make the pieces you need for the Kayak.

Schematics

There are numerous types of kayaks. Each item has a plethora of unique characteristics that make them vastly different from one another.

If we were to teach you how to build every type, this guide would be more significant than an encyclopedia. Using a blueprint is an easy way to understand and develop the exact kind of Kayak you want.

Kayak Kit

This is optional but vitally important. We’ll assume that all of our readers are not knowledgeable in woodworking. If you plan on building from scratch, you’ll need to follow the schematics and cut out each piece accordingly.

A kit will give you every piece already cut. They’ll also have labels to help you figure out exactly which ones go where. They’ll make the entire process faster and easier.

Clean-up Kit

Once you’re done, you’ll be greeted with plenty of dust. So, keep a clean-up kit ready for once you’re done working. Also, make sure you have plastic sheeting. This will let you keep your pieces dirt free when you leave to take a break.

Miscellaneous

These include items such as paper towels, a few bricks, knives, and wood glue. You’ll need these for quite a bit of step, so make sure you keep them around while you build. 

Step by Step Instructions

With everything prepared, let’s get to the building. These steps should give you a general idea of what to do. It will also tell help once you’ve unpacked your kit or made all your pieces.

If you want to make each piece yourself, make sure you follow the blueprint to make accurate cuts of wood. Make sure you label each one so that you can keep track of what goes where. Afterward, you’re ready to get started. 

Setting up the Pieces

First off, we have to set everything up correctly. It will make the entire process much more manageable once we get started. For this, take each strip of wood. Then organize them on a dry surface in the order in which you will have to assemble them. 

The blueprint should give you adequate information on where you’ll keep each piece. Once you do, you’ll already get to see your Kayak coming to life on a 2D plane.

Assembling the Panels

Here, we get started. Go to your panel pieces and join them based on the labels. Use strong wood glue to attach the ends. Once you do, use a paper towel to wipe away the remaining drips. Some of the glue fluid will remain, but we’ll worry about them. Get something heavy. 

Place your brick on top of the connected pieces until the glue completely dries off. Once it’s done, use a sander to remove the glue stains. Repeat until all the panels are connected. 

Once that’s over, follow the instructions and get the measurements to drill the panel. This is necessary to make the hull.

Wiring the Hull

Now that you’ve drilled the panels, you’ll need to use them to wire the panels together and make the hull. Make sure you attach the right ones based on the blueprint. Once you do, you’ll see the general shape of the kayak form. Use some tape to maintain the structure until we reach the next step.

Installing the Bulkheads

We aren’t done with the wires just yet. Take out the bulkheads and measure it with your hull. The instructions should give you an accurate measurement based on your type of Kayak. Use that to drill in the holes on the bulkheads and hull and finally wire them together.

Applying the Epoxy

Next up, we have to use the epoxy. Make sure all the wires are added tightly. Then add the epoxy on the joints of all panel and along the bulkheads.

Afterwards, mix the epoxy with wood flour, resin and hardener until it’s as thick as toothpaste. Then, apply it on all the joints yet again and let it dry for a day. Do not use this mixture for the bulkheads.

Once you’re done, you’re ready to take out all the wires. You will now have to add this mixture to the wire holes to seal them off. 

Assemble the Deck Arch and Handle Backing Plates

Simply follow the schematics and find each piece of the deck arch and handle Backing Plates and use epoxy to connect the relevant parts.

Smooth out the Hull

Use an orbital sander to smooth out the epoxy to receive a smooth and rounded hull. Make sure you don’t sand for too long. This will cause indentations.

Adding the Deck

Place the deck carefully on top of the hull as the plans suggest. Use strong tape to attach the deck and hull temporarily. Use epoxy to connect every part of the floor correctly.

Now, take a knife and gently cut the deck away from the hull once the epoxy has hardened. Take off all the tape. 

While the deck is taken off, install the foot brace studs. Now, add the floor once more and use epoxy to attach the hull and deck together. 

Adding the Combings

Your kit will have multiple combings based on the number of hatches the Kayak will have. Put the top combings on top of the hatch and the bottom combings aligned adequately under the hatch. Use epoxy to add them together and use many clamps to hold them together until they dry off properly.

Now, we’ll move on to the cockpit combings. First, attach the small cockpit combings on each of the cockpits with epoxy with clamps. Afterwards, connect the large combings the same way.

Finishing Touches

Your Kayak is complete. But not quite. Now, you have to varnish it and colour it the way you want it. Make sure you use the right paint and right materials based on the kind of wood you’re using. Once that’s over, let it dry properly. 

Now, just add the remaining hardware as the schematics tell you, and you’re finally complete.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some things you need to remember while you build your Kayak.

  • Make sure you use fibreglass between steps to get the best-looking results.
  • Sand each time you use epoxy. They tend to leave a thick and bloated residue once hardened. You can use a plaining tool too, but that will need more manpower.
  • Be patient. Wait until you are entirely sure the epoxy mixture has hardened before you move on to the next step.
  • Do not sand for too long, no matter what. Indents can ruin your entire build. So, make sure you are careful.
  • Try to follow the instructions on the plans as carefully as possible. We gave you a general idea of the steps to take. The plans will provide you with the essential guidelines to make it work.

Conclusion

You’ll see that you can’t follow these steps precisely once you start building you’re Kayak. That’s because every Kayak is different. However, these steps will give you a general idea of what to do while you make your Kayak.

Now that you know the steps, you’ll know what to do and look out for a while building. You are now more than capable of making the right moves to create a stellar kayak to seize the seas!