May 2014 Highland Woodturning News Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodturning classes and seminars Woodturning articles and solutions Subscribe to Highland Woodturner


Here are My Woodturnings!

by Lawrence Wroten
Mount Airy, MD

Note: click any picture to see a larger version.

I have been doing woodworking for over twenty years. I started with my shop being a bench in the back of my garage. I eventually added on to the house, incorporating a 500 square foot shop behind the garage. In the last two years I have refocused my efforts on trying to refine my skills and produce higher quality pieces. Part of my problem has always been my tendency to find all of the faults in my work, so I build very little for myself. About a year and a half ago, I was asked to build a few custom pieces for my church. I found the projects challenging and I started pushing myself to learn something new with each piece. A fellow parishioner donated all of the wood for each project, and the church paid for any hardware or tools required to complete the job. Since I now had access to extra wood, I could experiment and grow. Sometimes the experiments failed, but usually the results were better than I had hoped. Most nights, I can be found down in my shop, usually working till midnight or later, if I am trying to get something done.

My last project for the church was a tabernacle. I really pushed myself on it, using nearly every tool I owned. I decided to make it round with a domed top. Until this project, I had only turned a few items on my lathe. The legs and crossbars for a couple or roorkhee chairs, and a few small bowls, made from some small, but pretty, chunks of walnut.

I decided to dive head first into the tabernacle project and make the dome like a segmented bowl. I had never turned anything so big or complicated before, but it worked beautifully. I wanted to turn the body of the tabernacle as well, but it was too big to fit with my tool rest below. I still used the lathe, but only the indexing head. I wound up rotating the body 15 degrees at a time and hand planning the cylinder. It also turned out better than I thought it would. I definitely want to start incorporating more turned components in my designs.

I started a blog, chronicling every step of each project that I do. Most of the projects that I am asked to do, are very unique and I can't find plans or instructions to help guide me. I post my own plans for most of my projects and pictures of both my successes and failures. I learn a lot from both, so I put them out there for anyone else to learn from as well.

You can read more about the tabernacle build and my other projects on my blog by CLICKING HERE. Below are more of my wood turning projects:

You can email Lawrence at . You can see more of Lawrence's work on his website at

Submit your own woodturnings or woodturning shop to this column! Simply SEND US PHOTOS of your woodturning projects or shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodturning. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit if we show your turning in a future issue!

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