Whether it’s woodturning or woodworking, the most enjoyable projects for me are usually those that present a few challenges along the way. By “challenge,” I’m not talking about fixing mistakes — although like most of us, I fix my fair share. What I mean here are those aspects of a project that require me to set aside my usual methods and think about something in a new way. It might involve modifying a machine task, building a funky jig or even trying an unconventional material. Sometimes the challenges are downright perplexing, but they’re also wonderful escapes for the mind.
Truth be told, solving the little challenges can give me as much joy as completing the project itself. (And maybe even more!)
In this month’s “Woodturning Monthly,” our featured AAW turner Carl Ford comes up with a clever problem-solver that satisfies his need for custom-gripping collet chucks. I won’t spoil the surprise about his material choice for those chucks, but chances are pretty good you haven’t tried it yet. It’s clever!
I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Carl, but I’ll bet the minute he landed on a solution to this little challenge, making that first custom chuck brought him as much joy as the bottle stoppers he’s now able to turn with them. Challenge bested, problem solved. Nice going, Carl.
Chris Marshall, Woodworker’s Journal