© by Russ Zimmerman, May 2018
TURNING BASICS Home Class details Tuition & contact Gallery Turning basics Resources History


Turning tools are used as cutting tools or as scraping tools. A tool for cutting may have a fluted cross section with one bevel ground, as with gouges, or a rectangular cross section with two bevels ground as with skews. In addition the angle between the one bevel and the top (flute) of the tool (gouges) or the angle between the two gound bevels (skews) will usually be between 30 and 45 degrees. A tool for scraping will be rectangular in cross section with one bevel ground, and the angle between the bevel and the flattop of the tool will usually be between 75 and 85 degrees. (Some people will grind their tool with greater or lesser angle, but the usual angles work. After you better understand how to use the tools, you can grind whatever bevel angle you want.) The following information, excerpted from the “Zimmerman Turning Letters” is the starting point of the course along with your sharpening the tools. It defines cutting tools and scraping tools by the way they are used to approach the wood. It also explains the theory of how one gets the best results from the tools using the “Zimmerman turning principles.” The Additional points complete the basics you need to understand as you practice your turning during the class. This information is to give you a head start.
Chart © by Russ Zimmerman, 2000© by Russ Zimmerman 
Turning basics