I’ve never turned wood before. I have, however, watched lots of videos on YouTube about this and it looks fascinating. A patient once turned me a mortar and pestle as a gift and they are beautiful. Luckily, one of my friends has a lathe and was happy to show me what’s involved. Straight away, I realised that this is a high-commitment, high-cost hobby so I don’t think I’ll be taking it up (I’m already in the bad books with the amount of wood chips I leave scattered about the house). His wife summed this up neatly by saying “he makes dust catchers which make loads of dust!” I think she was referring to the ornamental nature of some of his projects.

I have to say that it does look like a lot of fun but I think you would have to cut out a lot of other hobbies if you wanted to take up this one.

Time – Hours and hours and hours!

Equipment – Lathe, hand tools / gouges, wood, lacquers, wood stains, paints, shed or garage, safety mask, plus additional power tools as needed (eg sander, angle grinder, dremmel multi-tool, router etc) and all the consumables that go with these.

Cost – £££ to ££££

Difficulty – high. Takes lots and lots of practice.

Partner annoyance factor – Extreme. Primarily this time and the mess involved are the main issues here. I told my wife that all the sawdust can be turned into compressed bricks for the fire pit but that was met with a “don’t even think about it” glare.

Family – Not safe for kids at all.

Rewards – unsure. However, I do have a couple of wood turned objects which are lovely to look at. I think that the process of making something is the reward here as opposed to the actual result. I’m starting to find that most hobbies like this involve a sort of mindfulness which is where the reward comes from.