Carbide Rotary Tools and Discs


During my video of the Three Footed Bowl I promised a short video on the carbide rotary tools and cutting disks that I had used, along with links to the manufacturers sites.

The video review can been found here.

Before I go any further, please note that I am not sponsored or connected in any way with the companies products that I mention or show and I am not able to endorse them beyond the usage that I demonstrate or discuss.  The way that I choose to use them may not be the method recommended by the manufacturer and may not be suitable for you!  Right, now that’s out of the way….

The rotary tool I use is a Dremel 4000 series.  I use this with their flexi-shaft option most of the time.  When I bought this I couldn’t source any of the ‘better’ rotary tools within the UK like Foredom.  A week after buying the Dremel I found a website which seems to stock a good range of Foredom and other machines.  When I can warrant the upgrade this is a route I shall go.

SaburrTooth ShapesWith the Dremel I use rotary burrs from many manufacturers, but the ones of interest here are the carbide burrs made by SaburrTooth.  They are available in three grits (depending on shank size) and a whole range of shapes and styles.  These tips have a large number of carbide ‘teeth’.  I have a couple of different ones in two grades, course and fine.  Though there is a difference in the finish from the two grits, in future I would only buy the course for rapid stock removal and use other finishing methods like those offered by Dura-Grit.


Dura-Grit ToolsDura-Grit rotary tips are covered with a carbide grit, rather than teeth and give a reasonably fine, controllable finish.  They are available in many shapes and styles with various grits from 80 to 240.

The mini-angle grinder I use is the Proxxon Long Kneck 50mm / 2″ model.  Proxxon tools are generally available in both 240v and 110v. I understand the offering by ArborTech is much better and far more versatile, but at a higher price point.  The Proxxon does all that I need at the moment, and hopefully for the foreseeable future.  The carbide disks I use come from both SaburrTooth and King Arthur’s Tools.  King Arthur’s Tools do a fabulous range of disks and rotary burrs that I look forward to trying in the future.  Their disks are used by renowned turner Nick Agar to great effect.


Proxxon Logo DuraGRITlogo2 Saburrtooth Logo

King Arthur Tools

Three Footed Bowl


Following on from my ‘Four Footed Bowl‘, I have recently produced a three footed version.  This should have overcome the ‘rocking’ issue with the first one as it moved slightly with moisture changes.  I used a lovely piece of ‘rippled’ Sycamore that is pretty enough to not need any embellishment beyond a buffed coat of Chestnut’s Wood Wax 22.

I have just finished a short follow-up post and video that covers the carbide burrs and tools I used in order to create the feet.  Of course there are many other ways that this could be done – use what ever method you are most comfortable with!  The follow-up, with links to the manufacturers, can be seen here.


I produced a video of the creation of this piece.  It can be found here: Video – Three Footed Bowl

Laburnum ‘Twig Pot’


I turn pieces of all shapes and sizes and naturally favourites arise.  These aren’t always the biggest pieces though.  This little Laburnum ‘Twig Pot’, or ‘Bud Vase’, demonstrates that often you need to look at the smaller pieces to find real beauty in wood.

This was the first piece to dry well enough from a supply given by a lovely lady, local to me, who will always be known as Mrs Laburnum.   It was presented to her as a ‘down payment’ on future wood.  The neck contains a glass insert which allows the display of both fresh and dried flowers.

Laburnum Twig Pot


‘Moorish’ Box


This little walnut box was inspired by the wonderful work of Richard Raffan.  I deliberately turned the piece with a tenon on the lid, as apposed to the usual tenon on the body, to see how it would look.  By experimenting we learn what works and what doesn’t… I’ll let you form your own opinion 😉




Video #26 – Simple Photography for Woodworkers




For a few years I watched woodworkers produce wonderful pieces that they had worked tirelessly to finish and then try to show those pieces to the rest of the world with, quite frankly, frighteningly terrible photographs.  This isn’t because they didn’t care about the pictures, but because they didn’t know a few simple, cost free little tricks to make their pieces look fantastic.

In this video I introduce a simple concept to improve your photography.  This isn’t meant to be a one stop solution, just a stepping stone to get you started, but I’m sure you will see the benefits immediately.

Video #22 – Off Centre Egg Plate, Part 1




This was the first time I experimented with using the Ruth Niles Off Centre jig on anything but bottle stoppers and jewellery pieces.  It was a fun piece to turn and led to a few other pieces in the future.  The wood was Walnut and finished with a food safe oil.


Part two can be found here.

Video #05 – Bottom Repair, Part 1


In ‘video #3’ I went through the bottom of a bowl.  I’m sure we have all done it.  This is ‘Part 1’ of how I fixed the bottom.  I could have just thrown this away as it wasn’t a particularly good piece of wood, but I wanted to learn the process of repairing so I have the knowledge when I really need it.  Everyone should attempt a repair, at least once!  I wouldn’t do it quite the same way today, but this learning process was invaluable.



Video #01 – Onwards and Upwards!


This was my first YouTube video, and the start of my story.  I returned to turning in my middle years, having turned a little in school back in the late 1970’s.  I pretty much had to start again, with only a slight memory of how the machines work and how the tools should feel in my hands.

I started making YouTube videos after watching a chap called Peter Freitag who used his workshop, and his videos, as a therapy for his very acute depressive states. Having become very ill in 2007, and hardly ever leaving my home, I too had become depressed.  Peter, and his videos, showed me that I could do this too, to challenge myself and to meet new fellows around the world.  It didn’t take me long to come back ‘out of my shell’ and very quickly the videos became a part of me.  If you have a few minutes free, please go and visit Peter and his world…

I have come an awful long way since creating this first video.  My turning, I hope, is almost unrecognisable from these first few videos.  I feel I have undergone many years of learning in just a few as old learnt skills came back to me.