A no nonsense guide to turning wood on a lathe simple machines, easy skills to learn, fast results. People are drawn to the woodturning lathe because it is the quickest way to go from raw wood to a finished object. Most projects can be finished in an afternoon, and many can be completed in less than an hour. Unlike most woodworking machines, the lathe grips and whirls the wood while the woodworker attacks it with a hand held chisel or gouge. This makes the chips and shavings fly into the air as the blank takes on its new shape. This is also what makes woodturning so much fun: simple machines, easy skills to learn, fast results.