Turning wood on a lathe has to be one of the most fulfilling things you can do when working with wood.
You can see the results quickly, you can easily turn different shapes, the sound and the feel of the chisels cutting through the wood have a rhythm unto themselves and you don’t have to worry about cutting straight lines!
That’s not to say that turning wood is easy. The wood can come off the lathe if it’s not mounted properly. The chisel can get caught on the wood if you press too hard — especially when first starting to shape the wood from a square or rectangular block — and turning wood makes a lot of mess.
Combining different types of wood with varying colours and grains can also result in amazing patterns and textures.
My two favourite woods for turning are the striped zebra wood and cocobolo. These ones were made years ago in high school. I don’t have a “real lathe” so I can’t make anything like these now, but I do have a mini-lathe for turning mini bowls.