Published by Guild of Master Craftsman Publications Ltd, East Sussex UK
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 185
David Springett's first book, Woodturning Wizardry, was published in 1993. Shortly afterwards, while he was in Australia, he confided that it was the boredom of turning vast quantities of lace bobbins for his wife's business that had led him to mentally explore the woodturning puzzles contained in his book.
It was an ingenious way of passing the time and one that resulted in him becoming a highly successful author.
Woodturning Wizardry was an immediate best-seller and David has followed it with several other books, all of them examining unusual aspects of woodturning. The latest, Woodturning Trickery is essentially a well-organised, clearly written and well-illustrated workbook, the majority of which is devoted to the presentation of a dozen intriguing projects.
The book begins with some brief notes on Safety. There is then a short section on 'Woods' (only of general value here since its principal focus is overseas species), followed by a couple of pages about tools and equipment and a much longer discussion on the various ways in which work may be held in a lathe. There are also useful treatments of the special techniques required for turning small diameter spindles and the hand chasing of threads.
The projects begin with a cone which holds a captive wooden rod, horizontally about half way up its height. Pulling on the rod, holding the cone at an angle, shaking the assembly - nothing has the slightest effect. Yet the rod can be removed with a simple trick.
Project 2 is a mouse trapped inside a block of cheese (both wooden of course). The mouse is free to move inside its hole but, as if it has eaten too much, it must stay forever inside the cheese.
The third puzzle is a rich, red apple, but it has an obvious worm peeping out through its side. Has the worm ruined the apple? The core must be removed to find out - but it isn’t easy to just take out the core.
The remaining projects include one based on an old disc stacking trick which will be familiar to many. There is also a flying saucer comprised of two halves that defy attempts to separate them unless you are shown how. Then there is a goblet shaped vessel that contains knotted cords and a gracious urn is trapped inside a circular Greek temple...
While the object of each project is to produce an interesting and sometimes frustratingly difficult puzzle, these are all examples of fine woodturning. There’s no doubt that some will test the skills of even experienced turners, but David assures readers that they will be surprised by what they can achieve by following the instructions with care and using a 'gentle touch'.
This is a book for woodturners of practically all levels of skill. The work is painstaking rather than difficult and the end result of each project is a showpiece that will fascinate virtually any audience.
Units of Measurement: Metric & Imperial