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Using a Mirror to Study the Shape of a Turned Object

Have you ever found yourself not being able to achieve that perfect shape on a bowl or a vessel?

Have you spent hours taking light cuts just to realize that no matter where you cut, everything looks the same?

Keeping a small mirror in your shop might be the solution you are looking for. Mine is about 10”x10” and it works great.

Option #1

If possible, take the work piece off the lathe and place it on a shelf at eye level. With your back towards the piece hold the mirror in front of you, so that you can see the reflection of the piece you are working on. Automatically your brain will perceive a shape different than the one you have been looking at for the last two hours.


Option #2

With the work piece still on the lathe, place the mirror in a position that allows you to see the work in progress and take some time to study the shape in the reflection. You should be able to find the spots that need to be addressed.


Although being able to create a perfect shape is rewarding, having fun and enjoying the process is what keeps us coming back to the lathe. Don’t worry about messing up. There will always be more wood for us to turn.

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