Clear Choices


Sometimes there isn’t one. Sometimes the choice is crystal clear. How can you know? Always do the right thing by being true to your core beliefs. That is the hard part. Let us say you are an experienced turner and someone who admires you offers up one of their pieces for critique. This piece needs some help, but straight out criticism could devastate this beginning turner and discourage them, the opposite of what we want.


  1. First, take a brief minute to study the piece, then begin by complimenting some of the things they got right; they may have chosen a classic shape, they got the proportions pretty close, they used a beautiful piece of wood, etc.
    1. Then, ask permission to “Suggest” things they might do differently next time around.
      1. Shoot for fair curves without bumps, consider using the Golden Mean ratio (1:1.618) when setting the height to width ratios, use a raking light to uncover hidden scratches they may have missed this time around, random sanding with the piece stopped on the lathe, buff the finish more, etc.
      2. In my experience “Brutally Honest” comments are unnecessarily destructive when trying to guide someone involved in highly artistic endeavors. Turning is an extraordinarily creative and subjective activity with many more gray areas and not so much black and white. Be cautious when offering up your opinion if it is negative.
  2.  We can learn from everyone regardless of whether we agree with them or not. Hold your tongue rather than criticizing another turner’s demonstration or techniques out loud. It is possible they either have discovered something you haven’t, or that you know something they don’t know just yet.
  3. Lesser experienced turners (this has very broad applications outside of turning) almost always are tender and fragile emotionally speaking. On the outside they may appear to be tough and can take it, or may appear moldable and accepting to your “corrections”, but understand that they can be easily discouraged, especially in anything artistic.

My best advice is to choose your words carefully with the intent to always encourage folks and bring out the best in them. Try to gently guide them in a better direction. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is when “The Student Becomes The Teacher.” This special joy is something I get to experience much more often these days as I get feedback from my customers around the world that have taken my lessons to a whole new level and send me photos to prove it! I love getting those photos and I rejoice in their accomplishments.


Here is my inspiration for this message:

Prov 15:4 - ​A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.



I will be the guest speaker at 8PM Eastern tonight on the North Carolina Woodworker (http://www.ncwoodworker.net/). They are an online forum with about 7,000 members located primarily in North Carolina and surrounding states. They have asked me to discuss my business plan which is available as a free download PDF at www.ronbrownsbest.com.


I will be doing a demonstration at the Northwest Georgia Woodturners on Thursday, Oct. 22.  Meeting time is 6:00-8:00 pm at Rome Floyd Recreation Dept., Etowah Park Senior Citizen Center, 1325 Kingston Hwy, Rome, GA. If you wish to attend, contact Charlie Self, 706-346-3100 cself@2018att.net for more information.


Tim Yoder, Star of the Popular Woodworking Magazine sponsored program “Woodturning With Tim Yoder” will be featuring one of my products on the next episode. Tim will use one of my Laser Cut Christmas Ornament Kits and will turn an ornament for you including the finial, I think, I haven’t see the video yet. It should be released on YouTube.com on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. If you don’t currently receive the email notifications and would like to, here is the link:




The Response to our Laser Cut Kits has been overwhelming! We are going to continue this sale for a while longer even though the laser is glowing a dull red from over use.

Tim Yoder will has devoted a whole show using one of these kits. It will be released Fri Oct. 22, 2015


This Week's Sale

20% to 50% Off Retail*


YouTube Video Clip Here


Hello friends. Well it’s early October and we have a few turning symposiums under our belt now after we introduced our new kits. The response we have received to our new laser cut glue up Line has been really fantastic. With the Christmas season quickly approaching I’ve decided to go all out and extend a special offer.

Imagine the reaction you’re going to get from dear friends and relatives when you present them with these extraordinary Christmas ornaments this year. The most popular pattern by far has been the butterfly and I can certainly see why. Followed closely behind that is a Christmas tree which really pops with the Goldstar and the bright green acrylic Christmas tree.

Jesus Christ is the reason for the season and you might wish to order a single cross or a triple cross like I have here. By popular request I have just introduced a single cross also.

And of course popular year-round is anything with a heart. And just in case you would actually like to make something other than a Christmas ornament here are a couple of examples of hollow forms using these exact laser cut kits. You can probably imagine the OH’s and Ah’s that I get when folks see these two pieces.

The Fleur-de-lis is an astoundingly popular kit since this pattern is a New Orleans Saints football logo, used as the Boy Scout logo, is also popular with folks of the Catholic persuasion and numerous other groups.

We are currently offering a total of about 10 different designs so I would encourage you to make this Christmas special was something that has just hit the market, something you can’t get anywhere else, and something which will make your gift that much more special and memorable.

I invite you to consider this week’s sale prices as there will never be a better time to take advantage of these fantastic new kits from Ron Brown’s Best with savings of up 50% off regular prices.

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings this Christmas Season.

* 50% off retail selling price is based on a quantity purchase.

Significant savings are still offered on lesser quantities.

More Info Here

Announcing Two New Designs:


Nativity Scene

I have the proofs made and they are beautiful. I will post pics on the web site as soon as I can turn a sample ornament of each design. The lighthouse is white in a maple panel . The Nativity scene will probably be cherry in a maple panel.

African Blackwood Sale

Perfect for Christmas Ornament Finials - Icicles

I have secured a very limited supply of African Blackwood turning blanks 1" x 1" x 5-1/2". The photo shows a finial I just turned from one of the squares. Similar to Gabon Ebony, but easier to turn and much less brittle, this material is almost identical to ebony when turned. I recorded a couple of short videos for you including "Finials for Mortals". Tis the season for Christmas Ornaments.

Also wonderful for pen blanks, miniature bird house finials, etc.

Click Here for short video on African Blackwood (4 min)

Click Here info on ordering African Blackowood

Click Here to view "Finials for Mortals" (13 min)

Fancy Christmas Ornaments & Laser Cut Glue Up Kits How-To DVD set $29.99 (see below)


New Sharpening Set Up Jigs Available

Look for these items in the New Products Review section of the current issue of Woodturning Magazine

Oct 2015

The Amazing Flat Compass

Excellent for use with a Sharpie to mark out wet bowl blanks.

24" Diameter Capacity

For those of you in the Southeast, don’t forget about Turning Southern Style XXI September 18-20, 2015. I will be there as a vendor for sure, but I have also been asked to do a rotation on Fancy Christmas Ornaments and Fancy Finials.


Ron Brown's Best © 2015 http://www.ronbrownsbest.com






In case you didn't already know, I have posted tons of "Free Download" stuff on my web site.

"Free Downloads HERE"

Including Bottle Stopper Designs - 50 Plus classic designs. Free PDF

Remaining Summer Show Schedule 2015 -

October 20, 2015 I will be the Guest on (www.ncwoodworker.net) for a chat on Oct 15 at 8:00 pm eastern time. 1 to 1-1/2 hours duration.

Northwest Georgia Woodturners Association in Rome, Georgia Thursday Oct 22, 2015

C3 Church Lawrenceville, Georgia Party on The Pavement Festival. October 30, 2015 5pm to 9pm. We will be retail vendors with finished goods for sale at a pre-Holloween party Friday evening. I will have a lathe and will be making tops for the kiddies. We will have miscellaneous finished turned items for sale.