Excellence Through Baby Steps

The time changed again, another season ended, most of the snow has melted and another birthday is just around the corner. Now what? I was on my way to the beginning of the third semester of evening classes when the lyrics of a popular Christian song on the radio popped out at me. Matt Maher’s “Hold Us Together” has a line we’ve all heard a thousand times, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.” Thank you Captain Obvious. 

So, Now What? As a wood turner are you going to make another bowl just like all of the other bowls? Or, can this summer season be different? At least a little bit different. When the rudder on a boat is turned slightly the boat will change directions given a little bit of time. When the rudder is turned harshly, 90 degrees, it acts as a brake and might actually break off if the speed is too great. One of the greatest powers in the universe is incrementalism. Small changes over time add up to make a huge difference. This is true for wood turners as well.

You can progress from a mediocre turner to an excellent turner in baby steps faster than you realize. Pick two things to get really good at and work on those two things over the next three months. Don’t tackle the whole world all at once. Example One: learn to shear scrape with a heavy bowl scraper so you can begin sanding your bowls, plates and platters with 180 grit rather than 60 grit. Shear scraping can eliminate torn grain which will make a huge difference in your bowl turning. Example Two: learn to roll beads, small and large, with a skew chisel. You will be amazed at how easy it is to get a fair curve with a skew compared to a spindle gouge. It is faster, better and easier once you get the hang of it. I use a skew often when turning acorn boxes and Christmas ornament globes. It is my “go-to” method for finalizing the exterior shape for vases and urns. Shaping a curve with a skew is amazing to watch and saves a ton of time.

You can master more techniques in the fall. By the time a whole year has gone by, you will have mastered eight different skills by focusing on just two at a time. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. What are we going to do today which will help us be different - better tomorrow? Remember that wherever you go, there you are.

Here is my inspiration for this message.
Jas 3:4 NIV: Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

Ecc 10:10 NIV: If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.



Travel Log

We are at home!!! Our crazy traveling time is over for this season. We will be at the AAW in Atlanta, Georgia in June. We are tentatively going to attend SWAT in August, but not certain just yet. Hoping to get caught up and fire up my brand new CNC which by now is a whole year old without every having been plugged in.

End of Season Overstock Sale

DVDs $15 ea

All DVDs are on sale for a limited time for $15 each - the title of your choice.

More info Here

Amazing Flat Compass $10 ea.

I have a limited supply of these handy items. I am discontinuing them for now. This is a close out price.

More info HERE

I am relisting the Laser Cut Kits with orders to be shipped beginning the week of April 18th, 2016. The Gluing Alignment Guide will also be available.

You will find Savings of up to 50% on this sale. The more you buy, the more you save.


Click image to enlarge

New Designs for Christmas - Select yours from all 20 designs offered


Need More Than 5 Kits? Order them here


Tim Yoder From Popular Woodturning

Turns a Laser Cut Christmas Tree Ornament

Free to View His Complete Video Below

YouTube Screen Grab

Tim Yoder S2-Ep13

Tim Yoder, Star of the Popular Woodworking Magazine sponsored program “Woodturning With Tim Yoder” and a new friend, just released an episode featuring one of my Laser Cut Christmas Tree Kits. Tim will use one of my Laser Cut Christmas Ornament Kits and turns an ornament for you. If you don’t currently receive the email notifications and would like to, here is the link to subscribe:




Single Kits are also available

More Individual Kits Here

20% to 50% Off Retail in Quantity


Ron's YouTube Video Clip Here


These Laser Cut Kits can be used for way more than just Christmas Ornaments. Below are some examples of turned lidded boxes and small vases made using them. There is even a bottle stopper made from one panel of the Fleur-de-lis kit.


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 20 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 to 50% off suggested retail selling 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



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)






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