Turning Spindle Turning, also known as turning between centers, is an alternative woodturning technique, which refers to a piece of timber in a wood turner being turned from its flat bottom up the centre axis. Turning Spindles are generally manufactured from a number of different types of timber including: oak, chestnut, ebony and mahogany, and can be produced to suit the requirements of the wood turner by using various methods. The basic technique used is to attach two opposite ends of the wooden shaft to an internal spindle, where the shaft rotates at an angle. As the two ends of the shaft move parallel to each other the spindle turns on the spindle’s centre axis to the right.
Turning is usually done with a hand-turned spindle or on a hand-milled turner. Turning a flat spindle can be achieved by either: a threaded hole is drilled in the end of the wood to hold the end-stop (also called ‘screw’ or ‘shank’) and a screw head fitted into the hole. A hexagonal piece of wood is inserted into the hole. As the spindle turns in the direction of the screw, the hexagonal piece moves around the screw head. This causes the end of the wood shaft to turn over and thus provides the turning motion.
Turning between centres (also referred to as turning along a straight line) involves turning the wood in a clockwise direction across the centre of the spindle. To perform this procedure a hexagonal piece of timber is inserted into the hexagonal hole, which is then screwed into the spindle. The wood will continue to turn due to the fact that it is not being pulled towards the spindle. After the wood shaft has passed through the hole it will be moved along the shaft by a screw driven into the side of the screw spindle. The shaft is now rotated in a clockwise direction as the screw moves against the side of the screw.
Turning is often carried out by hand, but machines are also available for hand turning of flat wood. There are many different types of turning machine, which vary in price and functionality.
Turning of flat timber has been used for centuries in Europe and America, and turning of a wooden spindle is an ancient art that is still being used today. It was first developed in Italy and it was found to be an effective method of building fences and doors in that country. Some of the most popular styles in turnery are still found in Italy today’s home furniture. In fact, some of the most beautiful Italian furniture is created by hand turning spindles. Although turning a flat wood spindle has been replaced by other techniques, it remains popular because of its simplicity and effectiveness. Turning wood is very useful as a way to create simple designs, and is commonly used in architectural and rural building.
Because of their simplicity, wooden spindles are widely used to create intricate patterns and decorative effects in interior and exterior settings, such as the famous “Spindle Chair” used in the garden at the top of our garden. If you wish to learn more about turning your own wooden spindles, why not visit our website.