Turning spindle turning, or rotating between centers, is an art, and involves the movement of wood along the inner edge of a lathe. The turning action of a turning spindle allows the wood grains to appear to move in two directions at once. This results in a beautiful and elegant finished product.
Turning spindles are a vital component of every wood turner’s toolbox. Turning machines are used to turn wood, but turners can also use spindles for a variety of other woodworking projects. Most woodturners start their day with a simple spindle, but it is very common to work on more complex projects over time. Turning spindles are also sometimes referred to as “turners.”
Turning machines are often made with a hand crank. These have a handle on one end that rotates counter-clockwise when the crank is rotated. A turning screw (also known as a turner screw) is usually placed inside the machine, which is rotated by a crank and then turned back again to turn the screw. In some lathes, the crank and the screw are separated by a series of wheels, and the turning action of the screw is done by turning the wheel on one side and then turning the opposite wheel. When both wheels are turned, it causes the turning to occur in reverse.
Turning spindles may be powered by a motor or using electric power. Turning motors allow for speedier movement than electric-powered spindles. Electric-powered turning machines, which can range from four to nine horsepower, can be used for intricate turning. These are generally powered by 12-volt batteries. Some turning machines are powered by batteries. These tend to run on mains electricity, and most of these are not capable of running on mains gas. Because they are powered by battery, the turning power is not as powerful as it is with motor-driven machines.
Turning machines can come in many different sizes and shapes. Many of them are small and portable enough to fit into a vehicle trunk or brunette. Other larger turning machines are available, and they often take up valuable work space in garages and sheds. Turning machines range in weight from about eight pounds to nearly four thousand pounds. It is important to measure the turning load that will be supported when purchasing a machine.
A turning machine can change the look and feel of a woodturner’s workshop. Woodturners will enjoy the benefits of using their new machine when it allows them to produce beautiful finished wood products and increase the value of their workshop.