Turner and Turning Spindle
Turning Spindle Turning, also known as turning between centres, is an old woodturning technique referring to the movement of a piece of wood between two positions on a lathe in a turning lathe machine. The term ‘turning spindle’ refers to the turning of the tool between the centres of a pair of opposite wooden tools.
When starting a turn with a new piece of wood, a turning spindle is usually used to rotate the tool, which is rotated by a turning drill, so that the new piece can be put into position. Turning Spindles are often referred to as turners and are available in three main types – screw-on turning machines, which are usually very compact; turners with two moving pieces (such as the French spinners); and screw-on turning machines that use a series of fixed rotary tool blocks. Turning Spindles can be powered by a range of different methods – centrifugal, reciprocating, hydraulic, and gas driven.
Turning tools use a series of rolling rollers are designed to create centrifugal force, as needed. Centrifugal force forces a piece of metal to move at high velocity – high enough to turn it. These types of centrifugal force are used more for lathes, turning drills, and rotary tools than for hand tools. Most turning tools have an adjustable speed control, and a rotating head that spins a rotating drill. Centrifugal force is used mainly because it’s faster, but a turning tool may also be used for some smaller objects, such as pieces of metal, when a slower spinning speed is required.
Turning tools can be purchased either by making an investment in a turner, or by buying an existing one. Buying a used turning tool means that you will need to pay more money up front. But if you consider that your turning equipment will need to be maintained to ensure its performance and to increase its value then you should consider purchasing a new turning tool, especially if you are an experienced turning woodturner.
Turning machines are relatively new products, developed to speed up turning woodturning. While they have an overall resemblance to the popular ‘wedge tool’ that was originally developed for turning paper into pulp, today’s turning machines are made to move large pieces of wood at high speed without the danger of breakage and damage to the tool’s cutting surface. Turning machines are built on industrial lathes and have small rolling spindles, which spin by centrifugal force rather than a wheel.
Many manufacturers produce turning tools that are appropriate for commercial woodturners, and many turners make their own tooling using turners based on their own design. Turning equipment is also widely available from manufacturers who specialise in woodturning, such as Canadian Woods, Tormey or Woll. Turning equipment is available from manufacturers of both hand and lathes, making turning a tool easy to achieve regardless of whether you use a lathe or a turner.