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Both the carpenter and joiner who occasionally turns smaller components for his furniture and the passionate woodturner who (almost) only turns in the workshop will find a good selection of machines and accessories in our range. The woodturning lathes cover various requirement profiles from small but robust table models to large floor-standing models. In addition to various turning irons, there is also a wide range of turning chucks as accessories for the lathe.

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Woodturning as a method of woodworking is on a par with carpentry and other trades. Even today, it is still an apprenticeship that leads to the master craftsman's certificate. However, the importance of woodturning as a trade has declined considerably compared to the past. On the other hand, it is becoming more and more popular as a very creative hobby that offers a wide range of possibilities for expression and often blurs the boundaries between craft, handicraft and art.

What are the differences between woodturning and carpentry?

Woodturning differs significantly from carpentry or joinery in a number of important ways. These differences also reveal the essential characteristics of this processing technique.

  • While the carpenter works mainly or only with wood and wood materials (only occasionally does he also resort to plastics, glass and other materials), the turning of materials other than wood is widespread. These include various plastics, softer minerals such as soapstone and alabaster. Softer metals such as aluminium can also be turned. Iron alloys and steel, however, are reserved for the related manufacturing technique of turning, which differs significantly from woodturning in many respects.
  • In contrast to carpentry and other woodworking trades (for example, carpentry, cooperage or wheelwrighting), the final workpiece in woodturning is rarely produced by joining individual components. Rather, the processing of the wood is essentially limited to chipping: The woodturner removes material as he works (like the carver and the wood sculptor), while the joiner almost always assembles material (or components) as well.
  • The workpieces made on the lathe are mostly (axis-) symmetrical. Although there are special cases for which this does not apply, these working methods are usually reserved for advanced or even expert woodturners.
  • The wood turner restricts himself much more to traditional means such as oils and waxes for the surface treatment. Sometimes the finished piece is also stained, but not infrequently it is left completely untreated to emphasise the very high surface quality achieved.

Basic working methods in woodturning

There are two basic turning processes (and some special cases). What they have in common is that the blank is clamped on one or both ends in the lathe, is set into a turning motion by the motor of the lathe, and then the lathe iron is placed on the tool rest to bring it up to the blank and remove chips.

  • Longwood turning
    In long wood turning, the blank is clamped between the headstock and the tailstock (more rarely only on one side in a chuck on the headstock side). The blank rotates around its grain direction, i.e. the wood fibres run from the headstock to the tailstock, i.e. parallel to the bench bed. The carpenter or joiner would speak of a square timber that is clamped at the ends. By far the majority of turned workpieces are made using this process: for example, tool handles, furniture legs and handles, balusters and columns, cans, cups and boxes, writing implements, vases and candlesticks.
  • Crosscut turning
    In this process the blank is only clamped on one side of the headstock (in rare cases it is also supported by a point on the tailstock). In this process, the wood grain runs perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the lathe (imagine a board section fixed to the face). The resulting workpieces are usually flat rather than tall, but can be relatively large in diameter: Plates, bowls and cans, plates and rings.
  • Rarer processes
    For the sake of completeness, various processes should also be mentioned that represent special cases of longwood or crosswood turning. They either serve to produce special workpieces, require certain additional equipment or special working techniques, or they are used for special materials: hoop turning, oval turning, thread turning, greenwood turning, segment turning. They usually require basic knowledge of woodturning, often even a high level of skill and a lot of practice. They will not be discussed in detail here.

The wood turner's workshop

If the (private or professional) woodworking is limited to woodturning, the equipment of the workshop is less elaborate than that of a cabinetmaker.

The equipment of a pure woodturning workshop usually includes:

  • Woodturning lathe
    Depending on the mass of the blank and the speed of the lathe, the forces involved in woodturning can be very high. There can also be strong vibrations, especially during the initial processing of irregularly shaped blanks. Therefore (besides the usual evaluation criteria of a good machine - high manufacturing quality, reliability, ease of maintenance) the weight and stable construction of the lathe are important. Both the frame and the bench bed and the other components should, as with our Laguna lathes, be sturdy and heavy to ensure smooth running.
    The scope of delivery of a wood lathe usually includes a driver and a centre punch and a face plate to clamp or clamp the workpiece. In addition to other useful woodturning accessories , we also offer various lathe chucks for this purpose.
  • Woodturning iron
    The most important turning accessories for the wood turner are the turning chisels with which the workpiece is machined. A note for the absolute novice: it is absolutely necessary to use woodturning chisels. Under no circumstances can they be replaced by other tools (chisels or similar). Failure to observe this principle can lead to serious accidents. For the beginner in the field of woodturning (and for the occasional woodturner) a small basic equipment of woodturning chisels is sufficient, which we also offer as sets (e.g. this woodturning chisel set).
  • Sharpening station
    Like all woodworking tools, woodturning chisels must be kept sharp at all times in order to work safely and achieve clean results. Because of the high number of revolutions of the workpiece in the lathe (and partly also because of the highly abrasive materials you are working with), the cutting edges of the woodturning chisels dull very quickly. Since they therefore need to be sharpened more often, you should set up a separate workstation for sharpening. Basically, the equipment with appropriate grinding stones and sharpening materials is nodifferent from that in a carpenter's workshop. Sharpening the straight edges is also no different from sharpening a chisel or plane iron. The round cutting edges of the various tubes may seem a little intimidating at first, but their sharpening can also be learned with proper instruction and a little practice.
  • Measuring tool
    Measuring turned workpieces requires different tools from those used in carpentry: here, a ruler will only get you so far. Instead, inside and outside calipers (or the combination known as Tanzmeister) are needed to measure the diameter of the piece at different points. Within certain limits, measurements of the outside diameter can also be made with a caliper gauge .
  • Personal protective equipment
    When working on a lathe, health protection measures are even more important than when working on a carpenter's lathe, because much larger quantities of chips and above all (fine) dust are produced. You should therefore never work without respiratory protection, eye protection and hearing protection. Respiratory protection half and full masks that cover two or all three of these functions are very suitable. The chips and dust also make it advisable to wear an apron or smock. You should definitely avoid wearing protective gloves of any kind, as they make working on the lathe more dangerous than safer.
  • Dust extraction
    A stationary dust extraction system in the woodturning workshop is a necessary addition to portable respiratory protection. This combination solution offers the greatest possible protection against the dangerous wood dusts.
  • Band saw
    In many woodturning workshops you will find a second stationary machine next to the lathe - a band saw. It is used to roughly cut the blanks before they are clamped in the bench. This work can also be done with hand tools, but the band saw makes it easier and more pleasant.