Turning spindle turning, also known as turning between centres, is a traditional woodturning technique referring to a horizontal piece of wood being turned around its centre axis by its shaft at its end. This type of turning is used in many applications and is often associated with working with the common maple tree, however there are other types of wood known to be turned in this manner. The main difference is usually the distance from the centre of rotation to the ends of the piece.
Turning spindles were primarily designed to turn small wooden items such as pianos and sofas. Although the majority of woodworkers will not use a turning spindle when working with larger items such as pianos, it is still a useful tool when turning large pieces of furniture, especially if the piece can be spun on its side, which makes it easier to turn over large pieces of furniture. Some of these spinning devices are very simple and are suitable for any size item. Others are much more complex and require specialised tools and equipment to be used effectively. These are designed to spin large pieces of wood over their centre axis and can work on both smooth and jagged surfaces, and different woods.
Many spinning devices are available and they can be made up of many different pieces, such as a large flat surface and a flat base. The flat base can be used to allow the shaft to move freely on a smooth surface. The device can be designed to turn the piece on one of its surfaces or it can be designed to turn a piece on a flat surface.
One of the most common uses of a spindle is to turn large items of furniture. Large pieces of furniture such as tables and chairs can be turned on their sides with the help of a spindle. Turning these large items of furniture on their side is known as ‘turning in’. This is an effective method for turning large items of furniture since it gives the piece’s an interesting appearance. The turning of these large items of furniture can be done either manually, where the worker has to use a lathe to turn the piece over one side, or automated, where a machine rotates the piece over one side.
Turning spindles can also be used to turn small items such as buttons and nails onto their flat surfaces. This is known as ‘turning over’turning on their side’. The edges can be forced down to close to the flat surface and a hole can be drilled on the opposite side of the edge of the button or nail. A screw driven head can be attached to the drill hole so that when the screw is turned, it pulls the nail into the hole, producing the turning motion.
Many different sizes of turning spindles can be used for different purposes. The sizes of the turning spindles available depend on the size of the object that they are to be used on, and the material that they are to be used on.