If you’ve been working in the woodworking field, building furniture, and other projects, and you’re ready to take your work and career to the next level, there are ways to do so. Learning some spindle-turning techniques is one way to transcend your woodworking career and substantially increase your earnings. The process of turning woodworking spindles entails the use of a lathe in which you turn and shape cylindrical wooden spindles. These spindles can be used for a variety of projects, including table legs, candlesticks, staircase railings, and much more.

The Benefits of Using Spindle Turning Techniques

Spindle-turning techniques enable you to create attractive and exciting woodworking projects. In addition to allowing you to increase your earnings as a woodworker, there are many benefits of spindle turning, which include:

  • Versatility – Not all woodworkers possess the skill of spindle turning, and learning this skill considerably increases the types of woodworking projects you can complete.
  • Innovation – Learning to master spindle turning enables you to push your level of creativity to the next level so you can create unlimited numbers of unique and attractively designed projects.
  • Performance – The turning process makes it easy to consolidate the entire woodworking process, enabling you to complete projects more easily, more efficiently, and more quickly.

Learning Spindle Turning Techniques

Spindle turning is a step-by-step process that requires skill. Here is an overview of this process that will enable you to turn blanks into beautiful masterpieces that your customers will love.

Step 1: Mounting

The first step in the spindle-turning process is mounting. After choosing a blank that is in optimal shape and devoid of any cracks, knots, or other imperfections, you need to ensure that the grain of the wood runs in the correct direction for your project. Then, adhere your spindle blank to the lathe between the centers. Make the necessary adjustments to the tool rest so that it’s slightly below the center point of the blank.

Ensure the correct lathe speed for spindle turning, as you don’t want the speed to be so high that it causes excess vibration, but you also want it fast enough to perform correctly.

Step 2: Performing Roughing on the Blank

Once you’ve properly secured the spindle blank to the lathe, it’s time to begin processing it. You will use a roughing gouge to turn the square blank until it becomes cylindrical shaped. Alternatively, you can use a spindle gouge to perform roughing if you like, although many woodworkers prefer a roughing gouge. You will use a low RPM for this step, which makes certain the process is performed properly. Begin with the handle low while carefully raising it to cut. Shift the tool back and forth along the tool rest, and be sure to avoid the corners. Adjust the speed of the lathe, so it operates faster, and use the roughing gouge to create a smoother cut. You can use your thumb to keep the shavings out of your way.

Step 3: Shaping Your Spindle

After you’ve verified that your spindle is completely cylindrical, it’s time to begin the shaping process. Shaping entails designing details like fillets, coves, beads, tapers, and more. This process might seem challenging in the beginning, but the more you practice, the more skilled you will become at shaping a spindle. Ensure you’ve got the handle positioned properly and create the desired cuts using a skew chisel. You must also be mindful of the cutting-edge alignment and bevel rubbing before you begin making the cuts.

You shouldn’t expect shaping to be perfect the first few times you do it. Improving your skills will take time and patience, but you can and will improve with practice. During the shaping process, you will find it necessary to make frequent adjustments. It’s also important to work from the larger diameter to the smaller.

Step 4: Check the Parallelism

Once you’re finished shaping your spindle, you need to ensure the cuts are parallel, which you can do by using a ruler or caliper. If the cuts are parallel, you can use sandpaper to rid the piece of any tool marks. If the cuts aren’t parallel and look nothing like you expected them to, then you can perform spindle replacement and start from the beginning. Again, you aren’t going to become a spindle-turning expert overnight, but the more you work at it, the better you will become at turning spindles. You can start with easier projects; once you’ve mastered those, you can move on to more complicated ones. Soon, you’ll master the skill of spindle-turning, which can be beneficial in several ways.

Step 5: Applying Finish to Your Spindle

This is the final step in the process, which involves adding the desired finish to the spindle. Here are some types of finishes that you might want to use on your spindle during this step, depending on your goals:

  • Shellac or Lacquer – Either of these two finishes can be used if you desire rapid drying.
  • Stain – This finish comes in a variety of colors that can be used to enhance the grain and color of the wood.
  • Wax or Oil – Either of these finishes will provide an attractive protective shield and create an ultra-smooth feel.
  • Varnish or Polyurethane – These finishes add a glossy shine and additional durability.

Once you master the skill of spindle turning, the sky is the limit when it comes to the projects you can take on. As long as you follow the step-by-step process and you’ve given yourself time to practice, your woodworking projects should turn out beautifully every time. Not only will you impress yourself with your finished projects, but you’re also likely to exceed your customers’ expectations. Furthermore, you might even find that you enjoy this creative take on woodworking spindles, as it can be quite fulfilling. If you need more extensive instructions, there are numerous videos available online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *