Category Archives: Wood Lathe Information

The History of the Wood Lathe

Today’s wood lathes almost exclusively rely on electric motors to generate turning power and for the most part all follow the same basic design. But prior to the industrial revolution wood was being turned for thousands of years on increasingly sophisticated man powered lathes.

People have been turning and carving wood since at least the sixth century BC and possibly earlier. Wood pieces that have characteristics that suggest that they might wave been produced by turning have been dated to 1400 BC which would make the art of wood turning over 3000 years old. Continue reading

Caring For Wood Lathe Tools

In order to get the most out of your lathe you will need sharp, well maintained tools. Wood lathe tools take a lot of abuse, much more so that most of the other equipment in your toolbox. This is simply as a result of the amount of wood they can go through in a short amount of time. Carving a large piece of wood that is turning at high velocity is enough to dull even the best chisel.

So what can you do to keep your tools sharp? The first and one of the most important things you should be doing is cleaning your chisels after each use. This small step will go a along way towards prolonging the lifetime of your tools and keeping them sharp. Taking good care of your chisel set with regular cleaning will result having to sharpen them less often and better results from your carving. Continue reading

The parts of a wood lathe

There are three major components of a wood lathe. The first is the headstock. This will be located on the left side of the lathe bed. The headstock is the part of the lathe that makes your piece of wood turn. It consists of an electric motor, and a spur or chuck used to attach a piece of wood.

The second part is the tailstock. This is located on the opposite side of the lathe and the primary function is to secure the work piece via a clamp or hand wheel. It consist of a spindle that will attach to the piece of wood and allow it to spin freely.

Finally there is the tool rest. This is simply a metal brace used to support your cutting tool during wood turning. Typically the height and position of the tool rest is adjustable and will be moved throughout your turning projects in order to achieve different cuts.

While these features are common to every wood lathe there are many important differences between models. Lathes come in a variety of sizes ranging from small tabletop models suitable for hobbyist projects to full size tools used by professional furniture makers. There is also a wide variety of options and features that