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The wonders of woodturning

Posted on September 15, 2014 by Dot & Cross

We like to think that having a cabinet maker for a Dad is pretty special. And when we were young he would always come home from work and show us pieces he had made or antiques he restored. He even made most of the furniture in our house – beds, tables, chairs, settees, you name it our Dad has made it!

When starting Dot & Cross we always wanted our Dad to make beautiful pieces for us. And we thought we would find out more about the history and stories behind these pieces. Most of our wooden items have been turned on a lathe. The technique called woodturning can be traced back thousand of years starting from the Egyptians! The earliest lathes were operated by hand with one person turning the wood attached to a rope while the other would cut into the wood. Leonardo da Vinci is reported to have been the first person to record the mechanical continuous lathe in the form of a sketch. Technology has moved on since then and woodturning is now done on a mechanical lathe, which continuously spins the wood. Our Dad works on a lovely Art Deco lathe that still works like a dream.

You might not realise it but we use objects that have been turned in our everyday lives from utensils, chairs, musical instruments and even sports equipment!

A sketch drawn by Leonardo da Vinci demonstrating the mechanical continuous lathe.

Here the lathe we use to make our pieces. You can see that it have evolved a bit since the sketch by Leonardo da Vinci! This picture shows the lathe set up ready to finish off our Lighthouse Tealight Holder.

Here's a different angle of the lathe showing how the chisel is placed to cut into the wood.

Here are all the different types of chisels that can be used in woodturning. They vary in size, blade shapes and widths to achieve different shapes when cutting into the wood.

Our Square Bowl which has just been finished on the lathe.

Posted in Design