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What is a woodturning lathe?

Shop for Wood Turning Chisels

Wood turning woodturning lathe work tools chisel chisels gouge roughing out spindle lathing workshop wonkee donkee tools DIY guide
Wood turning woodturning lathe work tools chisel chisels gouge roughing out spindle lathing workshop wonkee donkee tools DIY guide A woodturning lathe is made up of several parts, all of which have their own specific function and purpose.
Wood turning woodturning lathe work tools chisel chisels gouge roughing out spindle lathing workshop wonkee donkee tools DIY guide

Headstock

The headstock of a woodturning lathe holds the the spindle in place. This is typically where you will find the motor and drive belt that turn the spindle.

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Spindle

The spindle is held in place by the headstock and is supported by bearings which allow it to spin freely. The spindle is usually driven by a belt connected to a motor. Many modern lathe spindles have a threaded part which can accept various attachments such as a faceplate for bowl and dish turning.

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Tool rest

The tool rest is an adjustable bar upon which most woodturning tools are supported during use.

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Tool rest banjo

The tool rest is locked in position by the tool rest banjo which can be tightened or loosened, allowing the tool rest to be moved, adjusted and set in the most comfortable position for working.

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Tailstock

The tailstock can slide along the lathe bed and can be locked in place depending on the length of your workpiece. The tailstock holds the tailstock quill in place.

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Tailstock quill

The tailstock quill is a rotatable shaft supported in the tailstock. There is a wheel on the tailstock and a  handle on the wheel which can extend the quill towards the headstock. Your workpiece is essentially clamped in between the tailstock quill and the headstock spindle.

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Lathe bed

The lathe bed holds the headstock, tailstock, and tool rest. The bed (or “bedway”) is often simply two steel bars but on more robust lathes it is typically a solid cast iron bed.

  Images on this page are used with the kind permission of Brian Clifford at www.turningtools.co.uk