History of Woodturning

The origin of woodturning dates to around 1300
BC when the Egyptians first developed a
two-person lathe. One person would turn the
wood with a rope while the other used a sharp
tool to cut shapes in the wood. The Romans
improved the Egyptian design with the addition
of a turning bow. Early bow lathes
were also developed and used in Germany,
France and Britain.

The Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages a pedal replaced
hand-operated turning, freeing both the
craftsman's hands to hold the woodturning
tools. The pedal was usually connected to a
pole, often a straight-grained sapling.
The system today is called the "spring pole"
lathe or Polelathe. Spring pole lathes were in
common use into the early 20th
Century. A two-person lathe called a
"great lathe", allowed a piece to turn
continuously (like today's power lathes).
A master would cut the wood while an
apprentice turned the crank.

The term "bodger" stems from pole lathe
turners who used to make the chair legs and
spindles. A bodger would typically purchase all
the trees on a plot of land, set up camp on the plot
and then fell the trees and turn the wood.
The spindles and legs that were produced
were sold in bulk, for pence per dozen.
The bodger's job was considered unfinished
because he only made component parts.
The term now describes a person who leaves a
job unfinished, or does it badly.

Industrial Revolution

During the industrial revolution the
lathe was motorized, allowing turned items to be
created in less time. The motor also produced
a greater rotational speed for the wood
making it easier to quickly produce
high quality work. Today most commercial
woodturning is done by computer-operated
machinery allowing for mass-production
that can be created with precision
and without the cost of employing craftsmen.

Despite this, there is still a demand for hand-turned
products. Woodturning is also a hobby enjoyed
by many people. Modern professional woodturners
are typically either "production" turners
producing large quantities of functional
pieces, or artistic turners producing smaller
numbers of pieces, often enhanced after turning
by carving, piercing, coloring, applying pyrography,
gilding, or a number of other
techniques to produce objects for the art market.




Perfume Bottle 5ml

Jakaranda Wood - This beautiful wood has surprising dark marks in the wood that turns any piece into art.

The bottle is glued into the wood and is an integral part of the end result.