Different approach to spiral work - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-16-2011, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Different approach to spiral work

Jeff’s Turned Wood Art very Interesting site, especially his approach to spiral turning. Am not sure will buy his cable driven spiral video yet, but think his approach is noteworthy. Stuart Mortimer recommends not using a router to cut spiral in his Book Techniques of Spiral Work.

Guess one thing you never do is tell a wood turner not to do something. Jeff Salter’s “cable driven Spiral cutting system looks pretty safe to me.

If you click on video at his site, will take you to his You-Tube demo Spiral Into Control. If want to add spirals to your bowls and hollow forms his video may be the ticket.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-16-2011, 12:26 PM
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That does look like an interesting process.

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post #3 of 5 Old 06-16-2011, 10:33 PM
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Reminescent of a spindle set up I saw in the 60's. It was mounted on a lathe controlled by wire cables much the same way as shown now. It was built for spiral l work on table legs etc. I had long since forgotten about it.

Should be quite easy to make and well worth a go at.

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post #4 of 5 Old 06-16-2011, 10:53 PM
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I have 2 of the Sears Router crafters but haven't used them yet. I got one that was broken and then found one at a yard sale that was missing some parts. Comparing the two I was able to fix both.
I have done spirals by hand ala Stewart Mortimer. I've also done them by making a plexiglass form with a slot for my router guides. It's easy to melt and shape the plexiglass. It does take time to cut the groove for the router so you will want to make several turning from it.
In one of the router books there are plans to make a sort of Router Crafter for spindles using bicycle gears and chains.
I like his method. I have done flutes on my pieces using a router and platform just like what he's doing. All I would need to do is rig up the cable system.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-18-2011, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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I did my first open twist after watching a Roy Underhill show. I used masking tape to mark off spirasl. His carving technique left an off the tool finish and no sanding. I filed and sanded for days and weeks.

Picked up a set of Japanese gouges and copy of Mortimer’s book helped get uniform twist because of better lay out lines. Made several lamps and gave as gifts sold one for $185. Few years later sister in-law, called to say thank you again and tell me sold her lamp for $35 at yard sale. The girl thought I should make some more for her to sell. Think my little sister told her I was selling lamps like hers for $225.

Find it hard to recommend Mortimer’s book (Techniques of Spiral Work) today. Used copies depending upon condition sell for $30 to $175. New copies if actually have the book run $96 to over $181. My copy of the book from Discount Book catalog only cost $20 to $22.

You can find Mortimer on the web using rotary grinder tool today. His method for marking out a blank (drawing lines) while sounds complicated easy to do once you done one. I use calipers, divider, ruler, tools rest, pencil, and piece of cardboard to measure and draw lines.

FWW #90 has an article by Norman Zentil and his homemade setup using a router on his lathe.
There is couple of You-Tube videos on turning spiral finials. Here is an interesting article.
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