Wood Lathe Spiraling Tool
Table of Contents
To create a special design you need special tools, and the spiraling tool is this kind of tool. The spiraling tool is the development of the ideas first presented in the texturing tool. It has the cutting wheel that creates the complex pattern on the wood surface.
Comparing to the texturing tool the spiraling tool has two big changes. First, to provide the same angle during the work, because the precision really matters in this case, the tool comes with the built-in rest. This ensures the repeatability of the pattern. The tool can be locked in one fixed position, and if placed on the tool rest it helps to keep the cutting wheel constant. The shaft of the tool has been etched with a centrally located reference line. This line is used in combination with a series of indexing mark located on the built-in rest. By lining up the reference mark against the indexing scale popular combinations of pitch and size can easily be repeated. Second, the cutter wheel of the spiraling tool differs from one of the texturing tool. Spiraling cutters have a flat face to the edge of the wheel. It can be used to your advantage almost as a bevel to rub against the wood allowing a smooth and controlled start to a spiral.
Purposes of the spiraling tool and how to use it to fulfill these purposes
The spiraling tool has only purpose to create a spiral. So, below you’ll find a detailed description on how to create a spiral. First of all, it is important to point out that the spiraling tool can have several cutter wheels. The smaller the size of the spacing between the teeth of the wheel the more delicate and smooth spiral you will get. It is also recommended to use a hardwood with small spacing cutter wheels. So, the general rule is that the softer the wood the bigger the size of the cutter wheel is supposed to be. If you are new to the spiraling you can set the wheel so that it would be tilted to one side but not too much. This will offer less resistance and cut more easily. So, to get used to the tool the less steep pitch with the tool offset only by a half and one full graduation is a perfect starting point. The lathe speed should be at around 500 RPM. Set the tool rest so that with the tool placed horizontally the cutting wheel is resting just above center line height, mark the center line with a pencil beforehand. The tool is used by raising the handle to allow the teeth of the wheel to contact the revolving work at center line height. To begin cutting a spiral the tool is place onto the tool rest ensuring the full flat of the built-in rest is sitting on the tool rest. Cutting starts as the tips of the teeth contact the wood at center height. Hold the tool steady in this position so that you can create a reference groove or a starting point that we can locate the tool back into. After marking the starting point with draw the tool and stop on the lathe in order to check that you have a clean starting point. The tool can then be relocated back into this groove and the spiral extended. Lift the handle again until the cutting point is felt and then move the tool steadily along the ward. Don’t rush, and don’t apply too much pressure, and you will be able to make a full spiral in one smooth motion. You can also create a spiral by swinging the handle and slowly moving the cutter wheel along the workpiece. By repeating this action a number of times the groove is extended slowly but surely. This way you will be able to avoid the wheel jumping out of the groove. You can buy a good spiralling tool here.
Spiralling and texturing tool video part 1
Spiralling and texturing tool video part 2
See more about wood lathe tools here: Wood gouge technique, wood lathe parting tools, wood lathe forming tools, wood lathe texturing tools, wood lathe beading tools, wood lathe chatter tools, wood lathe hollowing tools, wood lathe scraper tools, wood lathe skew chisels & wood lathe captive ring tools.