Wood turning involves turning pieces of wood on a lathe or a similar object whilst carving them with blades to create intricate patterns and effects.
Similar to other forms of wood work wood turning has been practiced for centuries throughout different cultures. Origins of woodturning can be traced back over two thousand years ago to ancient Egypt. Using primitive lathes operated with ropes craftsmen were able to etch designs into the surface of wood. With later innovations the system became more sophisticated up until the arrival of the modern day lathe.
In woodturning there are two essential main forms of woodturning called spindle turning and face plate turning. During spindle turning the grain of the wood is placed lengthwise alongside the bed of the lathe. In faceplate turning the grain of the wood is held at a ninety degree angle allowing control from a different point.
Depending on which method is used different effects can be achieved. Faceplate turning is effective for producing bowls, platters and other curved objects. Different methods are also better for different consistencies of wood to preserve the quality.