Spiral-Routing on the Lathe
A shopmade setup for putting a twist on turnings
Synopsis: Norman Zentil built his own spiral-routing system on a sliding carriage that pulls along the lathe bed. A system of pulleys and weights, connected to the carriage by a cable, rotates the turning blank synchronously with the travel of the router, creating grooves, flutes, or reeds on the turning. Spiral routing is done with the lathe off, he notes, and he explains how his system works and how to build the jig. A detailed drawing helps show all its parts. Zentil also disscusses spiral-routing variations, such as using core-box, veining or V-bits for different decorative effects. Photos show off the impressive results of this technique.
Spiral shapes have always appealed to me. So when I turned a wooden plant stand a couple of years ago, I decided to decorate it by routing an accelerating spiral pattern into its tapered column. I built my own spiral-routing system, shown in the…