Woodturning Artistic Lathe

The artistic exercise on the wooden lathe is a branch of fine joinery that is little practiced in Mexico. The practice of this ancient technique leads the cabinetmaker to achieve beautiful pieces where the wood grain stands out as an aesthetic element. The mastery of the lathe makes it possible to create even more impressive works when different types of wood, materials, and finishes are combined.

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An excellent way to start learning is by taking a thematic wooden lathe workshop, which consists of 4 work sessions, which you can take from 9 am to 2 pm, Monday through Saturday (upon reservation).

Cost $ 6,000 (includes instruction, workshop use, and materials).

Suitable for adults and young people from 12 years of age.

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clases torno de madera woodturning classes México


The lathe is a machine made up of a cylinder that rotates around its axis, allowing in turn a piece of material (in this case, wood) while other cutting tools are pushed against its surface, allowing geometric shapes to be produced. regular with that material.

Throughout history, the following types of lathe have been developed, more or less in chronological order:

  • The belt lathe

  • The bow lathe

  • The pole lathe

  • The wheel lathe (great wheel)

  • The pedal lathe (treadle lathe)

The invention of a new type of lathe did not mean that the other types were discontinued, since each way of turning had its applications, and also depended on the resources of the turning machine. Often times the turning machine required an assistant to run the machine while he applied the cutting tools to the turned part. The pedal lathe was a major advance in the sense that it made it easier for one person to operate the lathe only. The invention of small electric motors in the Industrial Revolution caused the disuse of the wheel and pedal lathe.

The earliest known image of a lathe dates back to the third century BC, but from archaeological finds of apparently turned parts, and from references in ancient Greek literature, the earliest lathes are considered to have been developed more than a thousand years before Christ. The oldest references to turning work are found in what is now Egypt, Greece, and northern Italy. During the Middle Ages, the development of the lathe in its different models and varied applications was concentrated in Western European countries such as France, Germany and England. The turning machine not only made pieces for furniture, but was also used extensively in the construction of churches and castles, to make a variety of architectural and decorative elements.

During the Renaissance, the lords of the nobility became very interested in this activity. While the ladies engaged in embroidery, the gentlemen expressed their creativity and ingenuity on the lathe. Fine woods such as ebony were turned, and other hard materials, such as ivory, were also used.

The history of the lathe in North America begins with the migration of master cabinetmakers from Holland and England to America. For a long time, production was limited to household items such as chairs, table legs, railings, etc. It did not really reach the splendid development of architectural elements that occurred in Baroque Europe; However, it is in recent times that the lathe has gained importance in the artistic work of the North American cabinetmakers. For many, it is a creative activity that challenges their ingenuity and skill, complementing the most daily chores of furniture and accessories manufacturing. For others, such as Mark Lindquist , the wood lathe is an artistic theme with industrial proportions that it expands day by day by developing increasingly powerful and specialized lathes.

A very short selection of artistic turning machines whose work is well worth knowing are:

Malcolm Tibbetts (Segmented Wood Turner)

David Ellsworth (famous for his "empty" pieces)

David J. Marks (master cabinetmaker whose work goes beyond the lathe)

Larry Marley (creator of beautiful utilitarian objects in turned segmented wood)

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