Drop spindles

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Project by ThreeJs posted 10-15-2007 01:12 AM 2479 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are some drop spindles I turned today. The first is made from quilted maple, with a cherry spindle. The second has a cherry whorl, with a walnut spindle. These are always fun to make, although the spindles usally take alot longer than the whorls. (Mainly because I don’t have a spindle support, and have to go very slowly)

-- David, Charlotte NC

5 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3962 days

#1 posted 10-15-2007 02:43 AM

So we’re gonna do some weaving, huh? How do you do the work you do with out a steady rest? There’s probably a simple one in this web site somewhere. Man, that’s fine work you’ve done in your other posts. Kepp up the fine work.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View ThreeJs's profile


84 posts in 3939 days

#2 posted 10-15-2007 03:56 AM

Depends on what I am doing. I have learned some things.
1. Speed is your friend. If I have the lathe turning too slow, I will break the spindle almost every time.
2. Sharp tools. Especially with walnut, and cherry, if your tool gets dull, you are likely to break the spindle.
3. Use your finger as a guide for things under 1/4” Once they get really small, you have to support them opposite of the tool, or they will deform, and break.
4. Get stuff with fairly straight grain. If you have interesting grain on a small spindle, chances are it will fly aroud the shop really well too.

I have a small lathe, and work almost excusively with dry wood. Also, I never turn a spindle on my nova chuck. Mainly because it would require more wood than necessary. But also because with using the 2 centers, if I do screw up, the wood will break away, and not snap me as easily.

On the christmas ornaments, I did use my nova chuck, but also used a live center to turn the walnut pieces. The chuck was holding the maple block.

-- David, Charlotte NC

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4161 days

#3 posted 10-15-2007 01:48 PM

such a small, delicate project… so impressive.

I showed my daughter-in-law. She says that she has tried it in the past but just can’t get it to work well for her. (the yarn making that is, not wood turning)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View ThreeJs's profile


84 posts in 3939 days

#4 posted 10-15-2007 03:08 PM

I’m going to try and get a video of the wife using one of these. That way people will have an understanding of just how they are supposed to work.

-- David, Charlotte NC

View jnimz's profile


35 posts in 3426 days

#5 posted 01-16-2009 11:08 PM

Awesome work! I am turning ball winders (nostpinne) for my wife’s Etsy shop. She makes her own yarn as well. I have been wanting to start turning crochet hooks and knitting needles, but haven’t had the guts yet :)

-- Jace - - - --

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