Turning Terms

Bead: A convex design element that stands proud of the surface. Beads can be turned in many different ways including full round (a bead that is not attached to the project surface, also called a captive ring), round, half round, and quarter round.

Between Centers: When you attach a workpiece by holding it at both the headstock and tailstock end of the lathe, you are turning between centers.

Cove: A semicircular, oval, or U-shaped concave depression running around the circumference of a spindle turning, across the face or edge of a flat piece of wood, or along the length of a spindle.

Blank: The rough piece of wood after it has been cut and processed for turning on the lathe. Faceplate blanks for bowls and platters may be round or square. Spindle blanks are typically long square sections.

Crushed Stone Inlay: Any area on a woodturning filled with crushed stones, then sanded smooth. Cyanoacrylate adhesive or epoxy typically hold the stone in place. Crushed stone is a popular embellishment. You can use it to fill a void or to create banded inlays or designs.

Burr/Burl: A lumpy, warty looking growth on a tree. Woodturners crave burl for its distinctive figure. It can range from tightly packed eyes to swirling grain with eyes that seems almost molten.

Pith: The narrow channel in the innermost part of the tree, its trunk, each branch and twig.

Burnishing: Polishing by friction. Woodturners usually burnish a piece by holding a handful of shavings against it. The shavings should come from the work being burnished.

Ogee: An S-shaped curve, also called a cyma curve. An ogee is essentially a bead that blends seamlessly into a cove.

Riding the Bevel: The bevel is the area just below the cutting edge of most tools. Rubbing or riding the bevel on your work pieces gives you better tool control for a cleaner and safer cut.