Glossary of Woodturning Terms: Woodturning Types

Green Turning: Turning newly cut or recently cut wood, which has a high moisture content. Green turning is easy, as tools readily cut the wood, and produces less dust. However, because wood shrinks as it dries, a green turning may warp or crack. Some turners deliberately allow the wood to distort, so that each finished piece has a unique shape. Others try to minimize the distortions by turning a piece twice: Once, when green, only to its general shape, leaving enough thickness so that it will dry reasonably uniformly. Once the wood stabilizes, the piece is turned to its final shape and thickness.

Multiaxis Turning:  The practice of turning a single piece multiple times, using a different pair of centers each time. You can remount the work piece by hand, or use a special chuck that can be adjusted to hold the workpiece off its true center.

Natural Edge Turning: A piece that includes the outside of the tree trunk or limb as its edge. Typically artistic turnings, natural-edge pieces are usually bowls or hollow vessels, and are usually green turned to final dimension.

Ornamental Turning: A method that requires a specialized machine called a rose-engine lathe. The piece is mounted on a rocking headstock, and a spinning tool cuts exotic and decorative patterns.

Segmented Turning: Any turning that incorporates numerous small pieces of wood in its design. Segmented turnings include ones where the entire turning is made from segments, as well as those where only a small portion of the turning is segmented. Larger segmented turnings can include several thousand pieces of wood, all precisely cut and assembled to form special designs or pictures.