About DT Woodturning


DT Woodturning is a small specialist woodturning business run by Dave Thomas. He was based in Shere, Guildford, Surrey, but has now moved back to his hometown of Port Talbot in South Wales. This has allowed him to expand the business. He supplies turnings and stair parts throuought the UK

With over Thirty years of woodturning experience under his belt, in that period he has turned a lot of items for Joineries and private clients, from as small as 25mm high and 10mm dia. ivory chair spindles up to 3.6 mt long 300mm dia. cedar columns and faceplate work at 800mm dia. and 700mm long.
If the item had previously been made on a woodturning lathe then there is a 99.9% chance that he can replicate it.

Since 2006 he has also been making Martial arts training equipment such as Wing chun wooden dummies, wooden knives and long poles including Medieval quarter staffs. Along with bespoke spear shafts and poles for various martial arts and artists. He also makes Indian Clubs from prime quality Beech.

Dave carries out both spindle turning and faceplate work. He supplies turnings to Carpenters, Furniture restorers, Joineries and the general public. Turnings can be made in a single length up to 8' long (2440mm) and up to 8" (200mm) square, or be as small as a doorknob for a dolls house. Twists, flutes and reeding can also be catered for. Faceplate work can be done up to 28" (710mm) diameter. Sizes larger than quoted can be accommodated depending on design.

Some of his decorative work and bowls are handturned using green timber which is rough-turned to shape then left for a period of time from 6 months up to 1 year before the final shaping and finishing is carried out. Placing the rough-turned items in a controlled environment can speed up this process.

The majority of his pieces are made from native hardwoods obtained from local tree surgeons.

Dave is generally surprised by the amount of people that do not know what woodturning is. So he has put together a few pics and some general information to give them an insite into woodturning.

In woodturning a piece of timber is placed on the lathe. It is held firmly between the head and tailstock. When the lathe is turned on the timber is rotated by a motor. The timber is then shaped using turning tools. Some people say that it is like potting only that the potter's wheel is placed on its side. I suppose it is similar to potting, but if you cut too much wood away you cannot stick it back on like you can with a clay pot.

Lathe Wadkin rs200 which will allow when (Spindle turning), to turn thirteen inches in Diameter over the banjo and sixteen inches in diameter over the bed, by sixty inches in length
When (Face plate turning) up to 28 inches in Diameter by 10 inches deep, when using the inboard side.
Larger Face Plate Turning can also be carried out on the outboard side Up to 48 inches in Diameter.

Below is a picture of the Wadkin RS200 Woodturning Lathe.
Just locate the part you want to identify, by placing your mouse pointer over it, when the pointer changes to a hand, just left-click for a description.

Below is a much smaller lathe, an Axminster M330 lathe.
This is a much smaller machine than the Wadkin, has faster speeds and is ideally suited to small turnings. It's capacities are up to eight inches in Diameter and ten inches in Length.
Ideally suited for small turned knobs and finials for restoration work.

Axminster M330 Lathe



Contact DT Woodturning Contact



Spindle turning:
Or Between Centres Turning as it is sometimes known is where the timber to be turned is held between the headstock and the tailstock of the lathe.
When mounted on the lathe the grain of the piece runs parallel to the lathe bed and is held in place by pressure from the tailstock. This method of turning is used for table legs, chair legs, lamp stems, candlesticks etc.

Face plate turning:
Used when turning discs of timber. The timber is mounted on a face plate or in a chuck. This method of turning is used for bowls, platters, breadboards, lamp bases etc. In this method of turning there is usually no support from the tailstock.

Faceplate turning, using a chuck
Outboard turning:
The outboard side of the lathe is usually on the left hand side of the headstock spindle it usually has a left hand thread and with the use of a free standing toolrest, it enables much larger diameter face plate work to be carried out.

The Headstock on this lathe is of the fixed type, also available are rotating headstocks and even rotating sliding headstocks. Housed in the headstock are the the:

  1. Headstock bearings.
  2. Mandrel. Which can be hollow and is usually bored with a morse taper to enable the drive centre and various other attachment's to be fitted.
  3. Multi-step pulley system This allows speed changes.
Sometimes called the Saddle. This is adjustable and supports the toolpost onto which the toolrest is attached.

This houses:

Tailstock barrel, which slides forward and backward, enabling the workpiece to be clamped between the drive centre and the tailstock centre. This secures the work piece onto the lathe.

This is used to advance the tailstock barrel, into which the tail centre is mounted. This applies pressure to the workpiece clamping it securely onto the drive centre.

Lathe bed:
Lathe beds come in various types:

  1. Solid cast iron.
  2. Round twin bars.
  3. Round tubular single bar.
  4. Angle iron beds.

This is mounted on the Toolpost and is easily adjusted to give the correct turning position for the relevant tool in use.

Inboard Side:

This is the side of the lathe to the right of the headstock and is directly over the bed of the lathe.


Green timber:
Timber that is freshly cut and having high moisture content.


In turning, the term roughing or rough-turned refers to the first shaping of the timber on the lathe. In the case of bowls, the green timber is roughed to a basic shape with a wall thickness of between 1-2 inches, the rough-turned bowl is then taken off the lathe and stored in a controlled environment until it's moisture content is reduced enough to render the timber stable. Although inevitably some movement will occur after final turning has taken place.