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Wood Lathe

Continuous revolution of the workpiece can be human-powered with a treadle wheel, or achieved with water, steam, or electric power. The style of cutting does not have the pause required by the reciprocating lathe's rotation. Even with continuous revolution, however, the turner controls the contact of tool and wood entirely by hand.The nature of wood defines woodturning techniques. The orientation of the wood grain, relative to the axis of the lathe, affects the tools and techniques used by the woodturner. In spindle turning, the grain runs lengthwise along the lathe bed, as if a log were mounted in the lathe. Grain is thus always perpendicular to the direction of rotation under the tool. In bowl turning, the grain runs at right angles to the axis, as if a plank were mounted across the chuck. When a bowl blank rotates, the angle that the grain makes with the cutting tool continually changes between the easy cuts to two places per rotation where the tool is cutting across the grain and even upwards across it. This varying grain angle limits some of the tools that may be used and requires additional skill from the turner.