Ingenious Jigs: Spindle Dancer Jig

A modern interpretation of a classic trick from old-school turners.
By Eric A. Hedberg
Pages: 30-33

From the  February 2006 issue #153
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I believe there are two types of wood turners, those who turn for pleasure and those who turn out of necessity. I started in the latter group. I started turning because I needed to make spindles and my goal was to get the best results with the least amount of effort.

Once you’ve developed some competence for turning, making spindles is easy. And making multiples is just more time. Over the years I’ve come across articles showing an old turner’s trick for multiples. A rod is suspended above the lathe with lengths of wires hung from it. The turner cuts at the spot under each wire until the bouncing wire swings free, indicating the correct diameter has been reached.

I decided this trick could be applied to a lathe jig that would work like a profile gauge. Each wire could be adjusted and readjusted for different spindle profiles, and you could use as many or as few wires as necessary. So was born the Spindle Dancer Jig.

From the  February 2006 issue #153
Buy this issue now