I’m not really a turner (only when I have to), and I’m not a big fan of math (words are my thing), so when Alf Sharp starts to talk about offset turning and the math he used to figure out his settings…my mind wanders a bit. But when there’s a chunk of wood locked between the spindles and it’s spinning in a floppy way…that got my attention again. Not to worry, the man knows what he’s doing and he makes an awkward looking turning process create some elegant shapes.
But why do you need to know how to turn this way? Many good reasons. One of the defining features of a cabriole leg is the foot being offset from the main length of the leg. If you want to turn one, you have to work off center. You can add a turning to the foot of a tripod table as well, but you’ve got extra leg hanging out in space and you need to find a way to hold the piece between centers. Like I said, Alf makes it easy and keeps my head from hurting.
Preview the video below and kick up your turning skills a notch by learning offset turning with Alf in, “Offset Turning for Furniture Makers.”
— David Thiel