The Art of Woodturning

A Master Craftsman

David J. Lunin is an expert in woodturning, an ancient craft that uses a wood lathe with hand-held tools to cut a shape that is symmetrical around the axis of rotation. Traditionally, woodturning uses a tool called a lathe — in which the wood is relatively still and the lathe moves to create a variety of cuts.

A Leonardo da Vinci-Inspired Lathe

The design of Lunin’s lathe was inspired by this drawing of Leonardo da Vinci’s treadle lathe, or foot-powered lathe from circa 1500. The most important concept found in the drawing is the large wheel. The weight of the wheel provides momentum that helps to keep the work piece in motion when the tools are in use.

Lunin used many modern parts in an effort to make the machine more practical than an exact replica would have been. The wheel, which weighs about 65 pounds, was constructed with two rims in order to move more of its mass towards the outside edge. This increases its efficiency.

The materials are maple and walnut.