The Basics of Turning Spirals
by Bill Bowers

Softcover
215 x 280mm
72pp

Published by Schiffer Publishing, West Chester, Pennsylvania USA

R.R.P.$22.90

ISBN 0-7643-2592-2

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As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 138

If you have always believed that it is necessary to have a special lathe or at least a router traversing over the lathe in order to form complicated twists, Bill Bowers has a surprise in store for you in his book, The Basics of Turning Spirals.

In his Preface, Bowers tells the story of his lifelong interest in woodturning. It's an interest that began when he served in Vietnam and survived years of medical school and a quarter century of practice as a gastroenterologist in Alaska.

In 2000, he took early retirement and began woodturning in earnest. Most of his work now centres around what he calls 'one-of-a-kind artistic pieces' which include the type of spiral pieces described in this book.

He begins with Double Barley Twists, showing how to mark out the cylindrical blank, cut a spiral kerf with a cross cut or dovetail saw, then follow this saw kerf with a Microplane. After the smooth coves are fashioned in this way, Bowers uses a small block plane, another Microplane and finally files to complete the shape which is then sanded ready for the application of a finish.

The author goes on to describe how to form a wide variety of other twists - Quadruple Twists, Open Twists including Quadruple Open Twists, Thin, Very Thin and Extremely Thin Twists...

The following chapter shows how the same or similar techniques can be applied to make Scallop-Edged Vases, Bowls, Plates and Platters. There are also chapters on Hand Thread Chasing, Pierced-Through Hollow Forms and Pierced-Through Hollow Finial Threaded Lids.

In the final chapter, the author provides a gallery demonstrating how the forms discussed earlier in the book can be incorporated in everything from Christmas ornaments to furniture.

The book is competently written and well illustrated and is sure to appeal to woodturners who want to experiment and push the boundaries that define the scope of work which they undertake.

Photos: Colour

Units of Measurement: Imperial

Contents

Proem

Chapter 1: The Basics

Chapter 2: Open Twists and Open Twist Variants

Chapter 3: Thin, Very Thin and Extremely Thin Twists

Chapter 4: Scalloped Edged Vases, Bowls, Plates and Platters

Chapter 5: Hand Thread Chasing

Chapter 6: Pierced-Through Hollow Forms and Pierced-Through Hollow Finial Threaded Lids

Chapter 7: Shibui

Indaba

Acknowledgments

Gallery