Perfect for both woodworking professionals and keen DIY- enthusiasts alike, wood-turning lathes are used to shape wood into cylindrical profiles.

Read on to discover the wood-turning lathe in more detail, allowing you to choose the model perfect for your needs from our superior selection here at Kendal Tools & Machinery.

How does a wood-turning lathe work?

A lathe operates from simple principles but involves a combination of complex moving parts. This gives the impression that it is a complicated machine, which can put people off.

Most contain a headstock, tailstock, spindle, motor, tool rest, and chuck, and involve an assortment of cutting tools that allow woodworkers to shape wood with accuracy, stability, and safety.

The chuck, a kind of round vice, grips the outside of the workpiece to keep it in place.

A spindle, also attached to the chuck, connects to the engine and allows the wood to rotate.

Depending on the make and model, there may be a movable tool rest along the bed of the lathe, or the machinist may hold the cutting tool in place to remove the excess wood as it spins.

These cutting tools come into contact with the spinning workpiece and remove excess material, either reshaping the piece or completing more complex tasks such as creating threads, holes, faces, and other designs.

What can I make with a wood-turning lathe?

While you are unlikely to be using the wood-turning lathe to construct entire pieces of furniture, this machine proves invaluable for creating legs for most furniture pieces.

With a wood-turning lathe, you can make a variety of items, including:

  • Furniture legs
  • Lamp posts
  • Baseball bats
  • Bowls
  • Platters
  • Pens
  • Candlesticks
  • Salt and pepper grinders
  • Rolling pins

The wood-turning lathe also proves itself indispensable for wood crafters who make smaller items that they then might sell, for example, bowls, platters, candlesticks, seasoning grinders, etc.

What kind of wood-turning lathes are there?

As with all things, wood-turning lathes range in ability depending on the make, model, and size of the items you want to turn.

The Charnwood W815 mini lathe is a good way of getting in to wood turning at a reasonable cost or the W815P which comes with a mini scroll chuck.


The W813 Floor standing woodturning lathe is an excellent all-rounder, making it perfect for a first-time lathe user or those more experienced.

With a sturdy floor stand and shelf, this lathe provides all of the strength you need from freestanding equipment with bonus storage potential.

Mechanical variable speeds, an upgraded powerful 550W induction motor, and a digital speed reader allow you to clearly see the RPM speed of the spindle, ensuring you have the correct speed needed for each step of your project, from rough turning to finish turning and sanding.

The W813 offers vast versatility to help you complete projects of all kinds, from bowls to furniture legs.

Want the features of the W813 floor standing lathe but with added extras?

Kendal Tools & Machinery has two exciting packages that are perfect for wood-turning lathe beginners.

The Charnwood W813P lathe package complete with VIPER 3R chuck and leg stand is perfect for serious woodturners who require a trade-rated geared scroll chuck.

The Charnwood W813P2 lathe package complete with NEXUS 3 chuck & set of turning tools is ideal for one-stop shoppers. Included in this package are a set of 6 professional Beech wood chisels, and a NEXUS 3 four-jaw self-centring chuck, similar to that of the VIPER 3R.

Ask the wood-turning lathe experts

Whether you are still new to wood-turning lathes or are an old-hand looking to upgrade your current equipment, you can browse our full range of wood-turning lathes.

If you have any questions, you can speak to one of our friendly experts by calling 01539 733 774. Alternatively, you can fill in our enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.