Ornamental Turning Book of Knowledge
Fixed Tool Turning

Fixed Tool work with Artificial Ivory
Made by Al Collins

Fixed Tool Turning is the ornamental turning term for scraping.


Dovetail Scraper

If you've used scrapers in wood turning, you get the idea: a metal tool with some profile is presented to the object whilst the object turns, and the tool scrapes off a very thin layer at a time.

The shape of the scraping tool used in ornamental turning is a bit different than the one shown above as, in ornamental turning, the tool will need to be able to get into cracks and crevices created by the rosette. A bevel angle (α) of 20° is not uncommon.

There are some shapes that can only be made using this method of turning. In the picture to the right, the basket weave on the side of the box was made that way.

Al Collins (the "A" in the MADE Lathe) is a one artist doing this type of work. You can see some of his creations on his Instagram page.

Guilloché is another form of fixed tool work, but the tool is applied to the material in a slightly different different manner (typically the tool spring-loaded).

The video below describes tools, setup, and turning process to produce patterns that are only available with fixed tools. It was given by Al Collins at the 2018 Ornamental Turners International Symposium.

This is fascinating to watch, as it hapens very slowly.


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Disclaimer : eMail comments to me at OTBookOfKnowledge @ Gmail.com. The process of woodturning involves the use of tools, machinery and materials which could cause injury or be a health hazard unless proper precautions are taken, including the wearing of appropriate protective equipment.