View Full Version : Swash?

30th Jun 2004, 03:02 PM
Could anyone tell me what "swash" turning is? Is read a brief letter in an old WW magazine where the reader mentioned this technique. I havent turned a thing since highschool but that doesnt mean I'm not curious.

A google search suggests something about transverse motion...........

take it (qu)easy

30th Jun 2004, 03:49 PM
Swash turning is where the wood is moved backwards and forwards along the axis of turning, as it is turned.

This was used typically on balusters, so that some of the turned features were at the same angle as the staircase they were mounted on.

For example, instead of a bead being like a donut squarely on a stick, it would be like a too-large donut tilted on the stick. Does that make sense?


1st Jul 2004, 01:45 PM
Sort of, thanks, a picture of some swash turned work would be great.............

2nd Jul 2004, 09:50 AM
"The Australian Woodworker" Jan/Feb 2002 pg 69 has a bit of info, and mentions that the technique is explained further in Mike Darlow's book "Woodturning Methods".


5th Aug 2004, 10:00 PM
It is about or just before 1525 that Ornamental Turning begins to emerge on the scene. Starting most probably in Augsberg or Nuremburg in Bavaria, it then consisted of what is called rosework, being done by bringing into play a template or cam (called a rosette) mounted on the lathe spindle, By allowing the headstock to rock, under tension of a spring, the spindle could follow the template and create patterns reminiscient of rose petals. Also, by allowing the spindle to more to and fro along the lathe axis, oblique or wavy lines were produced on the work, and this is known as swashwork.

Hope this helps



9th Aug 2004, 11:59 AM
would not want to get fingers in that lot.
Thats a lathe.

10th Apr 2005, 01:46 AM
Too right!

8th Sep 2005, 09:05 PM
Adam, this is an excerpt from Mike Darlow's book Woodturning Methods.

Swas Turning and Pumping:

the headstock spindles of some lathes can rotate and move longitudinally. This facility of a headstock spindle to pump to-and-fro anlond its axis is used in three ways, particularly in ornamental turning, to produce:
1 threads by using a transversing mandrel
2 Swash turnings
3 especially ornate effects by using crowns.

Swash was used by Moxon in the late 17t century to mean "with mouldings oblique to the axis," and is a contraction to the earlier word aswash. The deriviation of which is unknown.

Hope this is helpful. There are some picies in the book whic show the effects my scanner isn't going so can't help you there. If you like I can copy and send to you.

Kind regards