New Video: ‘Spindle Turning for Furniture with Peter Galbert’


Turning spindles for chairs, settees or staircases requires a small set of tools and a focused group of techniques. Most furniture makers have little need for the tools and techniques of turners who make bowls, platters and art pieces.

That’s why chairmaker Peter Galbert designed this new video “Spindle Turning for Furniture,” which focuses entirely on the needs the furniture maker. Peter has taught hundreds of people to make chairs and has honed his turning instructions for people who have had little or no experience on the lathe.

peter_IMG_9620Much like his book, “Chairmaker’s Notebook,” Galbert has managed to distill a seemingly complex endeavor – learning to turn from scratch – into a series of understandable skills and simple shapes that you create on the lathe.

Once you understand how to make these shapes – coves, beads and flats – Peter shows you how to combine these shapes. You’ll be shocked at how these simple shapes can be combined into beautiful and complex finished pieces.

One of the unique aspects of this video is that Peter spends a significant amount of time showing you how things go wrong during a cut and how to get out the trouble spot with minimum damage. He demonstrates these troublesome cuts, shows you the warning signs and then offers an escape route.

The video clocks in at almost four hours and covers everything you need to get turning spindles. Customers who buy “Spindle Turning for Furniture” will be able to stream the video on demand with an internet connection at any time, and can download the entire video to watch it on virtually any device (the video is 4gb). The video is free of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and costs $47.

Spindle Turning for Furniture from Christopher Schwarz on Vimeo.


Here are the major chapters covered in this video:

How to select stock for straight grain, how air-dried and kiln-dried woods behave differently, how wet wood and dry wood turn differently, what you need to know about moisture content.

The Lathe and Tool Rest
How to set up your lathe for spindle turning, choose the right centers, reduce vibration, select the correct speed.

Cutting Tools
How to select the tools for spindle turning: parting tool, large roughing gouge, 1” roughing gouge, skew, fingernail spindle gouge, bedan tool.

Tuning and Sharpening
How to get the proper shape on a grinder and then hone with diamonds.

The Concepts in Cutting
Scraping v. shearing, understanding relief angles.

The Major Skills
Cutting long grain v. end grain, learning to combine these two skills to cut coves and beads.

Tool and Body Movement
Learn to move the tool and body to end up in a place of stability.

Putting it all Together
How to combine these basic skills to make a baluster leg, armpost stretcher and stile.

How to combine shapes of different sizes to produce a pleasing result.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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8 Responses to New Video: ‘Spindle Turning for Furniture with Peter Galbert’

  1. Really interested in the video. Pete does a great job teaching class, and wrote a hell of a book.

    With that out of the way, what I really want to say is thanks for offering your digital content DRM-free. It speaks highly to LAP’s integrity with regards to ensuring that people truly own the content they have purchased, and of your high expectations of your customers with regards to actually purchasing the content they find worthwhile.

  2. Dave Bosshard says:

    For those of us that live in the sticks and have prehistoric internet connections…is the video available as DVD(s)? Streaming here is difficult… at best.

  3. jayedcoins says:

    Any chance that the measured (at-size or accurate scale) drawings of the turnings covered in the video could be made available for download? My thinking here is that the video is obviously going to rock, but I think most are like me and probably don’t have their lathe in a spot in which they can really be turning along with the video. So having the drawings to make templates from would help you go from the video to the lathe and back.

  4. I hereby second the request for DVDs. It doesn’t have to have fancy packaging, just a paper sleeve would do. Thanks.

  5. holtdoa says:

    Just click on the vimeo in the lower right hand corner of the embedded video above. That will send you to the vimeo website for this video. Scroll down the page just a bit and you will hit the download link.Even if you have slow connection, it will eventually finish downloading and you will be able to watch it with no lag…

  6. Derek Long says:


  7. Chris Quinn says:

    Does the video deal only with traditional wood-turning tools, or does Peter also address the newer tools with carbide blades, like those from Easy Wood Tools? I don’t turn often enough to master the traditional tools and have found the carbide-insert tools to be perfect solution. Any tips Peter might provide for using them would be welcome, but the contents listing appears to cover traditional tools only.

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