Turning Wood


During the finish work a number of parts of the ship shall have to be ‘turned’. That is what this skill is about.

First we will look at the equipment that a shipwright uses for this and in the second part we shall explain the successive operations.

The example used for turning here is a belaying pin.

Tool, equipment and machinery used for making a belaying pin from a rough block of wood...


Successive operations for turning a belaying pin

  • Use the axe to give the block of wood a rounded shape (image 1 & 2).

  • Place the block between the headstock and the tailstock (image 3).

  • The actual turning work can now commence (image 4, 5, 6 & 7)
    The shipwright uses finer and finer chisels as the work piece progresses.

  • The compass is used to constantly measure whether the required dimensions have been reached (image 8, 9, 10 & 11)

  • Result (image 12)
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Tools Required

  • Axe
  • Lathe
  • Sandpaper
  • Compass
  • Range of chisels

Materials Required

  • Block of wood