Spiral turning is a subject that has received very little attention by most schools in which wood turning is taught. Spiral work is seen in antique furniture and also in the modern furniture of the present day. It seems that it takes the wheel of fashion about a century to make a complete turn, for what our forefathers neglected and destroyed the people of the present day value and cherish.
Spiral work gives excellent practice in shaping and modelling wood. It brings into play the principle of the helix as used in cutting threads, etc.; and its form, size and shape may be varied according to the taste of the individual. As in threads so in spiral work we have single and double spirals, and their form and proportion depend upon their use and application in furniture making. A variation of the spiral may be made in several ways: First, by changing the number of turns of the spiral on a straight shaft; second, by running a spiral on a tapered shaft; third, by changing the shape or form of the spiral itself; and fourth, by making more than one spiral on a shaft. It is uncommon to see ten or twelve spirals running around a single shaft.
Some of the forms of the above types are fully taken up and explained in the work that is to follow.