Routing Spindles

Turning a perfectly tapered spindle on a lathe takes time. And turning identical spindles takes even more time. I figure it would take me a full day to turn the eighteen identical spindles needed for the Shaker Bench (shown on page 22).

Instead, I built a jig that uses an electric hand drill and a router (with a core box bit) to turn duplicate spindles — in a very short time. It took me about seven minutes to "turn" a Vg"-dia. dowel into a spindle shaped like a tapered candle stick. (With very little sanding required.)

a duplicating jig. The basic idea is that the jig acts as a cradle to hold the dowel. The drill is the motor that turns the dowel. And the router bit does the cutting.

The router rides along a pair of tapered runners. As the router moves down the runners, the router bit shapes the tapered spindle.

leg jig. After building the spindle jig, I applied the same idea to a jig for duplicating the legs for the Bench and the Stool (page 16). This jig works just like the spindle jig. The main difference is the shape of the runners — they're humped.

One more thing. For safety, find someone else to operate the drill for you. This way you can keep both hands safely on the router.

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