Barley Twist

After finding a natural barley twist while holidaying in Queensland, Geoff has sent a couple of photos in of a barley twist lathe that he has acquired (but yet to use).

It is interesting to study, just to see how simple an arrangement it is, and with a little bit of work, pretty easy to duplicate – especially (but not limited to) those with Torque Workcentres.

It would be pretty easy to add this functionality to a real lathe (but NOT switching the lathe on!!!) A lathe with an indexing ring would be excellent for this

Barley Twist Lathe

Barley Twist Lathe

Barley Twist Lathe detail

Barley Twist Lathe detail

I’m not sure the drive mechanism for this lathe – it may be from pushing the router sideways, but I suspect you manually turn the black winder in the second photo.  In that photo, you can also see an indexing ring, which is essential for setting the workpiece to the next start location.  Depending on the combination of how far around the workpiece is indexed, the router bit chosen, and the setting for how fast the router moves relative to each rotation of the workpiece will dictate resulting effect.

A barley twist lathe can be regarded as a glorified Beall Pen Wizard (or is it the other way around – the Beall is a miniature barley twist lathe?!)

Beall Pen Wizard

Beall Pen Wizard

Back to Geoff’s lathe – I can’t see how the gearing is regulated, but I assume it can be changed.

So that is a barley twist lathe.  Do an image-search on Google for Barley Twist will reveal over a million examples of this ornamental feature being used in different projects, with varying degrees of success!  In some instances it is beautifully complementary to the overall object.  In some other cases, it has obviously been included without any understanding of how such an ornate feature should be used.

The Woodworm

Or to be more accurate, Woodwurm (German for worm, because woodworm was taken!)

So what is it?  A interesting site run by Martin Gerhards.  He contacted me recently to ask if he could put a link to this site from his, so I had a bit of a look around his while I was at it.

He has an interesting approach, with a comprehensive philosophy towards his woodworking, and towards the material we choose to work with which I found refreshing, and one I’m sure reflects in his woodworking.

Worth a look around, a read (and for some pages, Google Translate is a useful tool – unless you read German!)

He also has quite a collection of links to other woodworking sites out there…..


Stats, Stats and more Stats

Found an interesting website that grades your website, so thought I’d give this site a quick go.

Given that the site is hosted on, it lost some points, and more because some aspects of the site (such as keywords etc) are attached to, rather than the site’s actual address

All that aside, and as a test (with its limitations) of, we got the following results:

Website Grade

Website Grade

This initial score is the final, overall score for the site, covering about 50 different variables, and puts it in the top 9% of websites out there (at least of the 400k that has been graded by Website Grader.

In addition, we are in the top 6% for site traffic, and most cool, we are in the top 1.75% in popularity of blogs out there.

%d bloggers like this: