There is something intoxicating about the process of turning — part by-the-book technical, part a fluid freestyle dance. For flat-work artisans, those of us who make cases and cabinets, it’s easy to see why so many woodworkers are drawn to this fascinating, and some might say hypnotic specialty of the wood world.

On my recent visit to The Irion Company Furniture Makers, I was delighted to meet and learn from Johnathan Sanbuichi, an accomplished cabinetmaker and turner. In this video, Johnathan demonstrates his approach to the turning of flats, beads and coves, the core design elements found on many styles of beds, chairs, tables, and cabinets —— especially 18th and 19th century furniture styles. In this video, Johnathan explains how to use a “story stick” to lay out and create “elevation” guides that mark key points in these types of designs, how to use calipers and a parting tool to rough-in depth cuts on the lathe, and how to work with a skew or spindle gouge. And along the way, we get a few thoughts on Johnathan’s life in woodworking. Now, how’s that for a deal?

I hope you enjoy this informative and mesmerizing little peak into Johnathan’s world of turning. – Keith (7 Minute Woodworking Video)

Johnathan Sanbuichi is a cabinetmaker and turning expert at the The Irion Company, specialists in the restoration, conservation, and hand-made reproduction of American antique furniture from the 18th and 19th century. Irion is based in Christiana, Pennsylvania.

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