Flute/spiral Master

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Forum topic by bigJohninvegas posted 10-08-2019 08:07 PM 278 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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689 posts in 1998 days

10-08-2019 08:07 PM

Anyone here ever use a Flute or Spiral Master.
I have seen a few of the demo videos. But don’t know anyone who has used it.

-- John

4 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2756 posts in 2670 days

#1 posted 10-09-2019 11:46 AM

Is the Flute Master & Spiral Master/Variable Pitch Combo worth $525+ plus shipping if any? If you can build your own lathe platform & router jig to do flutes and spirals. All you have to do is little measuring and marking out lines why spend the money! That’s what a lot of turners do!

Learn to mark out and carve spirals on the lathe after watching Roy Underhill on TV and one of his books at base library. Only needed pencil ruler, masking tape, knife, files to do rustic spirals on my lamps. Sold four or five them at craft show for very good money.

Then bought a book was out of print but guess still available by Stuart Mortimer, “Thechniques of Spiral Work.” Learned about laying out pitch, control lines. & bind apex lines, and width control lines.


Did another thirteen Lamps using Mortimer’s method of marking out and carving which sold very well.

There are other books & DVD’s on the subject too!

This guy tells you how to build your own system:
Spiraling Into Control by Jeff Salter

You can buy his DVD for $30 + shipping now and build your cable system.

Did not mentioned amount of sanding require whatever method you use. Also if don’t have pitch correct might just end up with a wood spring. Know from experience that can happen!

-- Bill

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5695 posts in 4199 days

#2 posted 10-09-2019 02:52 PM

John—I’m kind of in agreement with Bill … unless I was going to be doing a lot of production work, there are a lot of other things I need to use that $$$ for.

I haven’t needed/done spirals, but I have done a lot of indexed fluting and routing with a home-spun system based on one built by John Lucas. Here's a link to a presentation he did for the Gwinnett Woodworkers Assn a few years back.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View bigJohninvegas's profile


689 posts in 1998 days

#3 posted 10-09-2019 05:09 PM

Thanks for all the info,
Probably be this weekend before I get to read it all.
And I agree that it is too much money.
That I think is my main reason to ask about it.
Gerry, you’re right. Flutes are pretty simple. I liked the idea of the spiral side of it. But no one I know has seen anyone that owns it. Just a couple of demo videos.
Bill, I actually have stuart Mortimer’s book already.
All the information one really needs to do spirals.
And ya, sanding. $525, and it’s really just rough cut.
I got the book back in 2016. Played with a couple test pieces. Since then I have not got back to it. Like anything, I need to practice to get good at it.
Thanks again for the info.

-- John

View Wildwood's profile


2756 posts in 2670 days

#4 posted 10-09-2019 07:32 PM

Thought about getting Jeff Salter video costing $50 at the time and linked earlier. After turning and twisting some small potpourri vases and not liking how they came out decided not to get it! I posted them on my project pages but so humble did not provide a link to them.

Still admire Jeff’s spiral turning and jig set up. Have no doubt his jig and that Flute Master set up great to have if production turner like Gerry said.

Don’t do much spiral work these days and will always go back to Mortimer’s book to refresh myself on laying out those lines and using colored pencils!

-- Bill

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