Turning speeds


PRO Member
I'm new to segmented turning. I've messed around and tried a few little things. Most of which end up as firewood. I'm wondering if its the speed I have it set at. I have a jet variable speed lathe. So when it comes to turning segments, is there a rule of thumb speed? Is it the same for open segments as well?

Tim Boger

PRO Member
I can't tell you the proper speed but as a rule faster speeds will allow for a smoother cutting experience, of course the shape and side of the piece your working with will always dictate whats appropriate and safe.


Dick Sowa

I agree with Tim...usually I crank up the speed as fast as I find comfortable, but rarely over 800 RPM when roughing out a segmented vessel, or refining it's shape. When I get down to perfect balance, and all the flats and joints between segments have been turned away, I will sometimes run the speed up while doing the final shearing cuts to clean up the surface. But it all depends on the size of the vessel. For example, a bowl 12" dia might be dangerous to run up the speed too high. But for a 4" one, it is much safer. But regardless of the speed you use, you can get excellent results with proper tool control and taking your time.