Wood Turning Lathe Operator

Operate wood-turning lathes to turn woodstocks.
picture of Wood Turning Lathe Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $39,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Wood Turning Lathe Operators do?

Operates wood-turning lathe to turn woodstock, and cuts designs in and shapes stock by holding chisels against rotating stock: Places stock between spur chuck and tailstock and turns handwheel to force points of centers into stock. Slides tool rest to position for cutting and moves lever to secure it in place. Starts machine, places gouge or caliper chisel over tool rest and against stock, and moves chisel to reduce stock to rough cylinder. Lays out cutting lines on stock according to drawing, using rule and pencil. Selects chisel according to type of cut specified and holds chisel against rotating stock to cut shapes according to drawing. Verifies dimensions of shapes and cuts, using calipers and rule. May smooth surface of piece by holding sandpaper against rotating piece. May apply wax or other finishes to parts in lathe.


Should I be a Wood Turning Lathe Operator?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Wood Carving Lathe Operator, Wood Lathe Operator

    How to Become a
    Wood Turning Lathe Operator

    Wood Turning Lathe Operators often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9dgaga&chl=no+college+%2880%25%29|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%288%25%29||master%27s+%288%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,80,80
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