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Terminology for Spindles

There are two kinds of spindles: through (or central) and stopped (or terminal). We are here concerned with through spindles.

A through spindle has these parts:


Stopped Spindles

Through Spindles

The length of the clear section should be approximately equal to the depth of the stopped jaw. The overall length of the spindle should be 2 or 4 inches longer than the jaws.


These are tough to describe in words, but they can be a key characteristic for identification. The topic is discussed in greater length in the gallery. It includes examples of the most common makers; more will be added as time permits.


These differ from one maker to another.  There are several common varieties:

flat, conical, tapered, spherical or rounded, and acorn-shaped.  

Outlines of common shapes of Through Spindle Tips

Bliss companies, and Narragansett , tend to be flat across, while Hood tend to the conical.

Aldrich have a rounded "acorn-like" shape, while Webster and Butterfield tend to the conical.


I'm working on a table of pitches versus diameters, but nothing to report yet. See Model Pages for tables of diameters, and lengths for screws of different models.

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