The work turners executed on wood was very important in rural areas. Besides making and repairing farming tools, turners made everyday products (such as plates, cups, and chairs) and spinning wheels. They also made toys, jewellery and lidded boxes. From the 14th century onwards, turners contributed ever more significantly to furniture making.
To turn wood, the workpiece is clamped into a lathe and worked with wood turning tools, which are always hand-held. The invention of the foot-operated treadle lathe in the 13th century allowed the turner to work on the wood with either or both hands.