Celtic Knot Dresses Up Pizza Cutter Handle

Celtic Knot Pizza CutterMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook – But best right here!

Remember – this year’s Christmas Ornament Challenge is rapidly approaching – November is almost here.

My wife asked me to turn a new handle for her pizza cutter. The original handle had almost disintegrated.

A handle is a fairly simple spindle project. But I decided to dress it up a little bit. After all, according to my children, pizza is the foundation of all food groups. One can live and thrive on pizza.

This handle is maple with walnut accents. it is about 6 inches long and about 1 inch in diameter. The maple is an example of urban forestry – it came from a tree downed in a storm three years earlier. At that time, it was rough turned and set aside.

The Celtic knot makes a huge difference is how it looks. I choose a three loop knot. Most people recommend milling stock perfectly square to prepare for a Celtic knot. They also always get a four loop knot.

In my opinion, a knot is not restricted to four loops. It can have as many loops as can esthically fit in the wood. The difference is the process.

But first, a table saw sled also helps. For this video, I made my sled from scrap particle board, a scrap 1×4, and a scrap 2×2. To upgrade the sled, use as thin a piece of plywood as can be obtained with a size appropriate for the planned knots. Don’t worry too much about the size. The cost is so trivial, the sled can be re-made if necessary. Then a board is attached perpendicular to the cut line at the top and the bottom. These boards must be taller than the maximum sawing depth. They hold the right and left parts of the sled together after the initial saw cut. My sled rides against the rip fence. To upgrade, add a miter gauge track.

The Celtic knot process is:

  1. Rough turn the timber to a diameter slightly greater than the finished diameter to allow for nicks, defects, and axis deviations.
  2. Prepare two identical paper polygons:
    a.  Draw a circle with diameter equal to the timber diameter.
    b.  Draw a polygon with sides tangent to the circle. The number of sides is the number of loops wanted in the Celtic knot.
    c.  Draw a center indicator to both the circle and the polygon (same spot)
  3. Glue the paper polygons to a scrap piece of hardboard or plywood. Then rough cutout the polygons staying outside the lines of the polygon.
  4. Sand the edges of the polygon to split the edge line on a sander. These are now the Celtic knot templates.
  5. Fasten the templates to the ends of the roughed timber cylinder. Adjust the templates to align with each other. Add a little hot melt glue to ensure the templates will not turn on the timber. On one template, number the verticies in the order they will be sawn. Most often this will be in sequential order.
  6. On the sled, determine the angle for the slices of the Celtic knot. Many will chose 45 degrees but feel free to experiment with greater or lesser angles. With hot melt glue, glue a scrap wood strip longer than the workpiece at the desired angle. Glue another short piece as a stop. Using these two boards, you will be able to reposition the work piece exactly for each cut. Adjust the saw depth of cut to cut thru the work piece but not any deeper. Actually, the cut does not have to be completely thru the piece as long as it is deep enough for the entire finished slice. Count on full depth.
  7. From the markings on the template, determine the bottom or cut side. Using hot melt glue, add a thin scrap piece of wood to the top of the workpiece. This keeps the opposite ends of the workpiece in their original position after the cut.
  8. Place the workpiece on the sled and saw a slot thru the workpiece but not the scrap wood on the top.
  9. Glue in the contrasting wood in the slot. The wood must easily but not slopily fit. Use a glue with a long set time such as TiteBond Original Extend.
  10. After the glue dries, remove the top scrap wood and trim the contrasting wood. Careful work on a bandsaw does the trick.
  11. Repeat Steps 8 thru 10 for each loop. Leave the project alone at least overnight or longer to allow the glue to dry and moisture content to stabilize.
  12. When dry, turn the final profile on the workpiece. The Celtic knot will reveal itself shortly.

That’s one item checked off the honey do list. :)

Previous Celtic Knot videos:

Good turning.

Reclaim Shop Space & Storage With Above Garage Door Shelves

May also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook. But best right here!.

Please plan on the 5th Annual Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge coming up in November.

With my new shop area, I need to get organized and stow away both shop and household items that are currently taking floor space. After researching above door commercial storage units, I decided to make the shelves myself from lumber.

Strength comes from:

  1. Mounting on the wall above the garage doors.
  2. Mounting on the side walls at each end.
  3. Posts from the attic about 9 feet on center.
  4. Torsion box effect from sheathing both top and bottom of the framing.

With the shelf there is about 20 inches of storage height – enough for most bins and boxes that would be light enough for me to lift on the shelf. The shelf is 32 inches deep and about 38 feet long. 220 volt electrical service runs to the center with 110 service to both ends.

Cost is about $250 including electric wiring.

One essential tool is my Paslode power nailer. It is cordless and hoseless running on a battery and a fuel cell.

BTW, with a project of this sort, there are no re-takes. No chance to re-shoot a segment. With space so tight and dark, photography and sound was very difficult.

Back to woodturning next week.

Simple Yet Fascinating Desk Toy: Magnetic Hourglass

Magnetic HourglassMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook. But best right here.

Plan on the 5th Annual Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge – Coming in November

I’ve always been fascinated by the flow of sand thru an hourglass. This hourglass raises the bar.

Instead of sand, it contains iron filings. In the base is a magnet. As the ‘sand’ flows, the magnetic field causes it to stack in different shapes. When weight and gravity builds up, the shape collapses into a more compact shape. New grains then build on that base. Fascinating.

I purchased my hourglass thru Amazon. When in Amazon, search for “Magnetic Hourglass”. There will be several alternatives. This one is “Zicome Hand-blown Glass Sand Timer Magnet Magnetic Hourglass with a Iron Base” There are others now that I did not see previously.

Yet, as a woodturner, I want it to show some wood. However, in this case, the wood is only a simple base.

The base is an example of urban forrestry. A friend’s neighbor cut it down and I was fortunate to get several pieces. Some was not large enough for a bowl. This I turned into a straight cylinder, coated it was green wood sealer, and left it to dry in my shop. It has now been just over 2 years, the wood is dry and can be used for spindle projects like this one. It is finished with Mylands friction polish.

Good turning.

Exploring My Family History By Turning Tall Cedar Bowl


Pedestal Bowl in Cedar

May also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook. But best right here. :)

My mother has had a turned redwood vase for as long as I can remember. Upon reading the inscription on the base, my grandfather made it from redwood they obtained from a visit to the Redwoods two years before my birth.

My mother loves this bowl.

At our home in Portland, we had a large cedar tree that my mother liked when she visited us. We had to cut it down but I’ve saved some of the wood.

I’m going to turn another vase for my mother. This one from the cedar. Maybe she’ll put them together: one from her father; one from her son.

The vase is Titan cedar about 6 inches in diameter and 7 inches tall, finished with walnut oil and buffed. The turning blank was so large, I had to use my steady rest to keep the wood in the chuck. Here’s a link to the video where I updated the steady rest.

I’ve woodburned an inscription recognizing my grandfather in the base.

Good turning.  Don’t forget the Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge coming in November.

Avoiding Stepping On Cracks In Semi Dry Elm Bowl

Elm BowlMay also be viewed on YouTube or Vimeo – but Best right here.

Don’t forget the Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge is coming in November.

I picked up this chunk of wood at a local woodturning club meeting. It was supposed to be green elm. This made sense because the demonstration topic was green wood turning.

However, upon closer inspections and some turning, it quickly became obvious that it had been cut for some time. There were large end checks. Once into the interior of the wood, it did not feel wet enough for fresh green wood. It is elm – just not fresh green.

Those drying checks forced me to turn it smaller than originally expected. Yes, maybe I could have filled them but filling cracks in wet wood can become an issue also.

But the eleven inch by three inch tall bowl, finished with walnut oil, turned out very nice. I like the color of the heartwood.

To summarize the process:

  1. Mount on faceplate
  2. Mark and rough saw on bandsaw.
  3. Remount to lathe and tool the exterior, cut mortise, sand and finish.
  4. Reverse the bowl onto a scroll chuck.
  5. Shape and form the interior, sand, and finish.
  6. Reverse the bowl into Cole jaws
  7. Shape the foot, sign, sand, and finish.
  8. Buff.

Good turning.

Woodturning Natural Edge Off Center Bowl

Off Center Bowl in MapleMay also be viewed on YouTube and Vimeo – But Best Right Here!

Get ready for this year’s Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge – Coming November 2016

After seeing a demo at a woodturning club of a large off center bowl, I had to try one myself. At another club meeting, I picked up a bowl blank that I thought was elm. The blank had bark on one side – not the normal position for a natural edge bowl. But why not combine a side natural edge and an off center bowl.

Well, here it is. The rim measures about seven inches in diameter; the bowl is about two inches tall.

To summarize the process:

  1. Mark the center of the blank and an offset center. For the bark edge, I shifted the offset center about 3/4″ towards the bark edge.
  2. Mount to a faceplate and rough turn.
  3. Cut an expansion mortise on the bottom.
  4. Reverse the bowl onto a scroll chuck.
  5. Shape and form the outer portion of the rim including any rim decorations. It would be a good idea to sand also.
  6. Reverse the bowl onto a faceplate at the other center position.
  7. Shape the lower exterior of the bowl blending into the previously cut rim.
  8. Cut a new expansion mortise.
  9. Reverse the bowl into the new mortise.
  10. Hollow the interior, sand the upper exterior of the bowl.
  11. For my bowl, I cut a small groove on the inside of the bowl for another expansion hold. This will be used to finish the foot. Cole jaws are not an effective option because due to the offset rim.
  12. Reverse the bowl onto an expansion hold into the groove.
  13. Shape the foot.
  14. Sign and finish. I used walnut oil and later buffed.

This was a small block of wood for an offset bowl due to the need for enough wood for an expansion mortise. For this reason, the lines of the bowl do not flow as well as I had originally intended. A larger blank would be preferable.

Another learning is at the beginning to smooth an area on one face big enough for the faceplate in both positions. I used the rough face of the blank. Consequently, the turning plate of the bowl shifted slightly from one mount to the next causing the rim to be slightly thinner on one side.

Good turning.

Miniature Vase From A Rose Root – A Thorny Woodturning

Vase From RoseMay also be viewed on YouTube or Vimeo – But best right here!.

I dug up a rose bush from my garden and saved the root. It was not very big but I thought that I’d try to turn something: either a small hollow form or a small vase depending on how the wood turned.

Well, turning was easy; keeping the wood mounted to the lathe was a frequent and big problem. I could not get an adquate grip with either hot melt glue or medium CA glue. I finally had to cut a mortise and tenon and use yellow glue.

After all that, the vase started to come apart due to the voids and cracks in the root ball.

In the end, the little 2″ vase has unique figure. I’ll be on the lookout for larger rose roots for future projects.

Good turning.

Watch this space – Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge is coming in November.

Woodturning Miniature Hollow Form With My New DIY Tools

Cedar Miniature VaseMay also be viewed on YouTube or Vimeo – But best right here.

This little vase took some preparation. I did not have smaller tools to keep the top hole to a minimum. So, in the last video, I made a set from Allen wrenches.

This little vase is about three inches tall and two inches diameter. It is finished with shellac friction polish.

What is the fascination with hollowing so much thru a tiny little hole? You have to try to find out. :)

Good turning.

DIY Hollow Form Tools From Old ‘Alan’ Wrenches

Hollowing ToolsMay also be viewed on YouTube and Vimeo — But best right here!

I’m planning to create a small hollow form for my local club’s current challenge. However, my current tools are large and would require a larger hole than I want to leave.

So, I’m grinding two old Allen wrenches to provide one straight scraper and one bent scraper.

Then I’m making a handle for each: one from fig; one from elm.

Next week, I’ll create the hollow form.

Good turning.

Woodturning Box Lid with Multiple Eccentric Axes For Unique Look

Lid For Stacking BoxesMay also be view on Vimeo and YouTube – But best right here.

In the last video I turned a set of stacking boxes. My boxes need an interesting lid for the top most box – one that will provide interest and enhance the boxes.

The Infinite Axis Chuck provides a solution. The lid is red oak finished with walnut oil then buffed. The oak was shaped initially with standard techniques with one important feature. I cut a mortise on the underside to serve as an expansion hold while the top side was tooled. This mortise later served as the gluing surface to mount the wood to the Inifinite Axis Chuck.

The tail stock provides a clear indicator of where the turning center will be. The ball and tenon is moved to select the center of a new turning. Only light cuts with a spindle gouge are required, followed by sanding.

I’ve added a new page to my web site to define woodturning terms. The goal is to provide clarity about woodturning styles. Here’s the link. Your feedback will be appreciated.

I repositioned the chuck five times. The design is unique and can never be exactly duplicated.

Good turning.