About Alan

Alan has been a member since January 5th 2012, and has created 177 posts from scratch.

Alan's Bio

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Alan's Websites

This Author's Website is http://www.AsWoodTurns.com

Alan's Recent Articles

Woodturning One Scoop After Another

Cedar Scoop

May also be viewed on YouTube.

Recently, I saw Sören Berger turn a scoop. He made it look easy and indeed it is — after you’ve completed one.

This cedar scoop combines elements of spindle turning, multi-axis turning, and bowl turning.

It also includes turning a perfect sphere. A perfect sphere is no problem for me, I have that process down. The difference is that this sphere must be on the end of a handle. I cannot rotate the ball’s axis as I can for an independent sphere.

Soren marked out first for a octagon, then rounded it over for a ball. However, he used his single purpose caliper to make critical measures for the octagon.

I don’t have his caliper – nor do I want a single purpose tool. However, the geometry is simple. I created a spreadsheet to related diameter to critical measures for the octagon. BTW, the length of a side of a polygon is 0.414 times the diameter. My spreadsheet can be downloaded here.

My scoop is Titan cedar about six inches long with a 2.5 inch diameter bowl, finished with mineral oil and beeswax.

Good turning.

N-Loop Perfect Celtic Knot Seeks Perfect Sphere

May also be viewed on YouTube.

5 Loop Celtic Knot In Perfect SphereThis journey thru Celtic knots has resulted in an easy and repeatable process that greatly simplifies preparation of the turning stock. In previous descriptions, the project wood had to be milled to exact dimensions: squares for four loops being the easiest, triangles for three loop, pentagons for five loops.

The significant realization was that it’s not the wood that has to be milled. The milled wood was shaped to provide positioning for the cutting angles. Instead, we only need to make plywood polygons that can be attached to the ends of the wood to maintain positions.

To summarize how to make a n-loop Celtic knot:

  1. Prepare appropriate stock for the project. The only requirement is that the two opposite end be parallel and their centers drilled to a shallow depth.
  2. Prepare paper templates with polygons with sides equal to the number of loops desired in the Celtic knot: triangle for three loops; square for four loops; pentagon for five loops and so on.After the previous video with a Celtic knot in a barbecue flipper, several comments included a suggestion to leave a little wood when the angle cut is made to keep the wood spaced correctly. In addition Michael challenged me to make a 3 loop Celtic knot. The project wood must fit inside and be centered on the center of the polygon.
  3. Glue the templates to plywood, rough cut, and sand down to the perimeter line.
  4. Temporarily glue the plywood polygons to the ends of the project wood. Use a small nail thru the plywoods’ center and into the center of the project wood.
  5. Choose a cut angle for the knot.
  6. Prepare the saw with appropriate stops and supports. Do NOT change any stop or support until the project is completed to reduce the opportunity for error.
  7. Set the depth of cut to allow a thin piece of wood to remain connecting the otherwise two pieces of wood. Use scrap wood temporarily glued to the project wood to supplement and reinfore the cut area before making the cut.
  8. Make the cut.
  9. Prepare contrasting spline material to easily slide into the saw kerf.
  10. Glue spline into the saw kerf. Work quickly to insert and position the spline before the glue sets. Do not use CA glue.
  11. Clean up excess spline material and the scrap reinforcements.
  12. Repeat steps 8,10, & 11 for each additional knot loop.
  13. Finish turn the project. Hurrah.

How to make a perfect sphere or ball.

  1. Prepare a faceplate with a cup that fits the rough ball. Find a rubber stopper about twice as large as your threaded(hopefully) live center. Drill to fit the live center.
  2. Measure the diameter of the spindle. Mark that length on the spindle, centering as necessary.
  3. Partially part outside these marks to indicate the top and bottom. Rough turn the ball between centers. Make a pencil line at the equator (largest center) of the ball.
  4. Saw off the small tenons.
  5. Rotate the rough ball 90 degrees and mount to the cup faceplate, holding it with the rubber stopper on the live center. The equator line should now run parallel to the turning axis.
  6. Use a scraper or other gentle tool to carefully remove any wood higher than the equator line but be sure to leave the line.
  7. Mark a new equator line.
  8. Rotate the ball 90 degrees so the new equator line is parallel to the turning axis.
  9. Use a scraper or other gentle tool to carefully remove any wood higher than the equator line but be sure to leave the line.
  10. If satisfied, move on to sanding. Otherwise, repeat steps 7, 8, and 9 until you are.
  11. For each sanding grit repeat the same ball rotations used to turn the ball but don’t mark equator lines. Do the same process by eye. That will be good enough for sanding.

Good turning.

Knotted Back Muscles? Back Pain Relief With Celtic Knot

Back Pain Tool
May also be viewed on YouTube.

After the previous video with a Celtic knot in a barbecue flipper, several comments included a suggestion to leave a little wood when the angle cut is made to keep the wood spaced correctly. In addition Michael challenged me to make a three loop Celtic knot.

In this project, I’m accepting his challenge and incorporating these suggestions.

A three loop knot requires three cuts at 120 degrees separation. Instead of milling the wood into a triangle, I made two plywood triangles and glued them to the ends of the timber.

Then it was off to the races.

This same process could be used to make Celtic knots with any number of loops. Just vary the end pieces and perhaps the cut angle.

This little handle is actually a tools to massage your back. You’ll need assistance from someone else to roll it on your back or to massage specific muscles with either end for different pressure.

Woodturning Celtic Knot On Pigtail Barbecue Tool Handle

Celtic Knot Flipper

May also be viewed on YouTube.

In this project, I’m making a handle for a barbecue turner. But not just any handle – this one has a Celtic knot.

For the celtic knot, I threw together a sliding cutting jig to ensure accuracy in the cuts that have to be just right.

A Celtic knot is a series of four angled cuts with a new wood slice inserted and glued in.

Meanwhile, I’m trying out a Jacobs chuck with which to hold drill bits while drilling on the lathe.


Woodturning An Ornament Or Birdhouse Stand

Ornament Stand

May also be viewed on YouTube.

In preparation for this year’s Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge, I decided to make my own ornament stand. It could also be used for a birdhouse or any other small hanging.

It is surprisingly easy to make. The base is scrap wood from another project. The brass is 1/16″ diameter brass rod but should be heavier such as 1/8″ diameter to be less bouncy.

This stand is finished with Mylands Friction Polish then buffed.