Swirl Inlay Tutorial

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Kerux posted 03-26-2008 11:21 PM 3923 reads 20 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Really simple. This is one of those ‘looks way harder’ than it really is moments.

Here is the blank being cut (Atlas/Patriot/Polaris). I stop the blade just a little before half way. It is at a 45 degree angle. And I have a stop block to ensure the segments are going to be even all the way around. Although I imagine you could vary the segment up and down the blank.

You will notice that, because I like my fingers I don’t cut the blank to size until the swirl cuts are done

My planer goes down exactly to 1/8”, so a 1/8” blade work perfect for using that size of segmentation.

Here is the finished “Swirl” blank with the segments in place.

And here is the finished product. Well almost, this is a different pen. The other pen is sold and I have no pictures of it.


8 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5072 days

#1 posted 03-26-2008 11:25 PM

That’s pretty cool. Very simple once you know how it’s done. Like a magic trick.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 4798 days

#2 posted 03-26-2008 11:33 PM

That’s cool… very interesting…

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 4935 days

#3 posted 03-26-2008 11:58 PM

I must try that Kerux. Thanks for sharing.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4858 days

#4 posted 03-27-2008 12:37 AM

Thank you for the idea. Makes a sharp looking pen.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4906 days

#5 posted 03-27-2008 12:47 AM


You have taken all the mystery out of it. Here I thought that these were created through some time honored process that takes years of practice to learn (kind of like dovetails). :) Why this looks like even I could do it. If I only had a lathe, of course. (Deep sigh).

Thanks for the post. Instructional posts like this are what LJs is really about.

I appreciate this.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5410 days

#6 posted 03-27-2008 01:08 AM

this is one of the cool things about turing pens, it may look complex but it really isn’t all that bad.
I like using my table saw for stuff like this. I have a setup fairly similar to what gary shows in his celtic knot blog.

View perl's profile


1 post in 3165 days

#7 posted 12-06-2013 10:54 PM

What did you fill in the 45degree cuts with that makes the swirl?

View almo247's profile


4 posts in 3895 days

#8 posted 12-09-2013 03:09 PM

I like the idea, but do not comprehend the process. What does the planer do to the pen blank? Most saw kerfs are 1/16”, so that does not compute with the 45 degree cuts. May we get a more detailed explanation of the process? Would love to try one of these. Also, like Perl, what and how did you fill in the cuts?

-- Alan May

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics