• Advertise with us
Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 09-22-2015 05:04 AM 1747 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Even a beam of light, given enough time, will curve. It has to.
So, it was with much interest that I did some boning up on the thing all you purveyors of Rolling Pins are familiar with. I tuned in to The Naked Turner, Erik Anderson, to see how he puts a Celtic Knot, or something like it, in a lidded jar. Minor modifications in the method have me convinced that I, too, can make straight lines curve.
Whereas Erik began with a glued-up stack of contrasting woods, I had one small leftover piece of this beautiful wood from Hawaii, which I could have stacked. But, instead, I mitered four pieces together, after the fashion of making a table leg, so I’d wind up with face grain/figure all the way around.

Then, lacking a big biy’s bandsaw, with a 1/2” blade, I went to the table saw and made the kerfs, one at a time, and fitted wafers of Mulberry into them. Then I watched glue dry. This I did six times, the angled cuts on a sled, at 45 degrees. So I wound up, after a couple days, with a rectangular blank, having two perpendicular wafers as borders, and matching slashes between same on all four sides. It was when I was trying to divine some way of making the opposing slashes on the saw that I realized that the opposing slashes were already inside there, waiting to be revealed in the rounding. My confusion lay in the fact that, in Erik’s video, fully defined X’s are visible on all four sides before the turning began. I still don’t know why. Anywhooooo. I stuck it on the lathe, clamped into my 2” jaws, and turned a tenon. I then turned it around and put the tenon in the chuck and began rounding, not knowing what would come. Or even if the blank would stay intact, what with all the glue joints, some, nowhere near solid, due to movement at the saw making uneven kerfs.

And a-rounding I did go.

And straight lines began curving, as advertised.

I like it. More, please.

Ahhh. Complete, intact lines.

Some sanding and polishing.

Some Shine Juice.

Want it shinier. Add some WOP. Note: Reuse of latex gloves results in rippage.

Why the glove? I found that when I use WOP without a glove, my right thumbnail gets a tremendous manicure. No matter, anyhow. See, I thought I’d do what some people do, and use a paper towel to apply WOP. Do I need to tell you what happened? Yeah. Little pieces of blue paper towel shmutz all over my beautiful creation. So, I picked up the usual cotton rag, soaked it in DNA, and cleaned it off. Then started over with the Juice.

And, instead of going to the WOP, I went to straight shellac for added build. (Cotton rag, thank you very much.) And this may become something.

So, today, I learned that I’m able to do something that, yesterday, was an utter mystery to me. There’s another such thing brewing that I percolated over while glue was drying on this thing. More about that later. Hint: Capt. Eddie’s my muse.

-- Mark

10 comments so far

View BobWemm's profile


2745 posts in 2532 days

#1 posted 09-22-2015 05:34 AM

Hi Mark, Congratulations, that is very neat.
I learned that if you want a perfect match up, you have to have the “insert” wood exactly the same thickness as the saw blade kerf, and you have to do each piece individually, ie. cut and glue, then cut and glue, and so on. If there is a difference in thickness it will multiply as my first one did.
Isn’t it great to do something seemingly impossible.
Just like the 3 cornered item from a cube????? Took me ages to come to grips that it was possible.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2696 posts in 1669 days

#2 posted 09-22-2015 07:01 AM

Thanks, Bob. That’s the way I did it. I didn’t fuss too much about alignment, or how well the wafers fit. I just needed to know that the lines would indeed curve in the end. And that they’d describe complete round things, be they circle or oval.

-- Mark

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23759 posts in 3711 days

#3 posted 09-22-2015 09:38 AM

Ah ha. that is how it is done!!
Nice job describing it!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2738 posts in 4289 days

#4 posted 09-22-2015 10:26 AM

Having to much fun Mark, great feeling achieving something that you think is to hard to do. Ended up a nice project.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2613 days

#5 posted 09-22-2015 12:21 PM

Wow, that’s pretty cool. Who says that woodworking isn’t rocket science?

You have taken this “To infinity, and beyond” !


-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View lew's profile


12933 posts in 4361 days

#6 posted 09-22-2015 01:09 PM

Knice Knot!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View doubleDD's profile


8966 posts in 2649 days

#7 posted 09-22-2015 01:51 PM

This sounds like a familiar story. My first one turned out pretty much the same. As the saying goes, you have to see it to believe it.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2696 posts in 1669 days

#8 posted 09-22-2015 06:44 PM

I knew it, Joe. I’ve gone nuclear. Mine seems to be missing one of the ellipses, though. I bet it can be done. Now I’m distracted.
It’s magical, innit, Dave? I’m all, Whaaaaat? Those were straight a minute ago. Oh. You want magic? Look up “Dizzy Bowl” on YT. All the straight lines disappear.

-- Mark

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 2443 days

#9 posted 09-23-2015 06:01 AM

That is pretty cool! I am going to have to try that the next time the wife wants a new vase.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View Grumpy's profile


25952 posts in 4457 days

#10 posted 10-21-2015 12:36 AM

Very clever mate.

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

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