Yin and Yang #1: My process for cutting a Yin and Yang pattern.

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Blog entry by Jim Jakosh posted 12-19-2016 02:12 AM 2414 reads 5 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I use maple and walnut and start with the maple stacked on a piece of walnut because the pattern on maple is easier to see when cutting. I have two sizes shown here and have finished products from both.
I start by drawing tangent circles and then drawing a circle around the both of them. It is important to draw these accurately because I sand to the lines for fitting the pieces together/

Then I cut on the outside of one circle and the inside of the other and never cross the line because it is my pattern for sanding.

This is the result of this little pattern:

On larger ones it is the same process:

The top and bottom could be held together with double faced tape but I just used glue outside the pattern I was saving.

I drill the hole through both pieces before cutting out the pattern. The diameter of the small hole is .2 x the larger diameter

Then the sanding starts. I sand them in a pair first and then sand individually to fit them without any light gaps.

Then they are glued together and contrasting plugs are turned for the small holes and a spigot is carefuly glued on center to hold the part in the turning process. After turning the first side, I cut a mortise into the back to hold the part while grooving the front.

That is the method I use to make this pattern. Thanks for looking!!

Cheers, Jim

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

20 comments so far

View Alongiron's profile


654 posts in 3140 days

#1 posted 12-19-2016 02:24 AM

Thanks for sharing Jim!

Very good lesson! Always looking to improve on my turning skills.

Hey. Question on turning! I am getting some vibration when I am turning pieces longer then let’s say 24”. I think I need a holdfast but have no idea what’s good or bad or even how to use one. Any advise would be great!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6724 posts in 3800 days

#2 posted 12-19-2016 02:25 AM

Very interesting Jim! I think this is the best way to make a Yin Yang! Sure looks good to me! Great tutorial too!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22991 posts in 3552 days

#3 posted 12-19-2016 02:37 AM

Thanks, Steve. If the parts are 24” and skinny, it would be good to use a steady rest. It will stop the vibration. They are not that hard to make and very handy!. There are a lot of them here on Lumberjocks to get ideas from.
Three wheels on the rest are all you need. Rollerblade wheels are real good to use.
I cut a smooth round area where the rest will be contacting the part and set the wheels against the part with the lathe turning. I do the bottom ones first and then the top one. Sometimes you have to move the rest to different places on the part. Always be sure the wheels are riding an a smooth round area with no chatter marks.

Cheers, Jim

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

View lew's profile


12821 posts in 4202 days

#4 posted 12-19-2016 02:54 AM

Thanks, Jim

I never would have thought about the “inside and outside” of the line cutting.

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

View oldsawtooth's profile


160 posts in 1722 days

#5 posted 12-19-2016 02:59 AM

That’s awesome Jim i like the way you have it layed out and the process and steps to make the project nice craftsmanship as well. Merry Christmas friends

-- James,Alabama,

View CFrye's profile


10722 posts in 2287 days

#6 posted 12-19-2016 03:03 AM

Nice tutorial, Jim! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View doubleDD's profile


8522 posts in 2490 days

#7 posted 12-19-2016 03:06 AM

Thanks for the process Jim. Always good to know when the occasion arises.

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

View tyvekboy's profile


1917 posts in 3460 days

#8 posted 12-19-2016 04:28 AM

Jim—nice tutorial—Thanks for sharing.

Merry Christmas.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10668 posts in 4499 days

#9 posted 12-19-2016 05:22 AM


Very good Procedure!

COOL… Makes a lot of sense…

Do you really have to drill the holes?
... What if you didn’t want to see them? ... and just keep them solid?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2688 posts in 4130 days

#10 posted 12-19-2016 06:12 AM

That is great Jim, thanks for sharing.

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

View Tooch's profile


2009 posts in 2323 days

#11 posted 12-19-2016 11:04 AM

Cool looking project Jim and thanks for the tutorial. I love the glue in a mustard bottle…. funny the things we pick up from just looking at pictures.

I really like the final trivets that you made, have you posted those yet?

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2606 posts in 1510 days

#12 posted 12-19-2016 11:26 AM

Thanks for sharing this, Jim. Have you considered doing this with one?

-- Mark

View Roger's profile


21007 posts in 3251 days

#13 posted 12-19-2016 12:56 PM

Thnx for the walk-thru Jim. Your projects are always eye candy

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22991 posts in 3552 days

#14 posted 12-19-2016 01:28 PM

You are all welcome. I like to share processes. you never know when you might get a request for something like that.

Hi Mike. They are not posted yet- need buffing…... tomorrow. I have to fix the garage door opener today!

Hi Mark. Thanks for the link. Capt. Eddie is a hoot just listening to him! He made a nice eccentric face plate to do that piece. I have done something like that but I did not like the open edges. He used box wood and that is like he says- like cheating. That is the best wood for cutting threads into too! I got inspired by Michelletwo on the fantastic art pieces she makes. When I started cutting on both sides, I bolt through the center of my pieces and they stay put and no open edges.

cheers, Jim

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

View splinterbubba's profile


95 posts in 1327 days

#15 posted 12-19-2016 04:14 PM

Another home run Jim, thanks for sharing the details. They look great and you make it appear relatively makeable. Looks like a winner all the way.

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