On The Lathe #1: Bummer!! or My first Celtic knot

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Blog entry by clieb91 posted 03-14-2012 04:11 PM 13702 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of On The Lathe series Part 2: New Sharpening System »

So a few weeks ago I took a course on building segmented pens at my local Woodcraft. The class was very good and we came away with 4 different types; Celtic Knot, Spiderweb, Spiral Staircase, and a small piece of a Herringbone (which I am not sure I will be doing again) The Celtic knot is really the only one that was a complete blank and I decided to give it a try this morning before I started in on the other pens I am planning to turn this afternoon and through the weekend. Unfortunately it did not make it…


I was warned by the instructor that segmented pens can be an issue when turning, so I was not entirely surprised. I am looking forward to putting knowledge i got for the class to work to and make a few more of these on my own. Hopefully the next ones will come out a bit better.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

6 comments so far

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 4121 days

#1 posted 03-14-2012 10:07 PM

How these patterns are done is still a mystery to me. Can’t wait to learn about them one day.
Keep at it.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 4743 days

#2 posted 03-15-2012 12:58 AM

By the look of some of the marks on the wood there, it appears that you should sharpen your tools a bit. Especially when your turning these segmented blanks, you have to take light cuts with a very sharp tool.

-- San Diego, CA

View Shanem's profile


130 posts in 3751 days

#3 posted 03-15-2012 03:16 PM

I’ve made a bunch of these. The first few I made the same thing happened as you. You need to have good glue coverage and be patient and let it set. Also, the skew chisel makes for a nice clean slice through the two different woods. Just make sure it is sharp and take light cuts.

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5220 days

#4 posted 03-17-2012 12:34 AM

Thanks all for the comments, sharpening is still a point I am working on. As well as skew chisels.

Brandon, I have to agree with you I thought the process was very mysterious and highly difficult. The class made it very easy and I am going to be making up some of my own in the not to distant future. Maybe I will put together a quick blog about it. I am no expert but I can deliver the basic premise.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View JLJones's profile


228 posts in 3537 days

#5 posted 08-12-2012 04:11 PM

What type of glue was used? I love the concept of the segmented blanks, but haven’t had the guts to try it yet.

-- "Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5220 days

#6 posted 08-12-2012 10:29 PM

J, We used CA in the class since we wanted things to dry quickly. However the instructor noted that he generally uses wood glue for a longer harder cure. I really need to make another set here and try it out.
Celtic Knot one was actually, I think, the easiest one to make as you did not have to deal with a ton of little parts.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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