Kokeshi doll

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by DHapp posted 12-20-2017 05:30 PM 905 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DHapp's profile


28 posts in 2572 days

12-20-2017 05:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe carving tool turning carving traditional arts and crafts

Not sure if you have seen these dolls before. I gave one to my daughter years ago (brought back from Japan) and now I would like to make one. I am seeking advice on the hair portion of the doll. I know I can make a bowl shape and then it gets confusing … is the best way to cut out the shape before making it round? How? Do I cut it out after with what? how? a Dremel tool perhaps. Any advice would be appreciated.

6 replies so far

View Loren's profile


11251 posts in 4859 days

#1 posted 12-20-2017 06:33 PM

It may be possible to drill in out with a forstner
bit after the shape has been turned.

If only doing a few I might try drilling a hair line
and splitting out the waste with a chisel.

It’s obviously possible to turn over a gap but it
takes some skill to do it freehand.

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3591 days

#2 posted 12-20-2017 07:54 PM

I would turn the cup then cut the notch for the face, a handsaw would make quick work of it. You risk catches and tear out after cutting the notch, plus it would be more work cutting it first.

-- Rick M,

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3346 days

#3 posted 12-20-2017 10:11 PM

Cannot tell you how many Kokeshi doll have tried to turn. The few good ones destroyed trying to paint. Lucky for me my nieces expert painters and salvaged didn’t ruin. Anyway they still have them and proud of their efforts.

Never tried the style you are trying to turn and like the idea of using a forstner bit or dremel tool to do the hair.

-- Bill

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 1593 days

#4 posted 12-20-2017 10:39 PM

I’d do like mentioned and forstner out the center then finish with a dremel

View BobAnderton's profile


313 posts in 4002 days

#5 posted 12-21-2017 05:06 AM

If that piece were aluminum a machinist would say “no problem, I’ll just put it on the milling machine and mill that slot out” I think you can do the same thing with a straight router bit, you just need to jig something up on the router table that will enable you to hold the round piece securely and will have stop blocks on the fence that will limit how far side to side the piece can move. Forgive my not-to-scale drawing below but it will get the point across I think. Make the workpiece holder out of stock thick enough that it won’t be cut all the way through when you do the operation. In other words, the stock will be thicker than the height of the bit

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View DHapp's profile


28 posts in 2572 days

#6 posted 12-21-2017 02:04 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. I watched a video of a guy making one of these … unfortunately it did not show how the notch was cut out of the head, but it did show the what looked like a forstner bit to hollow the head and that it was turned with the notch already out. I was thinking of combining some of the ideas maybe use forstner bit to hollow the head and then use bobanderton’s idea of a jig to cut out the notch on a router table but to do it while it is square and then turn the hair but not sure that would result in a neat notch with squared corners

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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