Woodturning Paper - Making a Paper Turning Block

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Forum topic by Shaun posted 10-12-2018 10:50 PM 765 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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39 posts in 1311 days

10-12-2018 10:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning modern

Hi all

We use a lot of large 6”x8” neon post it notes at work. I have a stack that is probably 2 feet tall. And I got to thinking… can I turn it? So I turned to Google and found that there are a small few people making paper into blanks that can be turned or otherwise worked.

For example:

Making woodturning blocks from newspapers is very cool.

But I’m having trouble finding out how to make the blanks. In particular, what adhesive to use?

My first thought was wood glue, possibly diluted to soak into the paper a bit better but I’m not convinced. Wood glue and paper is used for making a temporary joint. It doesn’t seem permanent for this purpose.

Epoxy is fast drying and very messy to work with. I hate using it. Such a short open time. Although I did see an article on making a pen blank from paper and epoxy.

Yet another article makes “logs” by rolling paper using a water based adhesive.

I don’t want a log. I’d like to stack the paper and press it.

What are your thoughts?

What adhesive would be eirth trying?

I’m not super familiar with adhesives so I’m not even sure what would be an example of a water based adhesive or what adhesive might be appropriate.

Any advice would be most appreciated.

-- Shaun, Ontario, Total n00b at wood turning

5 replies so far

View LeeMills's profile


702 posts in 2183 days

#1 posted 10-13-2018 02:42 AM

We had a turner demonstrate at a local club quite a few years back and he used Titebond.
Cool results but I never tried it because I don’t have the patience to glue all the sheets of paper together.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1732 posts in 2612 days

#2 posted 10-13-2018 01:26 PM

If I was going to attempt something like that, I definitely wouldn’t use wood glue. It softens when there is heat, softens when wet, and gums up sanding media, and might be brittle later on.

Research 2 part resins if you have a way to pressurize it. When cured, it will be hard, impervious to water, heat and depending on the resin, almost unbreakable. ............ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View gwilki's profile


359 posts in 2356 days

#3 posted 10-13-2018 02:06 PM

We did a phone book bowl some years ago and used diluted white glue. It was messy as all get out, but we had one guy turning the pages and we sprayed the glue between each page. We pressed it using the press that we use when making bowls from rings and let it sit in the press for about a week, as I recall. It was a bugger to turn, but the customer liked it. I’d post pics (I know. No pic, it didn’t happen.), but they are not on my PC. You will find samples online, though.

As an aside, we’ve done shredded money pens in much the same way.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View SignWave's profile


472 posts in 3917 days

#4 posted 10-13-2018 03:29 PM

Not all epoxy is fast drying. If I were to tackle this, I’d use a medium setting thin epoxy such as West Systems or comparable. I actually ordered the 3:1 thin epoxy from us composites to make some knife scales using paper grocery bags (DIY micarta). Pot life is 20-25 minutes @ 80*F, plenty of time if you’re determined. They offer slower setting varieties if needed.

I did end up soaking the finished handles in polyurethane to make the paper more water resistant, but they were very easy to machine. I am sure that once cured, turning a epoxy/paper combination would be no problem.

-- Barry,

View Shaun's profile


39 posts in 1311 days

#5 posted 10-15-2018 11:24 PM

Thanks, all.

Sounds like wood glue is viable but quite problematic whereas epoxy will give the results but with some substantial expense.

Resin is something I’d like to try some day in the far future. Unless I can find something cheaper that fits the bill I will have to wait until then.

Thanks again.

-- Shaun, Ontario, Total n00b at wood turning

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