Wood Turning Blog

Some Tools I'm Working On

If I see a nice tool that I think will do a great job,  I have a closer look to see if it's something that I  can make.

I saw this sanding tool and it looked like something I could make, so I picked up the pieces and had a go at it. I needed some 1" Aluminum  round stock and 1/2" steal shaft for the handle shaft as well as 2 (R4) bearings. I use what I call hobby craft bearings, The measurements on them are  3/4" OD and 1/4" ID so no machining is required. Also needed some 1/4" Aluminum plate.

I had to do some light machining on the part that holds the bearings to get it the right shape to do the job.  Working with aluminum is so sweet. 

As Canadians, we all know that for the past 20+ years, we have been a Metric Country, Right?

Guess where I had to go to purchase these 5MM cap screws?


Here is a pair of tools I made up for doing the inside of items like Egg Cups and small hollow forms. The cutters are made of this new Micro Grain Carbide. These cutters are manufactured by Hunter Tools. I picked them up during a trip to Las Vegas.


Made the shafts and handles and attached the cutters at some very strange looking angles to make my job of hollowing as easy as possible. Man they work really well. They cut end grain Elm like cheese. No evidence of any torn grain.

Threading Jig


Can you thread wood like this? And make a nut to fit.

I am going to show you a series of pics of the cutter and it’s mount for the lathe. Below is the cutter it’s self. It has a double bevel 60 degree 3/4” head mounted on a 3/8” shaft that is meant to go in a milling head.


This cuts a perfect thread with the correct angles needed. My supplier, KBC Tool, sells this for around $50.00. It’s made for threading metal so it should last for ever cutting wood.


This is the End Mill holder which has a MT#2 taper that fits in my spindle of my lathe. Other tapers are available. Because I wanted to be able to thread deeper than the length of the cutter would allow, I made an extension shaft for the cutter that would go into the End Mill holder.


The shaft extension is a 1/2” X 4” and it is bored out to take the 3/8” cutter shaft and I put a set screw in it to hold the cutter on it’s flat spot. This allows me to thread a box that is deep or to cut a long thread.  The End Mill holder has a 1/2” hole that is 4” deep so you can set the cutter to any length you like.


The heart of the Threader Jig is the lead screw assembly. As seen here, you see the 8TPI on the left end. This is to mount my Nova 4 Jaw chuck on which will allow me to hold everything I want to thread. Then next is the shoulder that the chuck tightens up to to keep the chuck straight. It also has 3 holes in it so you can put a small bar in so you can turn it out of the hub on the right. The hub and lead screw are made with a very tight fit so there is no flop or back lash (this is very important) I have tried for years to get this right and I finally found a machine shop that can do it right. This is the 12 TPI set.

So here is a pic of the chuck mounted on the lead screw assembly holding a small box ready to be threaded.

The lathe spindle holding the End Mill holder and cutter will run at 2000 to 2500 RPM and will cut a very smooth thread.

I have a Cross Slide Assembly that fits my Delta Lathe made by Delta many years ago. This allows me to move the Threading Jig into position in both X  & Y axis.  Getting the height right was done during the making of the mount bracket which holds the Threading Jig on the cross slide assembly. It’s just a short piece of  2” angle iron with the holes bored in the right spot.This also allows me to change to the other Jigs that are set for 8, 10 & 12 threads per inch. They all fit on the same mount and are the correct height.  The cross slide assembly can be easily moved along the lathe bed to get the project you are working on into position for threading.

If you don’t have a cross slide for your lathe, Grizzly Tools sells a Cross Slide Vise for around $60.00 and I will make the mount plate to fit your lathe if you don’t want to.


Here is the Threading Jig lead screw removed from the nut or what I call the  hub. These two parts have to be made right or your threads will be no good. If you can’t find a machine shop to make these parts, please contact Ron Pawlyshyn of RPM Industrial Inc. 306-764-0768. His team will fix you up.   This is the 8 TPI set.


Happy Threading.


Segmented Turning


What do you think of this? 

This is an example of segmented wood turning. 

You start off with a set of 9 sticks, 5 of one wood type and 4 of another. They must be made all the same size. In this goblet, they are 11/16” square. Five of them are Red Gum wood and 4 are Hard Rock Maple. This makes up the inner core.  You alternate the wood types in the core so that your colour of choice is in the center which then makes the stem of the goblet.

This glue up turns out to be square, or at least it had better be!!! These are then surrounded with the next layer which in this case is Cherry.

You then mark the center being very pick, you have to be dead center on the center core piece or the whole thing will be off center and is a total wast of time. Then comes mounting this in the lathe.

Then go ahead and turn a goblet. I always just round the whole thing first, then true up the ends and mount it in my 4 jaw chuck. If you are turning a long goblet, use a steady so that the tail stock can be backed off and used to bore a center hole so you can set up the depth of the upper part of the goblet. Use as many different sizes as you like to get the size and shape you are looking for. Complete the inner shape, sand and finish it. Because you are cutting all end grain during the hollowing of the bowl of the goblet, you need to have a set of tools that will cut end grain and not tear it. You also need a tool rest that will let you get inside the goblet. 

Once the inside is done and the finish has dried, you can remove the steady and put the tail stock back to work. You may need to make a piece that fits in the goblet for your tail stock live center. Then you can turn the outside of the goblet, turning the small stem last. 

Then part off the base from the part held by your chuck only after you have done all your sanding and finishing.

If you are planing to use this goblet for your favorite beverage, you better make sure you finish it with a product that is impervious to it. I use one of the new rub on Polyurethanes. Easy to put on and looks good. Once it’s dry it is food safe.

Good Luck.

Natural Edge Turning


This is what you start with, can you imagine what will turn out? Some people can, I call these people creative wood turners. It takes guts, skill and a bit of crazy!!!

This is a piece of my poor old plum tree. I had a talk to this plum tree before I cut it down. I mentioned the fact that if it couldn’t produce plums in a more timely fashion and of good quality I would have to see what else I could do with a plum tree other than enjoy it’s shade. After several more years of no plums, I decided to make more room in my back yard and get rid of the leaves I had to rake every fall. But all this time it was listening and inside it’s trunk it was is such a state that the pressure I was putting it under produced huge amounts of stress. This poor tree was so twisted up inside that it was very difficult  to do anything with it’s wood. I ended up having to cut the log into all kinds of funny pieces to keep it from checking, twisting, splitting and you name it that I must confess, It won. See the anger in this piece.


Good Old Poplar

This looked pretty ugly when I started. It was pretty soft with lots of bark. It sat around for a long time till I got up the courage to give it a go. By this point in time, it was what I call ”Alberta air dry” If you have ever been to Alberta in the winter time you know what I mean. Finished it up with oil and wax.

This is a nice one. A fellow turner gave me this piece. It’s local wood, good old poplar.


Turning Highly Figured Maple

I don’t run into a piece of wood like this very often, but when I do, I know that I’m in for a lot of fun. The out come as you can see is a result of Mother Nature at her best. She just couldn’t figure out which way to have the grain run, so she put it in both direction and then mixed it all up a bit.


I must put a plug in here for Robert Sorby Tools, because without a 1/2” Spindle master, this would have turn out pretty ugly. The tool has to be so sharp that it will cut you with ease.  So keep the bevel rubbing and go for it.

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