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Making a pizza cutter with a celtic knot

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Blog entry by Eric_S posted 08-24-2011 09:23 PM 6739 reads 12 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I purchased the Rockler pizza cutter recently and decided to try a celtic knot in the turned handle. It was surprisingly easy.
I started with a leftover piece of hard maple I had from the legs of the nightstand project. Started with 1 1/2×6 block.

In the center I marked x’s at 45 degree angles using my compound ruler. I was looking for scrap that would look nice and fit the kerfs that either my band saw or table saw would produce. I found the perfect scrap of cherry that fit my table saw kerf for the most part. It was a just a bit thin but using Titebond III and clamps I was able to fill the gap and pretty much match the dark color.

Anyways, in order to create a celtic knot, you just need to have an X in two planes criss crossing. Since my miter sled is only set up to do one side of the sled, I decided to do the same angle cut on all 4 sides instead of two x’s on just 2 sides. This produces the same affect. I raised the blade up to about 1/4” inch below the height of the block to keep it together making glue up easier. One note, its best to do only one cut at a time and wait for the glue to dry before doing the next. I was impatient with them and only waited about 10 minutes between each side glue up causing some issues with support but nothing serious. So cut, insert piece, wait for it to dry, rotated and repeat for all 4 sides or if you can do 45 degree angle both ways then just do an x on two sides. Since I did all 4 sides same direction you end up with this….

Then drilled the hole for the threaded insert on the lathe using a 15/32 drill bit, and screwed in the threaded insert using the included allen wrench and a little CA glue to make sure it stayed in.

Finally, I mounted the side without the insert on my chuck, and using a live center with a cylindar adapter that fit in the insert without damaging it on the other end.

I then realized it was difficult to do the entire handle this way so I found a bolt that fit in the insert, cut off the head, and placed it in the jacobs chuck and just screwed the handle to it to finish the turning, sanding, and finish.

Tada!

I didn’t align all 4 side cuts apparently so one of the loops on the knot is slightly larger than the others, but still all in all I’m happy with the result and will be doing more of them on various projects.

I finished it the same way I have a few of my pens as I’m most comfortable with this method, sanded all the way up to 12000 grit. Then 3 coats of BLO/CA combination, a coat of EEE-shine wax and then renaissance wax.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN



12 comments so far

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 2294 days


#1 posted 08-24-2011 09:28 PM

very ncie I really like that process

-- http://aewoodworks.webs.com

View lew's profile

lew

11347 posts in 3222 days


#2 posted 08-24-2011 09:58 PM

A man after my own heart!!
Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lew

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

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

615 posts in 3733 days


#3 posted 08-24-2011 10:16 PM

Super blog, Eric. Now I know why I do blogs- so that other woodworkers can see my process and benefit from my experiences. This is so kool- you know how I am about Celtic knot designs- since I carve them a lot. Now I can’t wait to try turning something like you did here and turn something. It would make a super pen.
You did a super job. I wonder if it would work to make the handle larger. I think I’d like one about twice that diameter, and a little longer. Any reason why that would not work?

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


#4 posted 08-24-2011 11:01 PM

Lew, you’re the man!

Rookie and Donna, thank you.

Donna, the celtic knot would work with a bigger diameter, and I did start out with a thicker handle, but after holding it and realizing it was too beefy for my wife’s tiny hands I made it a smaller diameter, although I think I prefer the thicker handle. A bigger diameter did result in a larger, more open celtic knot. Once you turn one the layout starts to make more sense.

If you want a bigger celtic knot on a small diameter though, you can increase the angle of the X’s from 45 degrees to something higher. And the reverse is true as well on a larger diameter rod with smaller knot. Also, even though it looks like the top and bottom of the X are straight across before turning, they will be removed during the turning process. If you want the straights to remain in the design after turned, you will have to do 2 straight cuts across during the glue up that follow those lines. I can’t wait to try other variations of this design like multiple parallel lines resulting in a more intricate knot design, or lines that dont go all the way across. The sky’s the limit now. I was even thinking of inserting a dowel in the center of each X and seeing how that turned out in the knot.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

615 posts in 3733 days


#5 posted 08-24-2011 11:44 PM

Not sure, Eric, if I understand what you mean about the straights- guess you will just have to make one to show me how it works- lol.
I’d like to see some padauk in there. Or howzabout maple with padauk knot outlined with something dark like ebony or cocobolo, using a sandwich of dark-red-dark, with the dark just 1/16” or thinner. Ooooh, would that look nice.
I made a pen years ago with a red heart dowel inserted diagonally through the maple pen blank in 4 places. It sold fast, and at a good price. Probably the best of my meager pen sales.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


#6 posted 08-25-2011 12:53 AM

Sorry Donna. By straights i mean the lines that border the x’s above and below them. So if you just made two straight lines across 2 sides those would be the straights. The x’s would start at the corner of one of the straight lines and go diagonally to the opposite corner of the other line (top and bottom line of x). You can see the lines drawn on my block, but the inserted wood that makes it look like its actually there is really at a diagonal, so those bits are removed. So if you want a celtic knot with a ring above and below the knot, you’d have to do a normal crosscut at 90 degrees where all those pieces line up. I hope this helps.

Those combinations sound fascinating. I was thinking of doing one with a thinner dark border with a thicker insert between similar to what you’re suggesting. I have an 18” block of cocobolo I’ll be using for a bottle opener and 2 stainless steel bottle stopper/corkscrews, perhaps I’ll try one on the bottle opener. My wife Ren says I should make some for gifts this year for the holidays and I want to make more pens so I’ll try various combinations in there as well. Ugh, so many projects to do lol. I still need to start the matching bed for the nightstands, but turning is fun and quick :)

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

615 posts in 3733 days


#7 posted 08-25-2011 01:41 AM

Eric- thanks for the explanation. I like the knot just appearing as if by magic though, and that is what I’ll do. I saw someone’s work- I think it was on here- where he made beautiful rolling pins in a similar fashion. I didn’t know how though- until you showed us how you did it.
I’m sure you know to be careful with the cocobolo dust. Many people seem to be very sensitive to it.
Turning is the closest thing to instant gratification in woodworking- followed closely by band saw box making- LOL.
Donna Menke
http://www.woodworks-by-donna.com

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


#8 posted 08-25-2011 02:10 AM

I think Lew actually made rolling pins with Celtic knots in them.

Thank you for the heads up with cocobolo. I usually wear a face mask like I did for this one due to the glue, but I’ll be extra careful with that wood and will make sure to clean up shavings as well.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 3140 days


#9 posted 08-25-2011 02:58 AM

Looks good, Eric.

View Roger's profile

Roger

19885 posts in 2271 days


#10 posted 08-26-2011 02:06 AM

this is a gr8 project. nicely done tutorial. I’ve gotta give this a try. thnx

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View B0b's profile

B0b

101 posts in 2157 days


#11 posted 09-25-2011 07:18 PM

I’m building an Irish themed bar in my basement, and have columns planned framing a mirror on the back-bar. After pondering what to do for months, you have brought me the perfect solution! Thank you.

-- Time to get started

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1551 posts in 2662 days


#12 posted 09-25-2011 11:03 PM

Glad I could help. Please post your columns after finishing them if you can.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

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