Obelisks #1: Cutting Process

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Blog entry by Jim Jakosh posted 12-11-2011 10:06 PM 3461 reads 8 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Obelisks series Part 2: Making an obelisk incense burner »

Obelisks are fun and easy to make and great use of wood from a project that would otherwise be discarded. I made a few and have had some LJ’s ask how I do it, so I thought I’ll take a few pictures and save a few thousand words. I start with a rectangular block with a square base. I find the center on one end and draw line from that center to the corners at the other end.

I bandsaw down the lines being careful to always stay outside the line. It is better for finish sanding than an undercut condition. You have to take off too much material on all sides then.

On one of the cut sides, I do the same layout from the center to the points of the opposite end.. I use a piece of scrap from the first cut to support the piece in the bandsaw so the base is perpendicular to the table and the cuts will be centered.

This gives a pointed obelisk that I sand on a belt sander to remove all the saw marks. Sometimes I bore a hole in one of the sides and insert a photo disc and I have plans for putting a candle inside the next one.

They are just fun to look at to show the beauty of the wood.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

10 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7066 posts in 2175 days

#1 posted 12-11-2011 10:19 PM

Great tutorial and great bit of spalted….

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View jumbojack's profile


1302 posts in 1444 days

#2 posted 12-12-2011 12:17 AM

Unique use of spectacular wood. It almost looks like a map. If you have more you could turn it, if the spalting isn’t too punky. It would look like a world globe.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View sedcokid's profile


2693 posts in 2419 days

#3 posted 12-12-2011 04:42 AM

This a very good tutorial, the wood is gorgeous and the project is a good one.

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

1608 posts in 2504 days

#4 posted 12-12-2011 01:07 PM

Thanks Jim, easy to follow, will try putting a clock in one, I have some clocks about the same size as the photo frames you use.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View Sodabowski's profile


2116 posts in 1653 days

#5 posted 12-13-2011 01:08 AM

Indeed a good way to show off a piece of wood for its inner beauty, definately going to do that too.

By the way, you can still use the leftover bits from this one to make small buttons for drawers.
I made a bunch of blanks for drawer buttons with small leftover parts from a Rhus rootball last summer.

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View Sodabowski's profile


2116 posts in 1653 days

#6 posted 12-13-2011 01:20 AM

(oopsie, posted twice!)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View a1Jim's profile


113063 posts in 2397 days

#7 posted 12-13-2011 01:37 AM

I get your point :)) thanks for the info.

-- Custom furniture

View Dan'um Style's profile (online now)

Dan'um Style

13593 posts in 2803 days

#8 posted 12-16-2011 01:43 AM

very well done Bud! enjoyed reading about the and no doubt make one for myself soon.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View ugoboy's profile


85 posts in 1854 days

#9 posted 05-05-2012 01:46 PM

Thanks for the detail and pictures. Is there a particular angle that is best suited for this shape?

-- ~ Guy Woodward, Pflugerville Texas

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

12510 posts in 1926 days

#10 posted 05-06-2012 03:47 AM

Hi Guy. I don’t think there is anything specified anywhere. I just like the look of a slim angle but I find it comes out to whatever the piece of wood will yield. it is best to start with a square piece so the sideslook the same from all directiions.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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