Yin and Yang #1: My process for cutting a Yin and Yang pattern.

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Blog entry by Jim Jakosh posted 12-19-2016 02:12 AM 1084 reads 5 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I use maple and walnut and start with the maple stacked on a piece of walnut because the pattern on maple is easier to see when cutting. I have two sizes shown here and have finished products from both.
I start by drawing tangent circles and then drawing a circle around the both of them. It is important to draw these accurately because I sand to the lines for fitting the pieces together/

Then I cut on the outside of one circle and the inside of the other and never cross the line because it is my pattern for sanding.

This is the result of this little pattern:

On larger ones it is the same process:

The top and bottom could be held together with double faced tape but I just used glue outside the pattern I was saving.

I drill the hole through both pieces before cutting out the pattern. The diameter of the small hole is .2 x the larger diameter

Then the sanding starts. I sand them in a pair first and then sand individually to fit them without any light gaps.

Then they are glued together and contrasting plugs are turned for the small holes and a spigot is carefuly glued on center to hold the part in the turning process. After turning the first side, I cut a mortise into the back to hold the part while grooving the front.

That is the method I use to make this pattern. Thanks for looking!!

Cheers, Jim

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

20 comments so far

View Alongiron's profile


608 posts in 2240 days

#1 posted 12-19-2016 02:24 AM

Thanks for sharing Jim!

Very good lesson! Always looking to improve on my turning skills.

Hey. Question on turning! I am getting some vibration when I am turning pieces longer then let’s say 24”. I think I need a holdfast but have no idea what’s good or bad or even how to use one. Any advise would be great!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....Steve Lien

View  woodshaver (Tony)   's profile

woodshaver (Tony)

4359 posts in 2900 days

#2 posted 12-19-2016 02:25 AM

Very interesting Jim! I think this is the best way to make a Yin Yang! Sure looks good to me! Great tutorial too!

-- Tony UAW, St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it.." Now I can't stop!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17608 posts in 2652 days

#3 posted 12-19-2016 02:37 AM

Thanks, Steve. If the parts are 24” and skinny, it would be good to use a steady rest. It will stop the vibration. They are not that hard to make and very handy!. There are a lot of them here on Lumberjocks to get ideas from.
Three wheels on the rest are all you need. Rollerblade wheels are real good to use.
I cut a smooth round area where the rest will be contacting the part and set the wheels against the part with the lathe turning. I do the bottom ones first and then the top one. Sometimes you have to move the rest to different places on the part. Always be sure the wheels are riding an a smooth round area with no chatter marks.

Cheers, Jim

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

View lew's profile


11469 posts in 3302 days

#4 posted 12-19-2016 02:54 AM

Thanks, Jim

I never would have thought about the “inside and outside” of the line cutting.

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

View oldsawtooth's profile


129 posts in 822 days

#5 posted 12-19-2016 02:59 AM

That’s awesome Jim i like the way you have it layed out and the process and steps to make the project nice craftsmanship as well. Merry Christmas friends

-- James,Alabama,

View CFrye's profile


9050 posts in 1386 days

#6 posted 12-19-2016 03:03 AM

Nice tutorial, Jim! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View doubleDD's profile


5563 posts in 1590 days

#7 posted 12-19-2016 03:06 AM

Thanks for the process Jim. Always good to know when the occasion arises.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View tyvekboy's profile


1445 posts in 2560 days

#8 posted 12-19-2016 04:28 AM

Jim—nice tutorial—Thanks for sharing.

Merry Christmas.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9571 posts in 3599 days

#9 posted 12-19-2016 05:22 AM


Very good Procedure!

COOL… Makes a lot of sense…

Do you really have to drill the holes?
... What if you didn’t want to see them? ... and just keep them solid?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2374 posts in 3230 days

#10 posted 12-19-2016 06:12 AM

That is great Jim, thanks for sharing.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Tooch's profile


1472 posts in 1423 days

#11 posted 12-19-2016 11:04 AM

Cool looking project Jim and thanks for the tutorial. I love the glue in a mustard bottle…. funny the things we pick up from just looking at pictures.

I really like the final trivets that you made, have you posted those yet?

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1873 posts in 610 days

#12 posted 12-19-2016 11:26 AM

Thanks for sharing this, Jim. Have you considered doing this with one?

-- Mark

View Roger's profile


20308 posts in 2351 days

#13 posted 12-19-2016 12:56 PM

Thnx for the walk-thru Jim. Your projects are always eye candy

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17608 posts in 2652 days

#14 posted 12-19-2016 01:28 PM

You are all welcome. I like to share processes. you never know when you might get a request for something like that.

Hi Mike. They are not posted yet- need buffing…... tomorrow. I have to fix the garage door opener today!

Hi Mark. Thanks for the link. Capt. Eddie is a hoot just listening to him! He made a nice eccentric face plate to do that piece. I have done something like that but I did not like the open edges. He used box wood and that is like he says- like cheating. That is the best wood for cutting threads into too! I got inspired by Michelletwo on the fantastic art pieces she makes. When I started cutting on both sides, I bolt through the center of my pieces and they stay put and no open edges.

cheers, Jim

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

View splinterbubba's profile


39 posts in 427 days

#15 posted 12-19-2016 04:14 PM

Another home run Jim, thanks for sharing the details. They look great and you make it appear relatively makeable. Looks like a winner all the way.

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