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Poor Man's Tools #5: Turning Accessory

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Blog entry by handsawgeek posted 03-09-2015 01:29 PM 1537 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Sanding Block Part 5 of Poor Man's Tools series Part 6: The Other Mallet »

This week’s Poor Man’s Tool is born of an idea that I learned about from a gentleman who turned beautiful aspen wood vases and sold them on consignment at my Step-Dad’s art gallery. Possibly, many of you who are experienced turners may have seen something like this before.

Some of his pieces were decorated with a series of thin dark bands at various locations. I learned that these were made by holding a thicker-gauge wound guitar or piano string against the piece as it turned. The friction from the string would burn the band into the wood.

I never got to see the actual tool that he used, so I designed my own.

It is made by simply threading the guitar string through small holes drilled in a couple short lengths of dowel, making them into T-handles.

If you don’t have any used guitar strings hanging around, or don’t have a musician friend that can supply you with old discarded strings, generic sets of new strings can be purchased inexpensively at any music store. (Just don’t go for the fancy, high end, pricey phosphor coated varieties.)

Here is how to thread the string so that it is tight and secure:

And here is an example of the decorative effect on a turned piece:

-- Ed



8 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7480 posts in 1469 days


#1 posted 03-09-2015 04:21 PM

Pretty snazzy. As a new turner, I say THANKS for the tip!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 821 days


#2 posted 03-09-2015 04:27 PM

Ah. Another use for a garrote. ;)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 857 days


#3 posted 03-09-2015 05:35 PM

Paul,
I knew I had seen that thing somewhere before!!! }: 1

Hey, Joe,
Didja know I just posted plans for a Spanish execution device???!!!!

-- Ed

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 821 days


#4 posted 03-09-2015 06:00 PM



Paul,
I knew I had seen that thing somewhere before!!! }: 1

- handsawgeek

Well, doesn’t everyone have one of these in their workshop, right next the Easy button? :D

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8738 posts in 1302 days


#5 posted 03-09-2015 06:48 PM

Looks good, Ed! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View NormG's profile

NormG

5499 posts in 2466 days


#6 posted 03-10-2015 12:58 AM

Tool of many uses

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7910 posts in 1842 days


#7 posted 03-10-2015 03:56 AM

I started with wound guitar strings but had trouble with them abrading the burn marks so they weren’t as dark as I liked. Have you had that problem? So I switched to smooth wire then eventually Formica samples.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View ForestGrl's profile

ForestGrl

445 posts in 548 days


#8 posted 11-02-2015 11:12 PM


I started with wound guitar strings but had trouble with them abrading the burn marks so they weren t as dark as I liked. Have you had that problem? So I switched to smooth wire then eventually Formica samples.

- Rick M.

Yep, I tried guitar strings first, but not successful. My guess is, the winding may dissipate the heat. Smooth stainless steel wire is great (fishing leaders are one source). If you need to burn in lines on face-plate work, Formica or even 25-lb paper works.

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

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