|Project by Chris Wright||posted 02-04-2010 10:38 PM||2087 views||3 times favorited||7 comments|
My wife asked me a few days ago if it was possible for me to make her some knitting needles. Luckily I had a copy of the Spring ‘09 issue of Woodturning Design. In it is an article by David Reed Smith about turning knitting needles (if you don’t have or read the issue, you can read the article here at Smith’s website http://www.davidreedsmith.com/Articles/KnittingNeedles/knitting_needles.htm). My wife wanted a set that was a size 13 (9 mm diameter) and were longer then standard needles. The typical needle is anywhere between 9.5 to 10 inches long, these are 14.5 inches, 17.5 inches with finials. I started with a piece of 7/16 square Rosewood (don’t know if it’s Indian or South American) I love working with this stuff, smells so good. I don’t have a collet chuck for my lathe, so I used my Nova without the jaws. I pretty much followed the directions that Smith writes in his article. I tell you this, I’m going to be investing in a collet chuck soon, I didn’t hurt myself with the Nova, but I did touch it a few times and it scared me. The finials were fun, but a little tricky. I had a weak spot on the second needle and it snapped off just past the square section, I squared off the end and drilled a hole to glue in a new piece to make a new finial. It broke again and I had to cut the square section off and had to drill into the shaft. This time I drilled a smaller hole (3/16” this time instead of 1/4”). Another great thing about this rosewood, the joint is practically invisible.
I sanded to 600, and used Mylands High Build Friction Polish as the finish. From start to finish, it took me about 45 minutes to an hour for each needle. This was fun, and I plan on doing more of different sizes.
-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken