Knitting Needles

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Project by Chris Wright posted 02-04-2010 10:38 PM 2237 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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 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

7 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#1 posted 02-04-2010 10:45 PM

Fancy knitting needles good job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View hairy's profile


2655 posts in 3498 days

#2 posted 02-05-2010 12:47 AM

Nice work! Gotta keep momma happy.

-- My reality check bounced...

View norwood's profile


303 posts in 3036 days

#3 posted 02-05-2010 04:51 AM

those a great but it adds one more project to my growing list

-- of all the things Ive lost in life i miss my mind the most

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3840 days

#4 posted 02-05-2010 05:25 AM

These are great! Thanks for the link to the article, too. I know someone who might be getting a set of these for their birthday.

-- -- --

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3174 days

#5 posted 02-05-2010 06:08 AM

Nice job! I’ve got a feeling you’re going to be busy making more of these. Thanks for the link to the article. I never thought of keeping part of the blank behind the chuck before. I’ll give it a try.

View Lisa Chan's profile

Lisa Chan

147 posts in 3116 days

#6 posted 02-11-2010 09:47 PM

Wow, those are gorgeous. I would love to make a pair in the future too. Your wife is a lucky lady!

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3123 days

#7 posted 02-12-2010 12:30 AM

Great work Chris… I have tried my hand at turning longer pieces and am yet to achieve success… I need something to balance the center part while turning… have seen several jigs here on LJ that I will be building to assist me in that part of my turnings… still learning…
Thanks for posting…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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