Toothpick Holder (Colored Plywood)

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Project by rance posted 07-29-2012 11:53 PM 5491 views 6 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got this blank months ago but was too afraid to mess it up so it just sat on the shelf. I finally wanted to see what it turned out like(yes, puns always intended) so I cut it in half and chucked it up in the scroll chuck. I decided to make a toothpick holder so as to not ruine much wood if it was a disaster.

There’s an interesting thing about this wood. ‘Plywood’, actually. But this is different in that all the layers are glued parallel to each other. This makes it great for turning as it becomes a true spindle turning, and you don’t have to deal with edge-grain tearout.

The coloring of the layers is pretty good too in that it doesn’t bleed much(unless you use Denatured Alcohol on it). I’ve gotten in the habit of cleaning all my turnings with DNA to remove all the sanding dust and to remove any oils that might be present. After doing that on this piece, it dulled the colors so I had to re-sand it. Not a big deal though.

I finally came up with a shape I liked with a little modification. Maybe that’s what the saying ”The wood spoke to me.” means. I probably unconciously stole it from Trifern or someone else. It was easy enough to turn being it was a simple shape. The most difficult part was determining the step by step process in keeping it chucked in the lathe. I ended up turning a tennon to jam-chuck it for turning the bottom. I’m happy with it. I can see myself turning more of these. Many more.

All comments and constructive criticisms are welcome.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

20 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

19102 posts in 2861 days

#1 posted 07-29-2012 11:56 PM

Wow, rance – that is outstanding- a real eye catcher!!!...........................Jim

How do they color plywood like that???????

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

View peteg's profile


4124 posts in 2579 days

#2 posted 07-30-2012 12:23 AM

Yep instant eye appeal to me :))
Well done

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9892 posts in 3808 days

#3 posted 07-30-2012 12:38 AM

Picky picky picky… LOL

Beautiful piece… Perfect usage…
COOL plywood!

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

View Roger's profile


20871 posts in 2560 days

#4 posted 07-30-2012 12:43 AM

I’d like to know what Jim asked also? Wow, that’s very kool

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

View kiefer's profile


5472 posts in 2423 days

#5 posted 07-30-2012 01:02 AM

Nice result from a interesting product .
Where did you buy it ?
Sure opens up some interesting design possibilities .

-- Kiefer

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

19102 posts in 2861 days

#6 posted 07-30-2012 01:13 AM

Hey Rance, when you are worried about not having a long enough piece to make something, sand the bottom flat and carefully center a wood tenon on it and glue it on and turn from it. Then you can use the full length of your good wood…................Jim

ps. I have a box full of short tenons made from scraps for just that purpose.

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

25880 posts in 2094 days

#7 posted 07-30-2012 02:22 AM

Those are outstanding

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View shipwright's profile


7683 posts in 2553 days

#8 posted 07-30-2012 03:06 AM

They really “POP” Rance.

Nice colors and cool turning.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 1944 days

#9 posted 07-30-2012 03:23 AM

Amazing colors ! What finishing technique did you use ?

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View majuvla's profile


10716 posts in 2623 days

#10 posted 07-30-2012 03:33 AM

So much effort.Turned very nice and colourful!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Brett's profile


950 posts in 2515 days

#11 posted 07-30-2012 05:49 AM

Yeah, what they said!

Pretty cool project! Can I make one too?

I love the laminated, colorful wood!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View Woodbutcher3's profile


390 posts in 2642 days

#12 posted 07-30-2012 09:06 AM

Great piece Rance. As much as you use every scrape of wood, I bet you turned the toothpicks, too.

Since this “plywood has arylic infused throughout it, I usually finish that kind of “wood” the same way I do the acrylic pens – many grits of sandpaper and water when I get to the mirco mesh. Then polish on the buffer when you’re finished.

Jim – great idea for the tendons on the end. What kind of glue do you normally use? The ply is like the Diamondwood pen blanks that have all the different colors layered.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6836 posts in 3735 days

#13 posted 07-30-2012 10:52 AM

Nice turning rance.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View SPalm's profile


5300 posts in 3638 days

#14 posted 07-30-2012 12:02 PM

Nice one Rance.
I usally leave some of my DNA on my projects too. I have found that blood can be hard to sand out.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 1980 days

#15 posted 07-30-2012 03:19 PM

Ha ha Steve – I thought the same thing when I read DNA. I am sure each of my projects has a tiny piece of me somewhere.

I am only going to repeat everyone else, so I will leave it at “great use of a very fun piece of wood”

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

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