Wooden Kaleidoscope

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Project by Denvy posted 03-15-2013 06:41 PM 3865 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this wooden Kaleidoscope with a stand, (no Pic of stand) and loved sharing it at the Northwest Woodworking Guild in Oregon. It sports an object “box” that is round and made of PVC and slips into the end with a PVC retaining ring. You can get a video, “Wooden Kaleidoscopes” by James N. Duxbury. He shows a really neat breathing snorkel type device for use at the lathe while sanding or turning. I love to turn, am on my second and third kaleidoscope now and they are both in different stages of completion. Enjoy woodworking !

-- Denvy, Tualatin, Oregon USA

8 comments so far

View Dakkar's profile


338 posts in 2069 days

#1 posted 03-15-2013 06:49 PM

Nice one. I’ve always loved kaleidoscopes. I hope they can still capture the fascination of children as when I was a kid. I guess you could describe it as 19th century special effects.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3055 days

#2 posted 03-15-2013 08:11 PM

Neat-O Nice Work!!
Great job, keep them coming!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3167 days

#3 posted 03-16-2013 07:20 AM

Great work, It looks very 18th century

-- Dreaming patterns

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21284 posts in 3247 days

#4 posted 04-12-2013 08:45 PM

Man , that is really cool. My wife wants me to make one. Did you buy the internal lenses and workings somewhere??...............Jim

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

View Denvy's profile


49 posts in 2281 days

#5 posted 04-13-2013 01:00 PM

Hi Jim, I made this Kaleidoscope from a DVD that I bought at an estate sale for one dollar !!!! The DVD may still be available: by James N. Duxbury, Run time 114 minutes, available at: The DVD is very thorough, he offers plans but I did not need plans the DVD is so very complete in every detail. It has an object box, which is a piece of PVC 2 inches in diamater and one half inch long. He shows how to cut a small ridge inside the pvc where the lens fits by tight fit and epoxy glue. He shows all that. The object container can hold anything you put in it. The items are suspended in glycerin and that is available at any drug store on the shelf. I tried thinning it with alcohol but that did not seem to improve performance. Very worthwhile project and easy to do on a wood lathe. I made the body from three quarters thick white oak and a strip of mahogany. The ends should be made a little larger to help it feel better. I made one from a longer piece but the same size front to tip is not quite as appealing. If you google kaleidoscope you will find companies that have layered woods that are turned, that reveals different layers of wood underneath and leaves lots of color woods to choose from and creativity is limitless. Enjoy. Hope your wife likes it when completed.

-- Denvy, Tualatin, Oregon USA

View Denvy's profile


49 posts in 2281 days

#6 posted 04-13-2013 01:06 PM

Next project would be nice: wooden car, 1934 ford, fenderless on truck frame: not like this one, more hot rodish like a hot wheels 34 ford:

-- Denvy, Tualatin, Oregon USA

View Denvy's profile


49 posts in 2281 days

#7 posted 04-13-2013 01:09 PM

The fuzz around the edges is due to an oversized 3/4 inch eye hole, you can see the edge of the glass at the end. The eye hole should be 5/8 or 1/2. Smaller eye hole and it is too difficult to view. If the eye hole is 1/4 inch, people will put it down very quickly. Larger in this case is better.

-- Denvy, Tualatin, Oregon USA

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3008 days

#8 posted 04-13-2013 01:36 PM

Very nice work. It turned out beautifully.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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