turning ice

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Forum topic by themandan posted 11-22-2013 02:50 AM 1134 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 1658 days

11-22-2013 02:50 AM

the other day i was thinking about how beautiful ice is. then i started wondering if you could turn it on a lathe. i dnt have one tho….. so i was hoping some one here might know?.. thank, Daniel

-- mesure once. cut twice.. or three times.. then smash it in with a hammer

9 replies so far

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 1924 days

#1 posted 11-22-2013 02:51 AM

Probably possible, but the ice might cause the lath to rust.

-- Joel

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2182 days

#2 posted 11-22-2013 03:04 AM

Pretty sure the force required to hold it would be enough to crack it. I sure as hell wouldn’t try it. Besides, you’d freeze your butt off. You would have to do it outside, or it would melt, duh!

You can do a chainsaw carving in ice though. Check youtube.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

19943 posts in 2975 days

#3 posted 11-22-2013 03:32 AM

You would have to be very quick to turn it before it melts but I think it would crack first. Not a good idea because the chips would melt and rust all of your equipment and ways on the lathe.

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

View Biff's profile


126 posts in 1884 days

#4 posted 11-22-2013 03:44 AM

I don’t see why it wouldn’t be doable! You could use a vacuum chuck.

The tools may generate heat but then again they carve it with chainsaws and grinders so maybe it’s a non-issue!

You could protect the lathe with plastic or a coating of grease. Don’t listen to the naysayers, give it a try! Be safe and smart and maybe you will be an innovator!

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at

View Loren's profile


9756 posts in 3518 days

#5 posted 11-22-2013 03:45 AM

I think lathe cutting tools would be problematic. Rasps might work.
Microplanes would probably work well.

View DaveHuber's profile


47 posts in 2987 days

#6 posted 11-22-2013 08:01 AM

There are lots of YouTube videos.
For instance:

It’s in Japanese, but you get the idea.

Does not look like it is impossible, but he’s got a specialized setup.

Regular looking tools, but a special lathe made out of stainless and aluminum.


-- Dave, Oak Park, IL

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1236 posts in 1583 days

#7 posted 11-22-2013 10:46 AM

A friend of mine makes ice figures. He´s using most normal ww tools without problems: chisels, drills, saws, chainsaw etc so no reason it could not be done. Larger pieces takes many hours to melt so temperature is not a great issue unless you want fine details, thin walled bowls etc.
If you want clear ice remeber to boil the water first. This removes all the little bubbels.
Give the lathe and tools a thin layer of wax and they wont rust.

And listen to Biff above- thats a great attitude!

Good luck

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2563 days

#8 posted 11-22-2013 12:23 PM

Here’s another video


-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View oldnovice's profile


6474 posts in 3238 days

#9 posted 11-22-2013 05:32 PM

Both of those videos are …. cool!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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