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First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank (Read 727 times)
 
Ronald Plumley
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First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
May 15th, 2018 at 11:40pm
 
I will say... things were definitely learned in the attempt. I was working on making a purpleheart blank with wavy yellow stripes when I realized that, even though I had seen the process of making a Celtic Knot, I'd never actually TRIED to make one... so I did. Hopefully the next try will iron out some kinks.

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Ed Weber
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #1 - May 16th, 2018 at 9:02am
 
Not a bad first try.
IMO the key is to be able to align properly after cutting. I try to make the blank square and even before cutting and sometimes draw alignment marks if necessary. The material used for the knot must be perfectly parallel as well for the illusion to look right.
I've made a few that looked very similar to yours, a couple of tweaks and it will be fine, good luck.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #2 - May 16th, 2018 at 10:34am
 
The trick is to use a blade that is equal to the insert thickness.
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Ed Weber
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #3 - May 16th, 2018 at 11:05am
 
Ron Sardo wrote on May 16th, 2018 at 10:34am:
The trick is to use a blade that is equal to the insert thickness.


I look at it the other way around, I think insert thickness equal to blade.
I usually cut a test kerf in a scrap and test the fit of the insert material.
Whatever you remove (saw kerf) you need to replace (insert material).
If you sand, you must also allow for that material.
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #4 - May 17th, 2018 at 6:06am
 
Ron and Ed have given you a good tip regarding the thickness of your insert. I would add that when I make these, I don't cut all the way through the blank. This makes it easy to keep the blank square and true since the glued surfaces can't move when clamped. This won't work for 6 strand knots since the blank is round, but for 4 strand it makes things much easier, I find.
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Grant Wilkinson
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #5 - May 17th, 2018 at 5:56pm
 
Drill 2 alignment holes in the top of the blank and then cut an arc (on a bandsaw) all the way thru the  blank.
The holes need to be deeper than the top of the arc  by about an inch.

Then steam whatever you plan to use as the insert and put it between the two pieces of the blank and clamp it tight so it cools to the shape of the arc you cut. 

Once the piece has cooled, run a drill back into the holes on the top half of the blank enough to drill thru the insert but not so far that you destroy the holes in the lower half.

Now, all three pieces can be glued together using dowels in the holes to align everything up.

First, glue the dowels into the holes in the lower half.
Brush glue onto the bottom half and lay the insert down over the alignment dowels.

Brush glue on the top of the insert and then place the top half of the blank onto the dowels.
Clamp tightly till the glue has dried.

This should be able to be repeated for as many inserts as you want.
Once you have as many as you want in place, round the blank on a bandsaw or on the lathe and turn away.

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« Last Edit: May 17th, 2018 at 5:58pm by Ralph Fahringer »  

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George Stratton
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #6 - May 18th, 2018 at 1:35pm
 
Looks good to me Ron. I tried a couple of them and did it like Grant suggested and not saw all the way through. It solves the mismatch problem but probably hard to do on a small diameter like a pen. My tries were much larger as you can see.
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #7 - May 19th, 2018 at 12:30pm
 
George: I put a 6 1/2" saw blade on my table saw and set the blade height to cut just short of the top of the blank. For 6 strand knots, I use my bandsaw since the blank is round when cutting the slots.

Ralph: Your process is intriguing, but I can't figure out how it would work on blanks the size of pen blanks, which typically are no more than 3/4" x 3/4" x 6".
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Grant Wilkinson
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #8 - May 19th, 2018 at 4:14pm
 
Grant, it probably wouldn't work on pen blanks, pretty much bowls and such.

Not enough wood in the blank to drill alignment holes and such.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #9 - May 20th, 2018 at 7:23am
 
George Stratton wrote on May 18th, 2018 at 1:35pm:
Looks good to me Ron. I tried a couple of them and did it like Grant suggested and not saw all the way through. It solves the mismatch problem but probably hard to do on a small diameter like a pen.


It can be done

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Arlin Eastman
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #10 - May 20th, 2018 at 10:26am
 
Ron

My first attempt at making a Celtic knot was really bad and threw it away. Smiley

Ron

That looks great and looks to be a 4 way knot, is it?
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Ed Weber
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #11 - May 20th, 2018 at 10:39am
 
The idea behind making only a kerf not a through cut may be beneficial for alignment but doesn't help when trying to provide even pressure when gluing.
You must have your insert sized "exactly' (or as close as possible) to the kerf or the remaining un-cut wood will act like a hinge when clamping pressure is applied.
With a pen blank, where there is a central shaft providing more glue surface and joint support helping to keep things in place, it doesn't present a big issue.
When making ornaments and lamps, things in the 3" diameter range, I wouldn't suggest that method.
JMO
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #12 - May 20th, 2018 at 10:41am
 
Ed Weber wrote on May 16th, 2018 at 11:05am:
Ron Sardo wrote on May 16th, 2018 at 10:34am:
The trick is to use a blade that is equal to the insert thickness.


I look at it the other way around, I think insert thickness equal to blade.
I usually cut a test kerf in a scrap and test the fit of the insert material.
Whatever you remove (saw kerf) you need to replace (insert material).
If you sand, you must also allow for that material.



What Ed said,,,

Also leave the blank as big as you can get it.  Since most are 3/4" thick then cut the blank to within 1/16 of the end of the cut and do that all the way around which will keep the blank together and just glue the insert wood into the cuts.

I now make the cut and glue in the strip and then make another cut and glue in and so on until I get all four sides done or two sides or three sides.
You can even after doing four sides drop down 1/4" and do it all again which looks kind of neat also.

Last I have done a pepper mill that was 1" over sized and cut to within 1/2" on the table saw and then glue in a strip and the 1/2" holds pretty well but not less it seems or the wood breaks out on me.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #13 - May 20th, 2018 at 3:24pm
 
Arlin Eastman wrote on May 20th, 2018 at 10:26am:
That looks great and looks to be a 4 way knot, is it?

6 way knot.

Ron Sardo wrote on May 16th, 2018 at 10:34am:
blade that is equal to the insert thickness.

Ed Weber wrote on May 16th, 2018 at 11:05am:
insert thickness equal to blade.


Semantics, as long as the blade and insert are equal in width the knot will come out correctly.

I have 3 different blades that cut either a 1/16", 3/32" or 1/8" kerf. On the pen above I used the blade with a 1/16" kerf. 
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« Last Edit: May 20th, 2018 at 3:28pm by Ron Sardo »  

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Re: First Attempt at a Celtic Knot Pen Blank
Reply #14 - May 20th, 2018 at 6:55pm
 
Ron Sardo wrote on May 20th, 2018 at 3:24pm:
Semantics


Thumbs Up  I was only joking

I would also suggest double check your blades kerf. Just because a blade should cut a 1/8" (or whatever) kerf, doesn't mean it will in reality.
Any sloppiness in the miter slot, the sled, worn blade, blade vibration, any thing along these lines can attribute to widening the kerf.
Any widening is multiplied by the number of rings in your knot, it doesn't take much to throw off the entire design.
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