December 2015 Highland Woodturning News Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodturning classes and seminars Woodturning articles and solutions Subscribe to Highland Woodturner


Here is my Woodturning!

by Marshall Knox
Roanoke, VA

Spectra Ply Box
Note: Click any picture to see a larger version.

I started woodworking when I was about 13, working in a screened porch on a picnic table. I have been a woodworker ever since. I have a love of old tools. My shop is a hybrid mixture of antique tools and modern machinery. I purchased my first lathe when I was 27. It was a Craftsman Lathe as well as chisels, which I still have and use. My current lathe is a Delta Midi.

Since I retired I spend a lot of time in my workshop located in my garage in Roanoke, Virginia. I enjoy working on my lathe, making a variety of things in my shop, and restoring/repairing old furniture. My shop operates under the name Unique Pens N Woodwork. Pinterest and Etsy are wonderful sources for ideas. I have turned a variety of items including ornaments, bowls, a lot of pens and essentially anything that I like that I can make on a lathe. I have recently begun to turn missing parts for furniture that I am repairing or restoring.

I enjoy talking to people about woodworking. When the opportunity arises, I enjoy teaching people how to use the antique tools in my shop.

The pen below was made from Bethlehem Olive Wood. I used a Kreg Router Table with a 1/16th inch upcut router bit to cut the grooves for the cross inlay. These were cut approximately 3/16 of an inch deep while the blank was still square. The cross inlay was made by re-sawing a piece of Holly into a piece of veneer that I then cut into a strip and fitted into the grooves. I cut the upright part of the cross and inlaid the Holly, then cut the horizontal part of the cross and inlaid the Holly. That insured that the inlay had no gaps. Hot hide glue was used to secure the holly inlay in place. Once the glue had completely cured, I carefully leveled the Holly inlay with the surface of the blank using a Paring Chisel. The pen was turned using a 7mm Slimline Pen Kit . I shaped the blank by eye, feeling for a shape that felt pleasing in my hand. The color was obtained by using a honey amber Transtint Dye . I applied the dye full strength using a paper towel followed by a paper towel saturated with denatured alcohol to even and tone the color. The top coat was a CA Glue seal, which I applied while the lathe was turning.

This is a pen I turned from live wood. I inlaid a cross using
holly. I finished it with a transtint dye and sealed it with
CA glue.

I made the pen box below from African Mahogany. I started by sawing the blank the full thickness of the box plus an allowance for planing and sawing the box into 2 sections after cutting the grooves for the pen. I went back to the router table to cut the grooves using a ¾ inch core box bit, making several passes to reach the full depth of the finished groove. The box was then sawn in half, and the edges beveled to allow space for the box to pivot on the hinges to open. The hinges were made using the same wood, glued to the bottom of the box. A pilot hole was drilled in the lower rear of the top edge of the hinge to allow a small pin to be inserted. The cross on the top of the box was made from a piece of Holly veneer. I used a scroll saw to cut the shape. I attached it to the top of the box with hot hide glue and used a wood burning chisel to letter the cross. Shellac was added as a topcoat with color added to the shellac using transtint dyes

The pen box was made from African Mahogany using a
Kreg Router Table.
The cross on the pen box was made from holly.
Curly Maple Pen
Goblet turned from Ash
Ornament turned from Hollowed Maple
Blue Ridge Mountain's Pen and Box
made of Walnut and Holly

You can email Marshall at .

Submit your own woodturnings or woodturning shop to this column! Simply SEND US PHOTOS of your woodturning projects or shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodturning. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit if we show your turning in a future issue!

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