Turning Pens into Cash
Fill the Kerf
To determine the thickness of the splines, use your tablesaw to cut a kerf through a piece of scrap. Stack layers of veneer to fit snugly in the kerf [Photo A]. Cut a 3x12" strip of veneer for each layer and true up one long edge of each strip.
Make a veneer press out of two pieces of 3/4"-thick plywood, covering one face of each piece with painter's tape to prevent glue from adhering to the plywood. Any wood glue will work for this step, but for speed we chose five-minute epoxy to laminate the veneers [Photos B, C]. After the epoxy cures, unclamp the press, scrape away any tape sticking to the lamination, and true up one edge.
For the knot to appear balanced and even, your turning blank must be square in profile. After squaring it up and cutting it to length, rotate it and number adjacent faces in this order: 1-3-2-4.
Tilt your tablesaw blade to 45° and raise the blade so that it stops 1/8" short of cutting all the way through the blank. (A 2 1/4"-square blank was the thickest we could use, as our blade reaches 2 1/8" above the table.) Attach an extension to your miter gauge and cut a kerf through it. Clamp a stopblock to the extension to position the knot in the desired position on your blank. (For the lamp, we set the stopblock 8 1/2" from the bottom of the kerf.)
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