Introduction: Kururin - the Rolling Stick

Picture of Kururin - the Rolling Stick

No idea what a Kururin can do? Get inspired by a pro before reading this instructable!

Kururin's are a new skill/fidget toy from Japan, the body is just made of wood and easy to turn on a lathe. I've designed two tools to help you make a Kururin for yourself.

The Kururin Gauge contains all the measurements you need on one handy tool: length, half length, middle diameter and end diameter. No need to have a ruler or keep changing caliper dimensions! The second tool is the Kururin Sanding Jig, which is a cradle to hold the Kururin while you finish the ends using a disc sander. Without it, your Kururin probably won't stand vertical and proud. With it, you'll have perfect ends every time!

I have made a 5 minute how-to video if you prefer to watch a video. It's attached to this step or you can watch it here: How to make a Kururin.

If you can't make the gauge or the jig don't worry, it's still possible to make a Kururin without them, so what are you waiting for? Let's make a Kururin!


  • Wood lathe
  • Roughing gouge
  • Skew chisel or a scraper
  • Sandpaper, friction polish and beeswax (none are strictly essential but you'll have a better Kururin if you use them).
  • Bandsaw or a handsaw
  • Disc sander
  • Compass cutters or a scalpel
  • Laser cutter or 3D printer (not strictly essential, calipers will do!)


  • Wood blank, minimum diameter 30mm, minimum length 130mm (depends how close to the ends you are willing to get)
  • Silicone sheet for the pads. Craft foam will work too.
  • Silicone glue/sealant to stick the pads on.

All the steps you need to make a kururin are in this Instructable but if you want to know more then visit my page about Kururins.

Step 1: Turn the Kururin on the Lathe

Picture of Turn the Kururin on the Lathe

There are quite a few steps in this "Step" but I think it's best to keep all the lathe work together. The step after this one explains how to finish the Kururin so don't take it off the lathe until you've finished that step!

  1. Mount the wood blank (a dense hardwood rolls best) and using a roughing gouge to make it round.
  2. Make a groove at one end of the blank using the parting tool.
  3. Use the Kururin Gauge to mark the length (90mm) of the Kururin.

  4. The parting tool is used again to make a groove 90mm from the other one.
  5. A skew chisel (the tool I used) or scraper is used to get the middle diameter (27mm). Don't forget the Kururin Gauge has a cut out for this dimension!
  6. Mark the middle with a pencil.
  7. Use the skew chisel or scraper to get the correct end diameter on one side (20mm).
  8. Continue using the skew chisel or scraper to get the profile on that side close to what it should be. Be careful not to remove too much material, you can only take away wood, you can't put it back!
  9. Do the same for the other side.
  10. Check the profile with the Kururin Gauge, if it isn't good, try and fix it.
  11. If you want to have small grooves near the end, use a skew chisel to do this.

Don't take it off the lathe yet! You need to sand, polish and wax it first!

Step 2: Sand, Polish and Wax

Picture of Sand, Polish and Wax

The title of this step is almost everything you need to know.

  1. You will need to start with coarse sandpaper before working down to fine sandpaper. Before you being, turn the speed of the lathe down. After every grade, turn the lathe off and sand with the grain to remove the score marks.
  2. Once all the sanding is turn apply a few coats of friction polish. Turn the speed of the lathe back up for this step.
  3. Apply some layers of beeswax until your Kururin has a glorious sheen!

Now you can take the Kururin off the lathe.

Step 3: Finish the Ends

Picture of Finish the Ends

You could use the parting tool to reduce the diameter of the wood next to the ends but I find this to be a risk strategy because the wood can break and the Kururin will fly off the lathe, probably damaging it. Since you've just got it perfect, you don't want that!

  1. Use a bandsaw or just a regular saw to remove most of the material at the ends but don't go too close too the ends. I use the Kururin Sanding Jig for this step but it's not essential.
  2. Make sure the miter fence is perpendicular to the disc sander sandpaper using a set square. If you don't do this then there is no point using the jig I designed for you!
  3. Hold the Kururin firmly in the Kururin Sanding Jig and place it against the mitre gauge. Gently push it into the disk and get that end perfect.
  4. Check you have done a good job by putting the Kururin on a flat surface and rotate it on its axis. If it wobbles then things haven't gone well. If it stand vertical the whole way round, well done! All the hard work is done.

Step 4: Pad Up

Picture of Pad Up

Silicone pads at the end greatly improve play because they stop the Kururin from slipping so it's working spending the time to make them.

  1. I use compass cutters to make the circle. Get the radius from one end of the Kururin.
  2. Silicone glue/sealant works well to stick the pads on. Silicone is a bit of a pain to stick with most types of glue but I have found Poundland (if you're in the UK) has cheap silicone glue that works well. Apply a very thin layer! Less is better for this.

Step 5: Kururin Gauge

Picture of Kururin Gauge

The Kururin Gauge was designed using Inkscape and OpenSCAD. I cut it out using a laser cutter and acrylic but I have included an STL file for 3D printers. At a pinch you could print it on paper, stick it to card-stock and cut it out. The files are attached to this step but if you want to edit them, visit my website for all the design files.

Step 6: Kururin Sanding Jig

Picture of Kururin Sanding Jig

The Kururin Sanding Jig was designed with Inkscape and OpenSCAD. I have attached the STL file to this step but if you want to edit it you can visit my website for all the design files.


DejayRezme (author)2017-03-26

Ok so what the devil is this lol. My guess is that it has all it's weight on the ends so it's something with a very unusual moment of inertia tensor when rotating.

retiredphnman (author)DejayRezme2017-04-10

You must have made comments without reading the instructable or even watching the video.

unigamer (author)DejayRezme2017-03-26

There is no special weighting or anything, I think the shape is the main factor. I would like to generate a cyclogon because I think that would aid understanding but I haven't spent the time to figure out how to do that yet.

DejayRezme (author)unigamer2017-03-26

Ah interesting. Maybe it's because the center of gravity moves very fast horizontally when rolling and then very fast vertically. So the duration in the vertical position where it can come to rest is "longer" during the motion and it has a kind of stability because of that.

duncanh made it! (author)2017-03-28

I've made around 10 of these now and they all seem to work reasonable well. The ends have foam mat glued to them, which seems to work but I'll try some with silicone as well to see if they're easier to get to stand up.
Most of these don't have a finish. The rosewood one is finished with superglue (like some people use on pens) and the lignum vitae are wet sanded to 1200 grit and rely on the natural oils to shine
A really good project for using up small off cuts

unigamer (author)duncanh2017-03-28

Oh, those are gorgeous! Craft foam seems popular online, I think it might be a more American thing because it's not something I have come across in the UK but I am sure it exists here. I'll add craft foam as an option when I update this instructable.

The only comment I can make about yours is that the pads are the same diameter as the ends. The ones I have seen usually have a few mm gap. However, I haven't tested to see if there is a difference so any feedback from you would be welcome!

I haven't tried superglue yet because I am worried about the mess it will make but I have watched the technique being done one pens.

Beautiful Kururins! :)

duncanh (author)unigamer2017-03-29


The foam came from Ebay and there's loads to choose from. If you have a Hobbycraft store nearby they also sell it. That's where I got the compass cutter (couldn't find the one I had many years ago!) and the contact adhesive, which seemed to work ok even on the lignum vitae, which is often difficult to glue because of the natural oil content.
I'll try making a few with smaller pads to see what difference it makes.

To be honest, the superglue finish is a bit of a pain to get right and a couple of times I've made a complete mess of it. The kururin with that finish here isn't perfect but it'll do.

duncanh (author)duncanh2017-03-29

Also, I just watched your video - your toolrest looks a little high. If it work for you then great, but it looks like the tools are being held a little too high, particularly the parting tool. You could probably drop it down 5mm or even 10.

unigamer (author)duncanh2017-03-29

Yes -- you're right! I'm still learning. I tried to keep the tool segments short so nobody tried to copy my technique.

I am going to try some different end pads when I make my next batch.

adenda2 (author)2017-03-25

man you beat me by a week. good work! I was just gonna post the same thing. Super fun.

unigamer (author)adenda22017-03-26

Please post yours! It would be especially good if you could fill in the gaps I left. In my instructable I assumed the reader was reasonably competent with a lathe because I don't feel qualified enough to cover it thoroughly. I also see you have dyed yours, which I haven't tried yet so I would enjoy following your instructions on that.

ClenseYourPallet (author)2017-03-24

Great project!! Thanks for sharing

About This Instructable




Bio: I can't be the only person who spend their whole time making stuff and then never using it?!
More by unigamer:Kururin - the Rolling StickPenny Pusher (Coin Pusher)Party Popper Alarm Clock
Add instructable to: