Spiral Woodwork




This is my first Instructable. Hope you will follow clearly. It will show you a step by step how to make a spiral out of a solid round piece of wood. Tools needed: Drill press, Table Saw, 10mm wood/steal drill bit,elbow grease, small round file, more elbow grease, sand paper, more elbow grease. Enjoy! by.....AntonD

Step 1: Make a V-Block

To make a spiral, you need to work very precise. Start off by making a V-Block big enough for a 40mm diameter round piece to fit comfortably. See pic. This is where the table saw came in handy. The shape does not have to look like mine. As long as theres a big V-groove in it as to hold the round piece tight.

Step 2: Solid 40mm Piece

Get a piece solid, perfectly round wood (or turn one on a lathe), of 40mm diameter and about 350mm long. My picture shows the ends already shaped. It's better not to, as this makes the next step difficult.

Step 3: Mark With Pencil

Now you need to mark your solid piece of round wood. On both ends, find the center and divide in into quarters (Pic1). Draw lines between the four quarters (Pic2). Now, on the first line, make a mark 25mm from the edge, second line, 50mm from edge, third line 75mm from edge, fourth line 100mm from edge. Now you are back at first line, mark it 125mm from edge. Next 125mm etc. etc. Continue to the next edge.

Step 4: Cellotape

Now, take sellotape, or any other sticky tape of about 12mm width, and stick it all around the round wood only touching the markings you made in step3. This form a spiral. Next, stick another piece of tape all around, exactly in the centre between the spirals of the first tape. Notice the tape in the picture.

Step 5: Drilling

Putt the solid round in the V-Block and position it in a drill press. You should drill from exactly on top. Use a 10mm bit and drill all along the tape (both sides of the tape). You do not need to drill right through the solid. The holes will overlap. My picture only shows the holes on one side of tape. I did not take a pic when all holes where drilled.
Do not rush this drilling part. Be very very carefull, the drill bit must not cut sideways. (Although it tends to). GO SLOW.. I can't remember exactly, but it's about 300 holes with these measurements.
The pieces where the tape is, will form the spirals. The rest will fall out.

Oh, and do not drill all the way to the ends. (Logic)

Step 6: Sanding

Next is where the elbow grease comes in. Unfortunately, again I got carried away and forgot about the camera. I should have taken more pics, but its all straight forward. All I can say: "Be extremely carefull". If you rush, it WILL brake. I used a grinding stone, grinder, file, sandpaper, etc. This is the part where you tend to give up, but it gets easier as you progress. (Wheres my pics). Again, carefull, my first one broke.

Step 7: Fin

And thats about it. Try it and let me know. Cheers. Anton



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    39 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Come on... been 3 years and I have not seen your spiral.. Your words was: "

    just got a wood lathe and am able to make cylinders. I plan to try this soon. BTW excellent work!" :-)

    Phil B

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Sears Craftsman once marketed a fixture for a router. There was a set of centers for the round piece. The router rode over it on a track. A crank with a cable simultaneously turned the round and moved the router down the track to make a spiral. I never had one, but remember seeing them. I knew someone who had one and saw some of his projects. The fixture took some of the effort out of the task. Congratulations on doing it well the hard way.

    8 replies
    pfred2Phil B

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I have one mint in box and have never tried to use it. Just one of those things.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Would you be willing to sell it? I even had the Sears catalogue and have been lamenting the discontinuation for many years. I'm serious- please get back to me.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I've chopped up a few bicycles and the tubes you get are pretty short. None over 2 feet really. Nice stock though if it is chrome moly. Might be better to use black iron pipe as a frame. That you can get in 10 foot lengths!<br/><br/>Also, I'm not too familiar with mine, being as I've never had it out of the box that I can recall, but I sort of remember that there may be some gears involved with the contraption. They'd be difficult to source.<br/><br/>Today one might be better off to CNC it all. Then you could get some wild shapes. These Router Crafter gadgets are pre-PC items.<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://linuxcnc.org/">http://linuxcnc.org/</a><br/>


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    It isn't the only thing I have that mostly collects dust. I'm going to hang onto it on the off chance that I actually do use it someday. Right after I complete that ship in a bottle I've been planning on building.

    skylanePhil B

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Phil, That was the "Router Crafter" I still have one in the garage. Mike

    Well the drilling part took me more along the lines of 3-4 hours and same goes with the cutting/sanding part. I didn't even record all of it because my little point-n-shoot camera would turn itself off after so long of recording. So I just used chunks of each basic step and then sped it up. I'm glad you like it though and I made sure to give you credit in the description on youtube since I never would have thought to try this if I hadn't seen your instructables.


    2 replies

    Hey check out this video I made when I attempted this again! Its pretty rough but I hope you like it. Let me know what you think.


    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    I just found this Instructable and I am interested in the technique used to make the spirals... it's been a year and a half since you submitted this... do you have any pictures to add to fill in the gaps between Step 5: Drilling and Step 6: Sanding? Anybody?

    Thanks for submitting it... it has piqued my interest.


    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Sawtooth. Unfortunately, at the time I made this, I did not do it for an Instructable. I have no more detailed pictures. All I can tell you is " Do it.." You will see. No extra detail is needed. I'ts like magic.