Woodturning Jewelry – Multi-Axis Necklace or Brooch

Woodturning Jewelry – Multi-Axis Necklace or Brooch

Hi, Alan Stratton, from As Wood Turns (www.AsWoodTurns.com)
I enjoyed the Utah Woodturning Symposium and I want to try to learn and reproduce many
of the techniques or projects that I saw there. One of the early ones that I saw was by Linda
Ferber where she made necklaces or other jewelry. These can be either for a necklace or a brooch
or a pin. Her technique was especially interesting because the indentations and the profiles
that she put on here are not the same parallel axis as the rest of the turning. She tilted
them just a little bit. You would think that that requires an expensive jig but she just
uses a piece of wood turned round, a dovetail tenon on the end to hold it in a chuck and
then at a chop saw cutting it off at a certain degree setting. This one at 20 degrees. This
one at 10 degrees. She also had a 5 and a 15 and probably a 25, I don’t know.
I just made a 10 and a 20 for my purposes today. I made quite a few with the help of
my wife and daughter. We tried to keep the smiles the right way. Another. One with grooves.
This one was from multiple woods. This one, well, I think it was a faux pas. But, it turned
out okay anyway in the end. So let’s make these pendants, pins, or brooches.
Actually the first task for this project was to walk out into the backyard and find a suitable
chuck of wood. Several of these brooches were for my daughter to give away. She selected
a chunk of apple. She has never turned before so this was an opportunity to have her do
some of the turning. I mounted the wood between centers and coached her to round it off. She
did great for a beginning turner. Then I cut tenons on both ends of the apple
timber. Then because I did not have any chucks like
Linda Ferber’s, I had to turn a chunk of cedar just like she did and cut tenons on
both ends just like the apple. But then I had to make a side trip to the
chop saw. I like my hands. I did not want to risk holding the round cedar with my hands
so I clamped it with an old C-clamp to keep my hands intact. The first cut was at a 20
degree angle. Then I changed to a 10 degree setting and trimmed a little more wood off.
Voila, two chucks ready in less than ten minutes. Thank you Linda Ferber.
Back to the apple. The cylinder happened to be just slightly smaller than my VicMark chuck
that I use on my Powermatic. Rather than fuss around too much, I switched over to my mini
lathe. The Apprentice chuck for that lathe is just a little bit smaller. This worked
out well as we made ten brooches. We used the mini lathe to prepare the discs and left
the larger chuck mounted on the large lathe to swap between the angle chucks.
For each disk, I smoothed off the back side before parting off about a one quarter inch
disk. Then after smoothing the remaining long piece, I used hot melt glue to fasten the
disk back onto the longer piece of apple. I would have preferred double stick tape and
have two roles somewhere in some box in the shop area. So rather than search for the tape,
I used hot melt glue. Then I trued, shaped, and sanded the front side of the disk before
moving them over to the larger lathe. However, for two brooches designed by my granddaughters
I did not tilt the axis for the front decorations. Instead I simply shifted the disk to a new
parallel axis and re-glued the disk all on the small lathe.
Now over to the large lathe with the tilt chucks. Actually, in Linda’s session we
decided that we were shifting to a skewed axis so they probably should be called skew
axis chucks. Again, no double stick tape in sight so I used hot melt glue. After guessing
where the disk needed to be on the surface of the skew axis chuck, I glued it on. By
the way, don’t use hot melt glue unless you have to. Double stick tape is the better
route. Then turned the button on the face of the
disk. This is much like a natural edge bowl but in miniature. A lot of cutting air to
get started. This always has a high potential for a stunning spiral catch.
Then some careful sanding before applying shellac. After woodburning my signature, I
finished the back side and buffed each disk. Finally, I glued a combo finding to the back
so the disk could be both a pinned brooch or a necklace pendant.
I like the combo brooches and pendants. I’ll keep these skew axis chucks and add additional
chucks for 5 and 15 degrees. The apple wood is still slightly green so the brooches may
acquire more character when they dry. I like this process and plan to do more in the future.
We’ll see you again next week. Please leave your comments. If you can find it, please
click the “Like” button. And, if you haven’t subscribed, please subscribe to both my website
and YouTube channel. Always wear your full face shield –goggles are not enough. Until
next time, this is Alan Stratton from As Wood Turns dot com.


  1. Saw Linda's presentation at Totally Turning a couple of months ago. Goog Stuff!

    Make nice broaches or necklaces, but also work very well as zipper pulls for sweaters/jackets

  2. That's very clever! Actually, the one that you're considering for the firewood pile is my favorite! I like that you cut all the way through! It's looks neat!

  3. Interesting technique! I'll have to give it a try. It looks like it would also work for making inserts for inlayed box tops.

    Question: Why is double-sided tape vastly superior to hot melt glue? Used properly (right kind of glue stick, heated to the right temperature, etc.), hot melt glue provides a strong hold and can be quickly released with just a dab of rubbing alcohol. I don't think its used enough be woodturners.

  4. Great idea Alan. Thanks for sharing the process. It's nice to see another generation of turners, it's rewarding for teacher and student.

  5. What a great idea. I am on it. Have you tried the micro owen tecnik (sorry, bad english) to dry the wood. I have never had the currich (bad english again) to do it.
    regards Júlíus

  6. Those are neat. I would take that one with the hole in it and put some clear packing tape on the back and then fill the hole with either colored or clear resin with an inclusion. 🙂 – Heidi

  7. Beautiful video, Alan.
    The pendants, brooches look fabulous.
    The idea with the two (20 ° and 10 °) tool is a good idea.

  8. Hi Alan,
    Another really good video.
    I've been trying to make pendants for my Wife and Daughters, I also used the hot glue but it causes the CA finish to flake! The pendants have a curved front and back, would I still be able to use the angled jig approach?
    Thanks Alan for sharing such an interesting video.
    Thumbs up all day from me 👍👍👍👍👍.
    Take care.
    Yorkshire UK

  9. Very cool project Alan. Great inspiration to make a skew chuck and try this out.

    Great to see new generations learning the art of woodturning

    I see the workshop is getting in place slowly


  10. "High potential for STUNNING spiral catch" Alan, I also enjoy the manner with which you turn a phrase.
    God's blessings on your family!

  11. Alan you've created some terrific how-tos with great photo and narrative work. Thanks and I can't wait to try this myself. And by-the-way I totally concur that the DS tape work

  12. Alan, what a brilliant shop made chuck! When I saw the caption "Infinite Axis Chuck" I was expecting some bright shiny thing worth hundreds. My shop will soon have a similar one. Really like the brooch too! Many thanks, Gord

  13. Love the video, I just got everything put together to do these. Where did you get the hardware? I can't seem to find them. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.