Growing up, we all the time had bread on the desk, however selfmade biscuits had been often reserved for Thanksgiving dinner. Mom would get out the flour and butter, and I’d assist her make and roll the dough, after which utilizing a ingesting glass held in each palms, I’d stamp out the dough into biscuit rounds. Using a glass had its drawbacks, notably the priority that it may fall and break. I made a decision to show a picket biscuit cutter and design it so it could be simpler to understand. Here’s the best way to make one.

Getting Started

Walnut and maple biscuit cutter turning blank
The creator’s turning clean, a lamination of walnut and maple, measuring 3-1/2″ sq. by 4-1/2″ lengthy.

Doug Watters, a fellow teacher on the Brookfield Craft Center (Brookfield, Connecticut) had glued up a big black walnut and maple lamination. I lower a clean from it 3-1/2″ (9cm) sq. and 4-1/2″ (11cm) lengthy. When turned, this dimension clean would permit for biscuit rounds about 2-3/4″ (7cm) in diameter. I rigorously centered the clean on an inside maple lamination and oriented the grain for spindle turning — with the grain operating parallel to the lathe mattress. You may use a lamination like mine or a strong block of wooden.


Mounting biscuit cutter blank in lathe
Mount the clean between facilities and type a tenon that may slot in your chuck. The gap left by the purpose of the drive middle will assist align the clean when re-chucking later.

Turn the clean spherical and type a tenon to suit the jaws of your scroll chuck. Remount the workpiece within the chuck. Note that the tip held within the chuck will ultimately change into the highest/deal with of the biscuit cutter. The centered indentation within the tenon created by the drive middle will assist middle the work later whenever you reverse-mount it on a jam chuck.

Cutting knob taper in biscuit cutter blank
With the clean mounted in a 4-jaw chuck, flip a slight taper from a line drawn 2″ from the tip.

With the piece remounted within the chuck, true up the tip of the clean, then measure and mark 2″ (5cm) from the tailstock finish. Turn a gradual taper from that 2″ mark right down to the tip to a diameter of about 2-7/8″ (7cm).

Drilling and hollowing out biscuit cutter blank
A gap drilled to a depth of 1-7/8″ serves as a beginning place for hollowing. Not pictured, a spherical-nostril scraper does a pleasant job of hollowing endgrain, slicing from middle towards the rim.

Next, drill a gap to ease the hollowing course of, then hole to 1-7/8″ (48mm) deep. When hollowing, guarantee the perimeters are parallel with one another for the primary 1-1/8″ (29mm). In use, straight partitions will make it simpler for the biscuit dough to be launched after it’s lower.

Scraping out biscuit cutter edge
The creator makes use of a freshly sharpened scraper to make last cuts to type the skinny rim of the biscuit cutter.

Pay consideration to the form of the inside from the skinny straight sides to the highest middle. This portion could be straight or curved, however take into account that you’ll want to match that form whenever you make a jam chuck to reverse the cutter and end the highest of the knob.

View of fully turned biscuit cutter rim
The inside partitions close to the rim are lower parallel to assist ease biscuit elimination throughout use; the tapered exterior partitions present added power to this skinny space.

Note {that a} extra typical jam chuck holding simply the rim gained’t be doable as a result of the rim is simply too skinny. Carefully take very mild cuts to cut back the rim to a skinny 1/16″ (1.6mm).

Starting biscuit cutter handle turning
Form the higher part of the biscuit cutter, together with a knob/deal with to a form of your liking.

I take advantage of a freshly sharpened scraper for this process. Sand the outside tapered part and the hollowed inside, being cautious to not lower your self on the rim. Use a parting software to make an angled shoulder, and begin to type a cove and develop the knob portion above the tapered space.

Wiping mineral oil coating on biscuit cutter handle
After sanding the piece, the creator applies a light-weight coat of mineral oil each inside and outside. This undertaking may simply as simply don’t have any end in any respect, relying in your desire.

Continue to refine the knob, then sand and end. I used a light-weight coat of mineral oil.

Reverse-mount on Wasteblock

Mount a wasteblock in your chuck and switch a jam chuck to reverse-mount the workpiece. Shape the jam chuck so it matches the heavier higher space inside your biscuit cutter. The jam chuck needs to be lengthy sufficient so you may place the biscuit cutter over it. As famous earlier than, don’t attempt to mount and drive the turning by the rim, as it’s too fragile. Use cushioning materials and produce up the tailstock stay middle for help, aligning the purpose that can assist you re-middle the piece. Apply simply sufficient tailstock stress to drive the practically completed piece.

Finishing cut on top portion of biscuit cutter handle
The work is mounted on a wasteblock cushioned with paper towels and supported by tailstock stress. Finish turning the highest of the knob utilizing mild cuts. Remove the small remaining nub off the lathe and apply extra end.

Take very mild cuts to complete shaping the knob, leaving a small nubbin to chop off by hand with the lathe off. Sand and end the unfinished space with a light-weight coat of mineral oil. There are few issues in life higher than making and consuming heat biscuits. By hand-turning a biscuit cutter and giving it to your favourite baker, you’ll contribute to reminiscences that may final a lifetime.

Joe Larese is a member of the Kaatskill Woodturners and the Nutmeg Woodturners League and is a turning teacher on the Brookfield Craft Center. He is a photojournalist by occupation.

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