Shop Built Texturing/Spiraling Tool

by Dominic Greco

Texturing heads

Here are some pictures of my latest shop built tool. It's based upon the Sorby Texturing/Spiraling tool that sells for around $130.00 to $156.00. This shop built version cost me approximately $26.00 in materials, and about 2 hours to build.

Overall view

  To be quite accurate, this is not the same tool that Sorby sells. Sorby's version can also cut spirals into a spindle using a collar like attachment that rides the toolrest to guide the tool. I saw no need for this function as of yet, and proceeded to design this version just to give me the ability to add texture to my turnings. However, I did draw up a design for the collar. That piece is being fabricated by a machinist/welder friend of mine. We'll see how it works when it's all finished later this month.

The Shank

  The shank was made from a piece of 1/2" diameter x 13" long stainless steel bar stock I had in my junk drawer (some people have paper clips in their desk drawer, I tend to collect scrap steel). It was quite easy to grind two parallel flats on either side of the bar stock. They had to be parallel or the texturing cutter assembly would not spin freely. After the grinding was done, I drilled a 9/32" though hole 3/4" down from the tip of the bar stock. This will accept the shoulder bolt that would act as a shaft. After that, I rounded over the sharp edges and proceeded to mount the texturing cutter assembly.

The Texturing Cutter Assembly

  The texturing cutter assembly is composed of the texturing cutter, the 1/4" x 1 1/4" long socket head shoulder bolt, (2) 1/4" dia. thrust washers, and a 1/4" hex bolt. The texturing cutter was the only part of this tool that was purchased. I got this from Klingspor Woodworking for $26.96. It is Klingspor part number SZ00027, (Sorby p/n: 350/0). But you have to be careful here. The part I received does NOT look like the texturing wheel shown in the photo on the web site. The catalog I received in the mail shows the same cutter as the web site, but with a different part number. I believe that the one I received is really the 6 MM cutter. But this really isn't a problem for me since I wanted to do the "orange peel texturing" that this 6 MM wheel makes. I plan on ordering the other wheel some time soon. However, if you plan on ordering the texturing cutter, you might want to call Klingspor and speak to someone to clear this up.

The Handle

  The handle was turned from a piece of defect and knot free 2" x 2" x 11" long walnut. Making tool handles is easy if you just think the process through first. It's easier to drill the hole before shaping the handle. After that, you just turn it betwwen centers to shape it.
It's quite a simple process. Using a roughing gouge, turn the stock between centers to a cylinder. I attached my shop built steady rest at this point and held the blank with my Talon Chuck. With the steady rest holding the blank,......well,....steady, I installed a drill chuck and 17/32" drill bit in my tailstock. The handle blank was then drilled to a depth of about 5 1/2". After removing the steady rest, I reinstalled the spur center, the live center, and turned the handle to the shape I wanted. The design of the handle was copied from my Sorby Oval Skew. I then sanded the tool handle to 200 grit, and added some burned lines to give it "character". After that the handle was sanded to 400 grit and given several layers of shellac.

Final Assembly

  After the handle dried over night, I added the ferrule. This was stolen from an old turning tool that came with my Jet lathe. I then epoxied the tool shank into the handle and allowed it to dry overnight. With that the assembly was completed. On to the test drive!

First Impressions

  I must admit, using the texturing tool takes some getting used to. Having the directions off of the Sorby web site really helped out quite a bit. But I feel I still need some practice. After some practice, I was able to get the "orange peel" effect just as advertised. I look forward to trying out the real texturing cutter when that comes in. Maybe I'll use it on my next batch of bowls.

. . . Doninic Greco

© 2003 by Dominic Greco . All rights reserved.
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