Shrinkburkar super cutter

If you are not of a technical woody bent click here now, but if you would like to find out about the industrial making of shrink pots, read on …

Once we’ve got over the tedious parts of making a green wood tube

And smoothed down the rough edges left by the gouge …

(Here I’m using the knife in the vice technique), OK all done, ready for the groove for the base:

And now … the Sean Hellman shrink pot base groove cutter kit (I’m sure he’ll have a snappier name for it!)  Sean will be supplying a knife blade, handle and nut (or the complete croze, I read), check this out here: Sean Hellman: Shrink pot, and a shrink pot croze.  All you need to do is to mount the knife on a baton and the handle in a base board, thusly:

The idea is that the cutter can be moved up and down by loosening the handle and then tightening it in place so that the top of the base groove can be cut accurately.  Traditionally this is done with a knife, which works, but is slightly hit and miss and a little slow.  If you offer up your shrink pot tube and rapidly whizz it round against the knife, so …

an accurate 90 degree cut in the inside of the pot results.  You can see from this photo that I used a conventional screw to fix the knife blade and two of the Manchester variety.

I then used a converted marking gauge to enlarge the cut into a groove

The end is a cross-section of a cuboid and more like a turning chisel than anything:

And the result is a square ended slot with a sloped profile to help with inserting the base:

And here’s the base with is a loose fit here, but this morning is tightening up nicely.

The base is ash and the main tube is sycamore, I’m not sure sycamore is my preferred option – I bust one while doing the final inside smoothing.  I think the radial strength is a bit lacking as there are many small medullary rays.  On the other hand silver birch can be carved much thinner and is really strong.

And now as a counter stroke to the horrible green shades of the workshop – thanks to the green tarp I was obliged to swap for the white one – a gratuitous frothy picture of the Wharfe


Whilst I was dinner monitor last evening, making pizza, I noticed on the olives packet a note that a cocktail stick is included.  Funny, you’d think more than one person would be eating them – surely not meant to share the cocktail stick?  Anyways, it was a nice turned stick, I wonder if it’s bulk production from Mark Allery’s contact in Vancouver?