Oval slats

I am late to this thread but wondering why you did not use bamboo skewers instead of metal, I have been plating with such ideas but as usual your detail is im[eccable and far better than I have been able to achieve.


I tried bamboo skewers for alignment on one project, and they were hellacious. They’re not actually totally consistent in diameter, so fit was fiddly, and sometimes I’d get one worked halfway in and then it wouldn’t go any farther OR come back out. One like that just splintered lengthwise when I tried to grip it with pliers to force it, and left me with a bamboo-plugged hole with splinters hanging out of it. They’re really hard to cut, too. I won’t use them again for anything requiring any precision!




I’d sooner use a hardwood dowel if I wanted to do wood exclusively, I had good results with that in the past.


That has not been my experience, I have three packets. One is a 0,12x 0.17 rectangular cross section, one is 0,18-0.20 round trying several in several places, The third is between 0,1 and 0.11 every, where I am measuring

it is certainly true that it is made of long fibers so a break is very splintered, but that is a feature and not a bug, it creates a very strong , and very resistant to a twist break that has been a problem for me in built-in hinges even in oak, on some boxes I have had to create a space for the 0,11 skewer because the tabs cut in place had twisted off,

When the time comes to cut it, any of several fine saws I have do a very nice job, I have replaced a few hinge bits but have driven the old hinge out as much as there was no place to grab it but I am aware that given the strength in one direction does mean it is comparatively weaker in the other directions, but I tried splitting one in half and ended up using a saw.


I’m confused. You say that your bamboo is consistent, than you describe what seem to be to be quite inconsistent dimensions.

0.18-0.20 (I assume inches?) is over 2 kerfs thick for most materials. I don’t consider this to be consistent at all, especially compared to the brass rods I am using, which are 0.0625" +/- 0.0002". That’s about three orders of magnitude more variability, and with inlaid shapes, consistency is king.

To put it into context, I view +/- 0.003" (a little under half a kerf) to be the difference between success and failure with inlays. I’m particular, your needs may not hinge on precision like mine do.


No question you achieve a much higher level of accuracy than I do. I find that 0,02 is often the difference at best from the kerf in one place and another. and I tried to be realistic in the range of a pack of skewers which is in the range of 10% and as I measure a nubbin on a piece of 0.26 Zebrawood I get the same range of the pack of skewers interestingly the same 0.10 and 0.11 though square and not round though the holes will get a square file treatment so it will be more even. That I got Zebrawood and not ash I regard as a victory, It took multiple cuts with getting the material wet between each pass and still some places excessive and others needing a scalpel or jewelers saw to finish the cut. I need to figure out how to use the Zebrawood and Mahogany that I have but will not be buying any more of either.

Back to hinges I use a 0.125 drill when the hole is perpendicular to the laser cuts and so the hinge moves easily and room for glue where i do not wish it to move. Even so as noted it stands up to more stresses than most other woods and the 1/8" gets used as hinges, while the 1/4" is more used more as axles for perpendicular pins like in gears and the rectangular as pins where rotation needs to be prevented. in each case much more durable than other woods.

As I am thinking of the case with your oval basket I am wondering if you are using the kerf angle as the angle of the slant, and it is hard to get my head around the different distances each part of each row would needs to increase that would be different at the long diameter than the short and in between in between.


…? The sides are perpendicular, so the pins run vertically. Is that what you meant?


Ahh, what I was seeing was tapered sides that I guess is a camera issue. That would be really amazing if you had done that.

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Another material that might (!) work is 3D printer filament. I’ve used it successfully for hinge joints, but only 3 plies deep. Might be more fiddly to make it work for lots of joints. Of course, you might be able to go a touch undersize and then apply heat to make it deform and lock into place. Hmm.

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Nylon filament could be very interesting but my aesthetic is perhaps too sensitive to having anymore not-wood in a wood piece beyond a bit of glue and even then wood glue over epoxy or CA. I have made filler from sanding dust, glue and water.


Too cool!


Purple heart would work well.

My dad and his turning buddies made belaying pins from purple heart for the HMS bounty reproduction. the one that sunk in the hurricane years ago.


I finally put a finish on this:

Brings out the contrast even more, as expected.


That really turned out nice. :slight_smile: I went hunting for copper rods yesterday after work, but didn’t get very far. The hobby store I was after had apparently moved, and the craft store nearby didn’t have them, and by then I was out of steam and just went home. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Hobby lobby generally carries copper, but it’s a bit hit or miss.

Online is the best source, especially on price.


But if you want retail, K&S is the brand that everyone carries:


They have a product/price list spreadsheet on their site:



No Hobby Lobby up here in the PNW, but I prefer online anyway, recluse that I am (when I have the option!). Thanks for the link!


A welding supply store will have brazing rod in many diameters, I was looking at those and thinking that melting one end into a ball could make an interesting pin or a headed rivet with the matching diameter could be interesting


Brazing rod isn’t pure brass, I thought, but has a good bit of iron in it?

Might be good depending on your use, but in my case I wanted a solid gold color and the corrosion resistance of brass.


In looking I see there are hundreds of brazing alloys available. None contain Iron. Many have a certain amount of silver and phosphorus that helps in fluxing. I think the commonly available rod is almost all copper with a tiny amount of tin and zinc


I can corrode just about any metal pretty much by touching it. My dad can, too. My mom calls it “the touch of rust.” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: