Napkin Ring from japanese maple

Napkin ring

I created a special jig to hold it in the lathe:(inspired by a video by Bob Hamilton: bobham5)

I took an oak cylinder I had turned earlier, drilled a 1″ hole in it and turned the outside diameter to 1 1/2″ to match the the inside diameter of the napkin ring to be.


on the band saw I cut four slots to make it into an expansion jig (expanded by the live center on the tail piece)


and then chose a scrap of japanese maple left over from the turning of the japanese maple bowl and drilled a 1 1/2″ hole in it.

Trimmed it on the band saw and mounted and turned it on the expansion jig

 I finished it with beeswax and carnauba wax.



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2 Responses to Napkin Ring from japanese maple

  1. John says:

    Okay, I understand the expansion jig. What I don’t follow is how the piece of scrap got drilled with the 1 1/2″ hole, how it got trimmed then how it got “turned” on the expansion jig. Does that mean it was shaped on the jig? Then polished on the jig? Does the jig stand to lose when you “turn” the napkin holder on the jig? Does it get carved up? How do you prevent the lathe from cutting into it? Is that something under operator control? You need to make videos of the operations. Then I wouldn’t have so many questions.

    • admin says:

      The expansion jig is drilled out first with a 1″ forstner bit. Then the outside is turned down to match the inside diameter of the napkin ring (1 1/4″; that leaves a 1/8″ wall). Then the four slots, which allow it to expand when the tail piece is inserted in the end, are cut on the band saw. The napkin ring blank, which was drilled out with the 1 1/4″ bit, is slipped onto the expansion jig and the live tail piece inserted and tightened up to expand the jig and hold the napkin ring from slipping. The the napkin ring is turned as desired, any detail added, and rounded off. Some of the jig may get cut away near the edges. Any excess napkin ring not turned off can be sanded off after removing it from the lathe. It was sanded and polished on the lathe. The beeswax and carauba wax finish was applied off the lathe.

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