Taiji rulers

taiji rulers 2My taiji teacher asked me whether I could make some of these. They are called ‘taiji rulers’ and are used for qigong exercises. They are much nicer to use than rolling pins, and once I got the hang of the shape (and finishing off the ends) I’m turning them out much faster now. I still rely heavily on sanding, but even that is improving. If you get the cut right with the tool in the first place, it saves a lot of work.

My teacher lent me one to copy, and I had to think of a way to get the profile on to a template.

taiji ruler templateI used a profile gauge and vernier calipers to make the template, marking the measurements on the template. After making a few of them, I got to know the measurements but being a relative beginner at turning I did go too far in places so they don’t all match the original. That’s not really a bad thing; people’s hands are different too. Really the important thing is to get both ends the same. The inevitable result was that a few of them have gone on the fire, but I’m getting the hang of it now.ruler on lathe

They are finished with a coat of thinned cellulose sanding sealer, followed by microcrystalline wax buffed with a cotton wheel mounted on the lathe, and finally a spot of carnauba wax, also applied via a wheel on the lathe. The rubber mat on the lathe bed is to protect it from the sanding sealer, which does have a tendency to go everywhere.

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