Pizza who doesn’t love pizza. I mean come on even turtle in a sewer love pizza! Not to mention they are ninjas. If that doesn’t make pizza cool enough for you I don’t know what does ha ha ha. Pizza does have one draw back though. It has to be cut into slices. Now I know what you are thinking and who wouldn’t want to eat a pizza whole. But most of us usually share. So With that in mind I set out to make the worlds coolest pizza cutter.
I started with some Aluminum Honeycomb the honeycomb is easy enough to cut using a band saw or even a razor blade but seeing as how the Table Saw was already set to the proper size I needed for the mold I went ahead and used it to cut the Aluminum Honeycomb keep in mind this does not slide the easiest so make sure to use a good push stick and take your time.
After cutting the Aluminum Honeycomb to the proper width I used a razor blade to cut the Aluminum Honeycomb to length. I wanted the small pieces to fit snug between the two pieces of burl so that the pattern would look correct. Using a razor blade was the most precise way to make these cuts. The Aluminum Honeycomb will bend and crush easily. So I have to make sure not to apply to much force while placing the pieces into the Silicon Mold. I used 3 pieces stacked to make sure it was the proper thickness. No extra glue or adhesive would be necessary as the epoxy would hold the Aluminum Honeycomb fast once hardened.
I then mixed up around 8 ounces of Total Boat Epoxy. I know that would be a little bit more epoxy than would be needed for this one blank so I also threw some of the scrap pieces of burl into on of the other blank cavities in the Silicon Mold. I always do this for two reasons. First I do not like mixing smaller amounts of epoxy. It is much more likely that the mix ratio will not be correct or even just the difference of the resin sticking to the side of the mixing container during the mixing process can cause problems with the ratio. Secondly I like to use the excess to make extra blanks for future projects things like pens, bottle stopper, bottle openers and more can be make from the blanks. I then added a bit of color. I wanted a bluish purple translucent color as I know that it would be darker once it was in the blank. A couple of drops was all it took.
When pouring to Total Boat Epoxy in to Silicon Mold with the Aluminum Honeycomb keep in mind that the Aluminum Honeycomb is full of individual holes that need to be completely filled with the epoxy. Pouring to fast into these holes can cause air to get trapped within and lead to air pockets or bubbles in the epoxy. While letting the epoxy cure in a pressure tank does definitely help with these bubbles it there is a large amount of air trapped it will create a cavity that could be visible one the outer layers are tuned away. Make sure to fill the mold all the way to the top also as some small cavities will be filled when in the Pressure Pot.
This Rockler Woodworking pizza cutter kit is held in place with a threaded insert screw that is in place inside the handle. For this I marked the center of my blank and then drilled a ½ inch hole to the proper depth to place the insert screw.
This can be done after the handle is turned but I choose to do this first as this hole would be used on the Live Center to ensure the end with that would house the insert is perfectly centered into the handle.
I then started the turning process by rounding the blank to a cylinder. I made very very light cuts as this burl was very dense and I know that if I tried to cut the blank to fast it would have a high risk of shattering. Yes if you do not do much tuning dense hard wood on lathe will shatter like glass. Another reason to cut very softly was that the epoxy cuts much much easier and faster than the very hard wood. If you are not watching closely you risk gouging the epoxy at the transition of the wood and epoxy.
Once I had the cylinder formed I then wanted to make sure the end that would be against the cutter head would be at the proper diameter. I measured the base of the cutter head and locked the Calipers and would make small passes checking the diameter between each pass. I did this until the Calipers fit very tightly over the end of the handle. I then began shaping the rest of the handle.
I then cut in the two accent rings. There are honestly just because I thought that they would add a very good look to the handle. I also use a flat edge carbide bit cutter to hone the outside edge of the handle this would make sanding much easier. This is done by holding the cutter parallel to the handle and slowly applying even pressure to blade. This will slowly remove material as well as scratch marks when done properly.
I then wet sanded the handle starting with 220 grit and the Lathe set to a slow speed and then with 320 grit.
I then used Starbond Adhesives thin CA glue to apply 5 coats of clear finish to the handle. The is a steady debate of using accelerator on each coat during this process to instantly harden the glue. For this I have found it is not always necessary to do so. The Starbond Adhesives Ca dries extremely fast as it is and while the Starbond Adhesives does dry smooth with the accelerator I find there is no reason to take a risk when it is necessary to do so.
After the last layer of Starbond Adhesives is completely dry I the started wet sanding with 600 grit working my way all the way up to the 12000 grit paper. I keep the Lathe set on a slow to med-slow speed and sand in a small circular pattern. This is done to try to prevent the creation of small lines around the outside handle. Also do not over use the water. The water is there to simply help keep the paper clear of debris that could scratch the surface during sanding. If to much water is applied it will create a layer between the sandpaper and the surface and will not sand properly. You should feel a very soft resistance of the paper against the surface of the material.
After cleaning off the water and sanding residue from the material I then used some EEE-Ultra Shine Turners Wax to polish the handle to a high shine.
One thing you will notice if you are doing this processes correctly with Aluminum Honeycomb you will see the metal lines start to shine brightly. As the finish is polished to a higher and higher shine.
Once the handle was finished only one final touch was needed. That was to remove the marks left by the Drive Center this was done by reversing the position of the handle and placing it in a 4 Jaw Chuck. I made sure to wrap the finished end of the handle in masking tape to help prevent any marks being made on the handle from the chuck. I also use the Live Center to position the handle so it is perfectly straight once the jaws of the 4 Jaw Chuck are closed. Then I cut away just enough material to remove the marks left by the Drive Center. I then sanded and repeated the finishing process in the same order as before.
I then installed the threaded insert into the handle after first applying a small amount of Starbond Adhesives Medium Ca Glue to hold the insert firmly into place. The insert threaded in easily into the previously drilled hole. The insert is threaded into the hole slightly below the rim of the handle.
This allows the head of the cutter to thread into the handle and sit completely flush against the rim. If the diameter is cut properly the outer rim of the handle and the base of the cutter head should line up flush. The head of this kit is meant also to be left removable to be able to place the cutter head into the dishwasher to remove all the sweet pizza residue that you want to put on it.
I knew going into this it would be a cool project and something that could be completed quickly as I only have small amounts of time between working on parts to larger projects and order to try new things.
I only knew for certain that I wanted to make something different something I had not seen before. I have not seen anything like this before this sure isn’t your cheap plastic pizza cutter from Walmart. The kit is awesome as well with a good bit of weight and a nice blade it is a kit that will last a very very long time.
Another cool thing about using a translucent color and the Aluminum Honeycomb is that if light is shined onto through the openings of the Aluminum Honeycomb it glows. While this can only been seen if you shine a light into it I think it is still an amazing look. I might look one day into making one that actually lights up but that will be for a future project.
This is not a complicated build and there are no plans for it. This is one of those projects that you can just let your creative side take over and see what comes out of it. No right or wrong. No set size or style. Have fun. Sometimes we forget why we do the things we love and small projects like this that only take a couple of hours ( not including epoxy dry time) of work or even less can make you remember why you love doing this. Something going from a chunk of wood and some crazy aluminum stuff that most people haven’t ever seen. To an amazing ( in my opinion) functional piece that you would be proud to show off. That is what I love about doing this. The feeling of accomplishment and pride even in something so small. I would bet my Turtle friends would even be proud to use it. I know one of them loves purple as well ha ha.
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Thank you and I will see you on the next one!