Not too long ago I finally got my wood lathe I wanted.  I have been feverishly turning like some mad scientist.  One thing that seemed to grab my attention is how a couple accent grooves could add the finishing touch to a project.  Even more so if the grooves were burned.  A wire garrote was one of the first accompanying items I made for my new lathe.  In a matter of seconds a turned piece had more visual appeal.  I used the wire burning tool on a few lathe tool handles as well as some turned pens and wooden bowls.  But not soon after I started making platters.  I wanted a way to add the burned embellishment to those as well.  I hadn’t seen any tools that could accomplish that.  What I came up with seemed to work out nicely.  I used thick tempered wire as that is what I had on hand, but I’m sure I will be testing out some narrower tempered wire as time goes on.  My friend April Wilkerson also was using a wire garrote this week for her project.  Check out what she came up with as well.  Below you can find links to the materials I had used.  Enjoy!





Here are a few recent lathe projects using this method:


Ambrosia Maple Platter

Lathe Tool Handle

Purple Heart Bowl

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10 Responses

  1. Dave (KSFWG)

    Just don’t accept a ride to the airport from Michael Corleone… 😉

  2. Tom O'Brien

    Nice results, Nick. Thanks for showing the comparisons.
    I have used a different technique, with the freebie plastic laminate samples from the big box store. Put the edge in the groove with the lathe turning, press lightly until it starts smoking, It leaves some burnt laminate melted in the groove, and may need an overcoat of finish to protect that. The Formica-like laminate seems to work well. BTW the edge can get HOT…. just as the wire can. I haven’t tried the laminate on a platter’s face, but I bet it would work there. Just use a corner of the laminate sample.

    • Nick

      just a great idea – someone else suggested as well so it must be something I will have to try – thanks for the tip Tom!!

  3. Mike Washburn

    Awesome!!! Where can I get the proper wire? It looks like you used two different sizes a smaller on the bowl and a thicker on the platter. I really enjoy watching your videos. I’m from southeast Wi (Racine County) and wouldn’t mind seeing your shop and meeting you in person.

  4. Michael

    This is a great share. I’ve actually used a similar approach a few times. The only difference being that I was too lazy to attach the wire to handles and spun it around my palms instead. Both painful and hot!


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