I found myself in need for a bunch of rosettes for a project. Turning them one at a time was in no way in the cards for me. (I’ve often said that turning is my weakest area of woodworking!) Looking in another direction, I purchased a rosette cutter and decided to make the my rosettes using my drill press.
I quickly discounted cutting the rosettes into a board only to saw them round and clean up the edges. That would have been more difficult than turning them one at a time.
To make them directly off my drill press, I turned a cylinder sized for the rosette cutter (1-3/4″), and drilled a hole in a scrap that was clamped to my press table – the clamped scrap eliminated having to always center the cylinder under the cutter, and it held my rosette stock.
Try as I might, there would be no way to accurately turn my cylinder to size, fit it into the drilled hole and keep the part from spinning as I plunged the rosette cutter into the face-grain turning. I had to resort to an old trick. If you look close at the image (left), you can see a small slot cut into the drilled hole from the end of my scrap. That is the ticket to solid work-holding on my cylinder. When the scrap is clamped side-to-side, the saw kerf allows my scrap to collapse, pinching the round stock as it’s shaped. Works like a charm.
After slowly plunging the rosette cutter into the end of my round stock, I used my bandsaw to slice off a rosette. The remaining stock was loaded into the setup again, and another rosette was shaped before being cut at my bandsaw. Over and over the process repeated until I used up my short length of stock.
I’ll need about three additional turned cylinders to produce all the rosettes needed.