Knotted Back Muscles – Back Pain Relief With Celtic Knot

Knotted Back Muscles – Back Pain Relief With Celtic Knot

Hi, Alan Stratton, from As Wood Turns (
In the last video, I made this handle for a pigtail barbecue turner, flipper actually,
and I incorporated a Celtic knot. I’m going to use the Keltic pronunciation from now on.
I realize that that may still offend some people but “C’est la Vie!”.
Several suggestions came back that I not cut completely thru the wood, that I lower the
sawblade just a little bit to leave a bit of wood to maintain the distance and that
would improve the knot. I’m going to try that out on this project. At the same time,
Michael suggested that I try to do a three way Celtic knot. Okay, Michael, challenge
taken. So here is a three way Celtic knot. It’s a little bit different. I had to jig
up a little bit different way and I did not cut completely thru. I think it’s successful.
Now, this was a four way—this is a three way. Now, If you want to do a five or six
way, just to prove it can be done and see what the differences are, I’ll do that if
there are enough comments down below this video.
So, if you want to see a five or six way lobe, Celtic knot, let me know. If there are enough,
then I’ll do it. The same process that I used for this three
way can be used, I think, for any number of loops in a Celtic knot.
Let’s go for it. Let’s make a Celtic knot…. What is this? Well, it actually is for back
pain that you can rub on somebody’s back – on the flat; massage out a knot with the
big end; if it needs more specialized pressure, massage out the knot with the small end.
So let’s make relief for your back pain. I believe the key to accurately cutting the
slices for this three loop Keltic knot to be positioning the wood’s rotation. For
square stock, this means simply milling the wood to a perfect square. For a three loop,
I could have milled the wood to a triangle but that’s a lot of work and error prone.
My solution is to cut a pair of triangles with two critical characteristics. They are
(1) large enough for my square stock to fit inside the triangle while (2) the center of
the triangle corresponds to the center of the wood. So the first step is to draw a pair
of triangles – I used Powerpoint to make patterns; glued the paper to a piece of plywood;
and rough cut the plywood a little bit large. Next, sand the wood to the pattern. I took
a class from a patternmaker who could reproduce almost any part with a master pattern, a knife,
bandsaw, and sander. Gary could sand to the middle of a knife mark. I found that much
more accurate than trying to measure and cut with a saw.
Next with a hole in the triangle’s middle and holes at the center of the timber’ ends,
I aligned the middle of the triangle to the middle of the wood with a nail, then used
hot melt glue to fasten everything together. Much easier to build up just the end of the
wood with the plywood than to mill a large hunk of cherry that would mostly wind up as
shavings on the floor. I have a sliding miter table that has proved
mostly useless. I finally found a good use for it with this project. I set the saw cut
for 30 degrees and the depth to be just a little less than the thickness of the wood.
For insurance, I CA glued another piece of plywood to the upper side to stiffen the wood
despite the saw kerf. After the next gluing step the CA easily sheared off. I wanted the
timber to be long enough to safely cut and handle. With this much wood, I can try to
get two back pain tools from this piece. I milled my walnut inserts to just fit the
saw kerf. I coated the surfaces with Titebond Original Extend and did my best to get glue
inside the saw kerf. The disadvantage of this method is the risk of inadequate glue inside
the kerf. I used the insert to try to get glue to the inside. It was not time to skimp
on glue. Now for the second cut. Again set the cut
depth to leave some wood holding everything together. Again, I decided to reinforce the
wood with some plywood. This time for the glue up, I pre-shaped the
walnut pieces. They’re somewhat odd shaped. The problem is they only go in one way and
I got mixed up between the four corners and two sides. By the time I found the right combination,
I figured I had a good coating of glue inside the kerf.
The third cut is a lot like the others. Set the saw depth and reinforce the side of the
wood with some plywood. This time for the glue up, I labeled the walnut
sides to keep things straight. To help spread glue I used a craft stick thinner than the
saw kerf. For this project the hard part is finished.
Now, I’ve mounted the wood between centers using the holes I drilled earlier to align
the plywood triangles. Now on to standard roughing out. Next I marked the center. Here
I’ll cut a mortise that will hold the two ends into a chuck. Then cut them apart.
Now with one half mounted to the lathe, the actual shape is a simple taper – If ever
tapers were simple. The pattern for this back tool was one I saw at a gem show. Theirs was
a little longer; One large end one small end. In use, it can be rolled on the long side
or either end used to work a particularly knotted muscle.
Then sand it up thru the grits and finish with beeswax and mineral oil. I sanded the
wax oil mix into the wood with 400 grit sandpaper. Finally, a quick buff with my Beall Buffing
System. I’m liking what it does to my projects. Ok, Michael, I took your challenge and made
this three loop Keltic knot. And I think this process can be used for any number of loops.
So if you want me to make a five or six loop Keltic knot, write your wishes in a comment
below this video. If there’s enough, I’ll do it. A steeper cut angle is the only other
adjustment indicated. That’s all for this week’s video. Please
“Like” this video. If you haven’t subscribed, please subscribe to both my website and YouTube
channel. Always wear your full face shield –goggles are not enough. Until next time,
this is Alan Stratton from As Wood Turns dot com.

62 comments on “Knotted Back Muscles – Back Pain Relief With Celtic Knot

  1. The Tiny Trailer Workshop Post author

    An 8 sided Celtic knot in a sphere and maybe mounted on a cane for a handle! And maybe even a set of 3,4,5 and 6 sided ones in the cane itself. ;>) I guess that is asking a little much isn't it? ;>) I would really like to see what you can come up with! I'm sure it will be amazing anyway! ;>) Thanks for sharing   Larry

  2. Cody W Post author

    I like the idea of doing 8 inside a perfect sphere.  Would look great sitting on my desk. And as always thanks for another great video!!!

  3. Thom Lindgren Post author

    I really like this project. Anything that helps with back pain is a winner. I like the way your mind works. I would really like to see either the five or six loop knot. I like the idea of the pentaknot since the five sided shape has always looked good to me… Maybe its the stars on the flag. Happy Father's Day and always look forward to your projects.

    Thom in San Diego

  4. Frank Taylor Post author

    I think a six sided celtic knot would be great, any more than that I think the cutting angles would be way to steep to make the knot look like a real celtic knot. Here's a challenge how about a celtic knot in the bottom of a bowl? is that even possible? Something for the little grey cells to contemplate. Thanks for sharing, we love your videos.

  5. Kenny Boothe Post author

    First time I've seen a three ring seltic not. Sure looks good and I love the technique.

  6. Rob Hampton Post author

    Thanks Alan for another good video. I like Larry's idea of a sphere with the 8 sided/loop Celtic knot. Rob

  7. kallen bohlke Post author

    i would love to see a 8 loop Celtic knot i think it would be amazing to see you do it and see the end result.

  8. Jim .B Post author

    Alan, Great solution to the problem! I would love to see a 6 sided knot on the side wall of a bowl! Best Wishes, Jim

  9. tom ziferTomZifer Post author

    Ten loops for me please or seven with one for each color of the rainbow, "ROYGBIV". Thank You.

  10. Alex Baker Post author

    very relieved to hear you using a hard "c" for celtic – soft c is only used for the football (soccer) team.
    Keep going on the knots – 7 is a good number

  11. Alan Willoughby Post author

    You said you could do almost any number – I would like to see perhaps 37 but would settle for 6 🙂

  12. Louie Powell Post author

    Nice project.

    A trick for getting glue inside the slot is to use a card  This is a great use for those phony credit cards that come in the mail with offers of a 'lower interest rate'.

  13. traog Post author

    A 5 o 6 knot video would be good to see. Your method for each insert changed as you worked your way through this project so I'd like to see if you have any further refinements on your technique.

  14. David Walser Post author

    Nicely done!  I'd not (knot?) seen a 3 loop Celtic knot before.  It's a different look, and I like it.  I also like your jig for cutting the knot. Simple and accurate — hard to beat that!

    Question: Now that you've tried lowering the saw blade and leaving a little wood on each cut to maintain the spacing, which method do you prefer — the method you used last time or the one you used this time?

  15. John Walsh Post author

    Once again, Alan, brilliant job.  I like the triangle jig a lot.  A double Celtic knot (two four-loops offset by a few mm) would be way cool.

  16. Alexander Kosarev Post author

    Nice work!

    by my opinion 5 and 6 can be imaged.  So, bigger amount will be more challenging.

    how about knots with different angles? for example 4 ~30* and 5 with ~60* – with different colors in each group, for me it is even hard to visualize without 3D app.

  17. Edward Duhamel Post author

    Just like most others on here, I would love to see what you come up with for higher loop counts and how you go about them. Any chance of trying different colors of wood that would make each rope in the knot stand out?

  18. bluetongue01 Post author

    Fantastic project Alan …..the use of triangles is very clever…. it will be interesting to see what other geometric shapes would be used for a 5 0r 6 celtic knot….. In Scotland and Ireland celtic is pronounced keltic. Keep up the good work m8

  19. René Steiner Post author

    I realy would like to see you turning a 5 or 6 loop celtik knot!

    Greatings from Austria


  20. Willem Kossen Post author

    Any other number is just more of the same. I rather see other designs or variations on it than just more of the same.

    I liked this project. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Stephen Ellis Post author

    Great job and the video is well done. Sure, I'd love to see a 5 and 6-sided result!

  22. Mike Waldt Post author

    Great project Alan, and of course we want to see you push the envelope, or in this case the celtic knot. I sincerely hope you go for it 🙂
    Take care

  23. my creations workshop Post author

    Very nice a 5 and 6 celtic not would be a great video 2 see and learn from thanks alan 🙂

  24. Jim .B Post author

    An 8 inch diameter bowl with a celtic knot running around the rim (like a large spindle) would be great. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Best wishes, Jim.

  25. Philip Morrish Post author

    Hi Allan, another excellent video, 5 & 6 would be great. Nice to see you have decided on the British pronunciation of Celtic. Tiny Trailor's request would also be interesting!!

  26. Ricc Havens Post author

    Love your videos.  But, within the first minute and a half of this video you are moving the items so much a person can't get a clear look at the finished pieces you are holding.  very distracting!

  27. michael knowlden Post author

    YES 5 OR 7, EVEN IS EASIER, ODDS LIKE me ARE RARE lol. You helped me with my segment bowl with a three band knot and I'm great full. Thanks much. The system you used is the same one I used but I forgot about leaving some wood for Alignment. Won't do that again too much sanding to realign the segments.
    Thanks much

  28. Derek Oliver Post author

    I don't know if you remember it or not, but I made an ornament for the 2014 Christmas Ornament Challenge that had two 3 strand knots and one 6 strand knot.  I like how you used the triangles.  If you make a some of the higher strand Knots (5+) you can get differnt looks just based on the order you cut the kerfs.  Can't wait to see what you come up with.

  29. David Morgan Post author

    Thanks Alan! Would like to see more than three bands on the knot. I like your jig for the miters, looks like something I may be able to use.
    Take care, Dave

  30. John Stegall Post author

    I liked the project and the concept and would like to see a fiver. I also am curious as to who you took the course with (pattern maker). More info please.

  31. Brian Worrell Post author

    Nice work, love your videos.

    I vote for a 6 or 8, but offer another challenge.  Make a 4 knot that only goes on one half of the turning.  If the math is correct, it "should" look like a Circle with a rounded X  in it. (In theory)


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