Indian Blanket design using Lamination PRO's SW Design

Discussion in 'Lamination PRO' started by Lloyd Johnson, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Lloyd Johnson

    Lloyd Johnson Administrator Staff Member

    In his book The Art of Segmented Woodturning, Malcolm Tibbets presents a project named John's Turning that has detailed instructions to make an Indian Blanket design using the stacked wood method. This design has become iconic in that there have been hundreds of pictures posted of bowls made using his instructions. This book should be the first book every segmented woodturner should get. Here is a picture of John's Turning, showing the Indian Design feature ring:


    It is possible, though, to make a nearly identical design using a multi-generation lamination approach, and using the SW Design View in Lamination PRO, here is what it should look like:

    Indian Blanket.jpg

    This design is made by simply cutting a first generation board into identical strips and gluing them back together. First, start by making a seven strip symmetric board and cut it into 1-1/2" strips at 45 degrees:

    Indian Blanket Laminate Wizard.jpg

    Next, switch to the SW Design View and add a strip width of .12", center kerf of 1", select 5 for the number of strips you'll cut from the top and bottom and then click the 'Show kerfs' button and your screen should look like this:

    Indian Blanket Properties.jpg

    To simplify the cutting process, the 1st generation board should be exactly 6.8" from to top 'ear' to the bottom ear. You need to remove a 1" strip from the exact center of the board. Subtract 1.0" from 6.8" giving 5.8" divided by 2 giving 2.9". Move your fence exactly 2.9" away from the blade and put the ears on one side of your board against the fence and make your first cut. Now rotate the original board so that the remaining ears are against the fence and make the second cut.

    You should now have two identical boards, each with ears. Next, use your favorite (and safest) method of cutting thin strips using a 1/8" saw blade, cut five strips from each board that are .12" wide (1/8" will work fine but will give a slightly imperfect design). My preferred method for doing this is using a Grr-Ripper with a 1/8" leg that holds the cutoff to the table and a sacrificial wooden stop at the end to pull the cuttoff through the blade to prevent a potential kickback.

    Cut a final strip from each board (which should now be just holly) at whatever width you like to give you a solid border for the top and bottom of the Indian Design pattern. Depending on your design, it might be safer to just glue the boards with the ears together with your strips and after the glue dries, cut away the ears leaving your desired pattern width.

    You should now have a long board with design elements that are approximately 1.5" tall and 3" wide. It is always a good idea to make a few extra design elements.

    I've attached the file I used to create the design that you can save to your disk and open in Lamination PRO.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. For an additional tutorial on cutting strips, gluing, and other topics on making SW Designs, read my SW Design tutorial by clicking

    Lloyd Johnson

    Attached Files:

  2. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    What a great write up.
    Thanks for the .lam file.

    It is interesting the different patters you can create by changing the different parameters Lamination Pro allows.

    Glad I found your software suite.
  3. Stephen Roberts

    Stephen Roberts PRO Member

    Earlier in this thread (June 23, 2013), Lloyd presented a LP design for M. Tibbets interesting "Indian Blanket Design". Lloyd's .iam file (which works in LP version 3.2) shows exactly the needed details. I am interested in an another southwest LP design called the "Thunderbird Design" presented in J. Rogers excellent book on segmented turning. Has anyone been able to create this design in LP? It should only be a variation of the Lloyd's Tibbets design, but I am not able to do it.
  4. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    I am not sure it can be recreated in LP. Rogers design is built around a triangle that is cut into strips. I have made a Tbird bowl years ago. Rogers methods was pretty simple to follow.
  5. Lloyd Johnson

    Lloyd Johnson Administrator Staff Member

    I'm always up for a good challenge and so here is what I came up with...

    EDIT: I've made some changes to my initial post to make the design look more like the one in Jim Rodgers great book. (Buy it HERE at Amazon.) I added an additional 3/8" to the strips 1 and 3 so that there would be maple left over to add to the top and bottom of the completed design. END EDIT

    Create a 3-strip symmetric design with strips 1 and 3 of 1-5/8" maple and the center strip 2" of bloodwood. Make a 1st generation chevron strip with a First Cut Width of 1-5/8". Click the SW button and make the following changes: Strip width - .188", Center Strip - 1.875", Strips - 5. Set your cutting angle to 49 degrees.
    In each repeating unit, there are the right number of strips to make two thunderbirds like the one shown in Jim's stacked wood design. However, the 'head' strip needs to be moved to the correct position. You'll see that each repeating unit will make two individual thunderbirds.
    This is a good starting point, but you'll have to do some experimenting to make the strips the thickness you want.
    The first picture is a picture from Jim's book. The second picture is a screen capture from LamPro. The final picture is what each Thunderbird could look like by using the strips in the proper order (I used SketchUp to slice and dice the image from LamPro).
    The good news is that the LamPro method will go MUCH faster than the stacked wood method and it will be much safer as you won't ever be cutting small pieces of wood.


    Screen Capture from LamPro.jpg

    Thunderbird Export from SketchUp.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
    Bob Beaupre likes this.
  6. Bob Beaupre

    Bob Beaupre Administrator Staff Member

    Lloyd I think you have a typo. Strip width should be 0.188" not 1.88"??
    And I had to change my center strip to 1.25"
    Nice job by the way. Guess we are going to have to challenge you more offten
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  7. Bob Beaupre

    Bob Beaupre Administrator Staff Member

    Your last view, is that from Sketchup?
  8. Lloyd Johnson

    Lloyd Johnson Administrator Staff Member

    Oops. I'm going to go back and edit the post and change that as it is a lot more than just a typo.

    Yes the third image was done using SketchUp. I imported the jpg as an image not a texture but that needs some explanation before you give it a try yourself. I'll make a quick video in a bit and upload it to show how I did it.
  9. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    Great write up Lloyd. Looking at it I understand how you did it in LP.

    Thanks for posting.
  10. DaveZ

    DaveZ PRO Member

    Tried to open the file but got the cannot open file,blah, blah, blah message. Any ideas?
  11. Bob Beaupre

    Bob Beaupre Administrator Staff Member

    which version of the program are you running?
  12. Bob Beaupre

    Bob Beaupre Administrator Staff Member

    I reproduced it using Lloyds above with a couple of twerks.

    Try this one

    Attached Files:

  13. Lloyd Johnson

    Lloyd Johnson Administrator Staff Member


    I’m wondering if you’re attempting to open the file with something other than Lamination PRO. The .lam extension indicates that it is a Lamination PRO file and you can only open it using that software.

  14. Bob Beaupre

    Bob Beaupre Administrator Staff Member

    The file opens up here fine
  15. stuart johnson

    stuart johnson Super Moderator Staff Member

    The link shows as open with lam_auto_file(default) . Browse to the Lamination Pro shortcut and it will open fine. I don't know why it works this way.
  16. DaveZ

    DaveZ PRO Member

    thanks for the help, got it open (duh! sometimes I wonder about me lol)
  17. Bob Beaupre

    Bob Beaupre Administrator Staff Member

    Sometime the easy stuff is the hardest. :)
  18. Stephen Roberts

    Stephen Roberts PRO Member

    Lloyd's "Thunderbird Design" construction using LP has definite advantages via safety and efficiency. Furthermore, an LP design can be easily modified and changed without using a real saw - I like it.
  19. Bruce Olsen

    Bruce Olsen PRO Member

    the above link doesn't work.
  20. Bob Beaupre

    Bob Beaupre Administrator Staff Member

    I just downloaded both Lloyd's like and my link. They both opened fine in laminate Pro
    When you click the link it does no open it just downloads it to your computer then you have to go to where your downloads go and open it with laminate Pro

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