• Are you looking for a coupon code to buy my software? You can get one from lots of 3rd party sites but they won't work. My software never goes on sale and has never been discounted. The only coupon codes that are given is when I give a club presentation and I offer a discount to the attendees. Other than that, everyone pays the same price.


Glenn McCarron

PRO Member
A few weeks ago I didn't even know what a "Kendama" was. A niece asked if I could make her one. A quick Google search showed me what it was but a more extensive search found a set of plans that was actually published in the American Woodturner magazine in August 2011. Great article with lots of pointers and jigs.


I decided I would do two for her but the first would be my test platform and the second one I would do a lamination to make hers unique. I had a few pieces of Ash that were big enough for the first and I had a bunch of off cuts that I had re-sawed from some material rather than planing from another project. So total cost $0.

First up was the lamination.

IMG_2268.JPG IMG_2247.JPG
Next I started by turning the ball. I apologize I missed getting a picture but I basically turned two cups for my lathe. One held in the chuck and the other slipped over my live centre.

IMG_2266.JPG IMG_2252.JPG IMG_2254.JPG IMG_2258.JPG

I also needed to drill a 1/8 hole in the opposite end to put the string through. You started by inserting a dowel in a board then positioning it under the drill press to drill in the centre of the dowel. Then put the ball on the stem and drill.

IMG_2259.JPG IMG_2260.JPG

From here I needed to drill a 1/2 inch hole down the centre of each ball. I built a jig to attach to the lathe to help centre and hold the ball. I drilled to within 3/16 of the opposite side. I also flared the hole slightly as per the directions.

IMG_2256.JPG IMG_2257.JPG
Last edited:

Glenn McCarron

PRO Member
Next was to make the cups. Again another set of jigs, this time with a convex front to match the curve of the bowl.

IMG_2261.JPG IMG_2262.JPG IMG_2263.JPG

That was what I accomplished today.


Tomorrow I will turn the handles or as they are properly called the "Ken"

Glenn McCarron

PRO Member
First handle is turned and sanded. You wouldn't think a small project like this would take so much time. I guess by the time you make the jigs and jamb chucks it all takes time. Hope to get the second one turn this afternoon.

IMG_2270.JPG IMG_2273.JPG

Glenn McCarron

PRO Member
Here is the second handle.

IMG_2274.JPG IMG_2275.JPG

First coat of finish.


I will put on a few more coats of finish then when it is dry I will buff it with the Beal Buff. All I have left will be to drill a small hole for the string in the handle. From there you will probably find me doing tricks on Youtube. NOT!

Bob Beaupre

Staff member
It always amazes me how the wood pops once you put a finish on it. Nice job Glenn, she is going to love it.

Glenn McCarron

PRO Member
It always amazes me how the wood pops once you put a finish on it. Nice job Glenn, she is going to love it.
I have been sending her the odd picture of the process and I think she is getting more excited each time. It was a fun little project. Second coat of finish up next, then it's the MAJOR SHOP CLEANING that I have been procrastinating on.

Glenn McCarron

PRO Member
Well, final buff this morning and then added the strings. Now if I could just fine tune my co-ordination I might be able to play the game!