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  • Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool

Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool

The Texturing Tool (RSB-B310) enables the turner to alter the visual and tactile qualities of a work piece by creating striations, whorls, an orange peel effect and more.  Let your imagination run wild.  Fitted with an interchangeable cutter, the Texturing Tool is just as effective on soft as on hard woods - although the result can be markedly different and I find it most effective on a tight grained hardware. 

Note:  The screw on the head should be on the right hand side to prevent the screw undoing while the tool is in use.

Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.1

A wide range of patterns and effects can be create depend on the following:

  1. The angle the tool is tipped,
    1. Straight up and down gives an ‘orange peel’ effect,
    2. At an angle gives a differing spiral effects.
  2. The speed the lathe is spinning: faster gives a tighter pattern.  A speed of 500rmp is a good start.

My Example No 1.

This piece is 85mm dia Merbau (also known as Kwila) and turned with the gain running along the bed of the lathe, and therefore spindle turning.  I consider it a medium density timber and has a Janka Hardness: 1,840 lbf (7,620 N).  It turns and sands well and also takes to texturing.

In this photo (fig.2) the lathe is running at 400 rpm and the texturing tool is presented at an angle equivilant to 11 o’clock and worked across a 30mm section.  This is repeated with the tool at 1 o’clock.  The result is a cross hatch look highlighted in the photo below with coloured epoxy.

Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.2  Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.3 

In this photo (fig.4) the tool is presented at differing angle on the end gain

  • Tool at an angle about 30 degrees or 2 o’clock (fig.4)
  • Tool held vertical (fig.4)
  • Black dry applied to the surface is interesting as is a silver marker toughed across the face. (fig.4 & 5)

Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.4  Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.5

The final is Mango coloured in orange dry.

To accentuate the texturing, I’ve coloured some epoxy and worked it into the texturing and then turned off the excess.
Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.6

Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.7

Here the colour is blue with red over the top (fig.8)
Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.8

This section is coloured red which would look better on a lighter timber (fig.9).
Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.9

To colour the epoxy I used the U-Beaut Timber Dyes - Pk of 7

My Example No 2.

This piece was 2 pieces of a Meranti glued together and turned into a 100mm dia bowl.  This is a low density timber with a Janka Hardness 550 lbf (2,460 N) and therefore did require sanding to remove the tear out in the end grain.

This photo (fig.10)shows the bowl with the cross hatch effect created by holding the texturing tool at the 10 and then 2 o’clock positions with the lathe spinning at 500 rpm.

Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.10 

In bowl work the grain is going across the lathe and thus end grain and long grain are encountered twice in every rotation.

This example is interesting in that most turning tools will get the best cuts on the long grain and can tear out on the end grain.  The texturing tool is the reverse as shown this the photos with the tear out occurring on the long grain.  Nick Agar is not a fan of tilting this tool

Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.11

My Example No 3.

In this example I’ve turned a piece of tight grained Mango.  Mango is a timber that I’ve found can have a big variance in density and colour.

The centre texture is done with the tool held vertical and coloured yellow to highlight.  The texture feature is then bordered by cutting a small v and using a piece of wire held into the v with a lathe speed around 1800rpm to burn the groove.

Examples from the Robert Sorby Texturing Tool fig.12

Have a go and see what patterns you can achieve.

Written by:
Allan Short

I can be contacted at: or

See samples of my work at Als Woodturning Creations

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