How would you turn a mezuzah?

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Amihai

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Oct 8, 2021
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Hello,
I had an idea of starting to turn mezuzot. For the ones who don't know, mezuzah (or more accurately, the mezuzah's case) is a small, hollow case which every jew needs to fix on the doorposts of their house, living rooms and bedrooms. the mezuzah contains a small parchment called the "klaf" with the prayer "Shema Yisrael" written on it.

Anyway, How would you approach turning an object that needs to have its back flat with some sort of fixing method in order to fix it on doorposts, without the klaf inside falling off? Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. I attached several pictures from the internet for your reference. Thanks!
 

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Edgar

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I found this photo at philadelphiawoodworks.com

They offer a class in making them but not a kit. It appears that something like a Tree Ornament kit might work and the finished Mezuzah could be hung on a nail? I don’t know if that would work, but perhaps it might give you some ideas.

1653722302130.png
 

Bryguy

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I've made Mezuzot for my children when they bought their houses. I turn the Mezuzah first on the lathe and then cut it in half down the middle. Use a small chisel to hollow out the half round to hold the klaf, use a rasp to flatten the two ends and drill a chamfered hole in each end. I cut a thin piece of contrasting wood to the same shape as the Mezuzah and use this as a backing plate to hold in the klaf. Use the chamfered holes to screw the Mezuzah into the door post.
B'hatzlacha
 

Mortalis

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You can turn a round object with a flat side by off-setting the center of the piece between centers to one of the flat side of blank.
Create a jig to hold the piece after the turning is complete, flat side down and use a router to create the holding area.
Do you need to get to the prayer parchment? Possibly a piece of clear acrylic held in place at the "top" of the truned piece with a small catch at the bottom to hold the acrylic in place but would allow it swivel.
 

EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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Hello,
I had an idea of starting to turn mezuzot. For the ones who don't know, mezuzah (or more accurately, the mezuzah's case) is a small, hollow case which every jew needs to fix on the doorposts of their house, living rooms and bedrooms. the mezuzah contains a small parchment called the "klaf" with the prayer "Shema Yisrael" written on it.

Anyway, How would you approach turning an object that needs to have its back flat with some sort of fixing method in order to fix it on doorposts, without the klaf inside falling off? Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. I attached several pictures from the internet for your reference. Thanks!
I think you’d have to start with a square blank and then mount it off center in the lathe. Another option would be to turn it round, then fix it in a jig and use a hand plane to flatten one side.
 

monophoto

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Saratoga Springs, NY
I think you’d have to start with a square blank and then mount it off center in the lathe. Another option would be to turn it round, then fix it in a jig and use a hand plane to flatten one side.
Or you could make a glue-up from two pieces of stock using a paper joint - after turning the piece round, the two halves could then be easily spit apart to form two halves with flat sides. If you used a router to create an inner chamber, it would then be accessible when the halves are separated.
 

DrD

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Take your stock and turn it. Take the turned object chuck up in a 4 jaw chuck, chuck a Fostner bit of the right diameter in the tailstock. Hollow out the turned object. Take finished tube to bandsaw and lengthwise remove the "back."
 

duncsuss

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I found this photo at philadelphiawoodworks.com

They offer a class in making them but not a kit. It appears that something like a Tree Ornament kit might work and the finished Mezuzah could be hung on a nail? I don’t know if that would work, but perhaps it might give you some ideas.

View attachment 335693
It looks like they are using parts from 2 x Rockler toothpick holder kits (the hole is where the keyring would go through). Here's a link to the equivalent part from Woodcraft - LINK
 

howsitwork

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Why not do involuted turning to make the hollow , leaving the ends square to mount it?

Ive seen it done with miniature drinks bottles so parchment is no problem.

Alternatively one could laminate a blank say 1/3. to 2/3 with a paper joint. Turn it , hollow it ( carefully not to go through the 1/3 side ) then split off that lamination down the paper joint and you have a flat surface for wall attachment?
 
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Edgar

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It looks like they are using parts from 2 x Rockler toothpick holder kits (the hole is where the keyring would go through). Here's a link to the equivalent part from Woodcraft - LINK
Thanks, it looked familiar, I just couldn’t remember exactly what it was.
 

WriteON

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Maybe start with a brass tube. Add to it.. have someone process a clear blank over it. It’ll be your original design.
Take a look at Etsy for ideas. Some are square/cube shape as if they are a pen blank.

Why does the back have be flat?
 
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