Some of the guys at the juggling club that are into Kendama tipped me off to a new skill toy from Japan, the Kururin. It is strangely captivating to watch and everyone I have shown loves it. Who knows, maybe it’s the next big thing?! So far I have spent much more time making them than actually playing with them so I can’t do any tricks. However, a quick search on Youtube will show you how far the tricks have developed already. It’s great than anyone can pick it up a play, there is no initial learning curve which is unusual for skill toys.
I have made quite a few so far for my friends and I to play with. It’s a good object to turn because you don’t need any fancy tools and only small pieces of scrap wood are required.
As I was turning my Kururin on a lathe I must have had my engineer’s hat on because I felt the need to create a tool to check the curvature and make it easier and quicker to make. The ones sold commercially are made on a CNC lathe but it’s perfectly possible to do by hand. The profile does not need to be exactly perfect but if you make it too much like a pointy mountain top in the middle it doesn’t work.
This little tool can be cut with a laser cutter onto acrylic if you have access to one. Otherwise you can can print it out on card and use a scalpel. Since all the crucial measurements are on one tool it’s much faster than using calipers and a rule. The length of the gauge is the same length as the Kururin which is useful for marking the end points for the parting tool. The width is 45m, which is the midpoint, allowing you to quickly find the centre.
Download the Kururin Designer by clicking here. You will need Inkscape (free and open source) to open and edit it. If you have access to a laser cutter then you can cut out the profile gauge from plastic or wood, otherwise just use a standard printer and stick the paper to card. If you hold the gauge against the wood on the lathe you can check what’s happening. The video below explains how to use the file.
Watch the pros!
I’m still learning to use mine so have a look at this video to understand what it is all about.
Off the horizontal
A group of friends from the juggling club playing with a Kururin I made.