Mobius strip

I have long been fascinated by the properties of the mobius strip.

If you haven’t come across this before just take a strip of paper and make it into a loop with a single twist. You now have a piece of paper with only one surface!

Try cutting it in half down the centre line. If that doesn’t impress you try cutting it along a line one third of the way across.

M strip theft

Having decided to carve one in cherry, I had to work out how to do it. The answer was to first carve a perfect donut.

I did this by turning something akin to a wheel barrow wheel on a pole lathe and then finishing the inside with gouges. I checked all the dimensions against a semi circular template and finished the surface with fine sandpaper.

M strip donut

I was able to use the template to mark out the internal and external circumferences and from this draw a line which went right round the donut with a single twist, finishing where it started. Parallel lines 1cm either side of this line were then drawn in.

It was then a relatively simple matter to remove material working to these lines to achieve the final twisting shape.

The final touch was to finish with 400 grit sandpaper and apply oil.

I was quite pleased with the final result.

Having seen some of M C Escher’s drawings based on the mobius strip I am quite tempted to develop this theme but that might be a step too far.

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3 thoughts on “Mobius strip

  1. Congratulations on a beautiful piece of work. I would like to try this myself, and have studued your description. However I am unable to make the step “draw a line which went right round the donut with a single twist, finishing where it started”. Some more tips from you would be most welcome. Thanks!


    1. Thanks for your feedback. Hard to put into words but here goes. Think of the doughnut as a clock face. Mark the twelve o clock position on the outer circumference. Next mark the nine o clock position the front and the six o clock position on the inner circumference. Join these three points in a continuous sweep and you are a quarter of the way round!
      Three o clock on the back, and twelve o clock on the inner circumference and you are half way. Keep going in this fashion until you finish where you started. All that remains is to decide how thick to make the strip. And, of course, the carving!
      Good luck and let me know how you get on.


      1. Many thanks John – all is clear now.
        As I’m not a turner, I’ll ask my brother to knock up the ring, and then I’ll take it from there.
        More later.


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