Big-Wheel Pizza Cutter

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This article is from Issue 56 of Woodcraft Magazine.

Pizza Cutter

Get a handle on an all-business blade.

All pizza cutters are not created equal. The unique kitchen tool shown here features a multi-colored SpectraPly handle and wide 4"-diameter chrome-plated cutter that makes short work of slicing up a thick meat-lover’s pizza, a party-sized cookie, or even quesadillas. A threaded insert in the handle lets you unscrew the cutter for cleaning in the dishwasher. To get started, pick up the items mentioned in the Convenience-Plus Buying Guide at the end of the story. 

Pizza Cutter

Use a simple right-angle support to drill a perpendicular hole in the handle for the threaded insert.

Turn the handle to shape

1 Using either multi-colored SpectraPly (shown here) or figured stock, cut a handle blank that measures 2×2×6". (Handle length can vary depending on your handle’s design, but you’ll need to allow an extra 1 ⁄2" in order to part off the handle.)

2 Mark diagonals on both ends of the blank to find the centers. Using a small handsaw, cut 1⁄16"-deep kerfs on one end for mounting on the spur drive at the headstock as shown in Figure 1.

3 Build a simple right-angle work support with screws, and position it on your drill-press table (Photo A). Clamp the blank vertically in the support. Using a 12.5mm bit, bore a centered 7⁄8"-deep hole into the unkerfed end of the blank for housing the threaded insert and mounting the blank on your cone center. (I wrapped painter’s tape around the bit 7⁄8" from the bit’s end to serve as a depth stop.)

4 Mount the handle blank between centers, fitting the end with the hole for the threaded insert onto your cone center. With a roughing gouge, turn the blank round at around 1,200 rpm.

5 Measure and mark the handle diameters on the cylinder, where shown in the Handle Template. Also, for additional help, make a copy of the full-sized handle template, adhere it to a piece of cardboard or hardboard, and scrollsaw out just the colored portion to serve as a template. 

Turn the handle to shape, running the tip of the gouge downhill from each end to form the cove.

Use the template to ensure your turning matches the shape of the handle featured here. This particular design provides a rest for your thumb.

6 Using a 1⁄4" or 3⁄8" gouge, turn the handle to shape, as shown in Photo B, at around 1,500 rpm. Guide off your layout marks, and check the diameters with a caliper. Maintain a 7⁄8" hole at the end of the turning that will receive the pizza cutter insert. Also, leave at least 1⁄2" of waste material at the butt end for parting later.

7 As you near completion, check the turning against your template, as shown in Photo C.

8 Sand the handle through 320 grit, and apply a finish of your choice. (I used General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish.)

9 Part off the waste tenon using either a parting tool, as shown in Photo D, or a small handsaw. Sand this end to shape, being careful to maintain a rounded profile. Now finish the sanded butt end. 

Separate the handle from the tenon by rounding the butt end with a parting tool.
Use a T-wrench to drive the threaded insert squarely into the hole, flushing its top end.

Assemble the Parts

1 Mix and apply five-minute epoxy on the outside surface of the threaded insert, being careful not to get any on the inside threaded surface. Wrap a clean cloth around the handle so as not to mar the finish, and clamp it securely in your bench vise.

2 Drive the threaded insert into the handle’s hole, using a broad-bladed screwdriver or T-Wrench for a 5⁄16-18 insert, as shown in Photo E, flushing it with the end of the handle.

3 Finally, thread the cutter onto the handle and slice away. When cleaning the pizza cutter, wipe the handle with a damp soapy cloth only. Unscrew the cutter for washing it in the dishwasher.


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