Turn a Canning Lid Lifter
Canning season is upon us. Here’s a quick wood turned solution to safely get those canning lids out of hot water. Turn a few extras and save them for the ladies at the farmer’s market who make jams, jellies, and pickled garlic during canning season. They make really good barter items. Trust me.
This Canning Lid lifter is a straight forward project that is easy to turn. Pick a nice straight piece of wood at least an inch in diameter. Turn a spindle 6 to 8 inches in length. Make a knob on one end to make it easy to hold and drill a small recess on the other to hold a rare earth magnet. I used the same tools on this project as I did on the Wine Stopper project.
Step 1 – turn the wood round
Put your wood between centres and turn it around. For this project, I picked a piece of Vine Maple that was harvested last fall. The total length is about 8″ and about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Turn the whole piece around so that you can see what your design options are. I used the spindle gouge to do this. Most branches have some bend so the initial turning shows where you might have thinner spots.
The dark spot on the wood is the cambium layer so I will have to turn that thinner for the final spindle.
Step 2 – shape the spindle
First I defined the ends with the parting tool. Next, turn a nice top so that the lifter is easy to hold. The bottom needs to be large enough to hold a 1/2″ diameter rare earth magnet. So the wood should be about 5/8″ to 3/4″ in diameter. In between the top and bottom is a free design zone. I have turned a couple of bands for decoration and created a smooth flowing form for the spindle using the skew chisel. I sanded from 200 grit through to 800 grit sandpaper.
Step 3 – insert the rare earth magnet
I sanded both ends of the spindle then used a drill press to drill the recess for the magnet. The magnet is 1/2″ in diameter so a 1/2″ Forster bit made a great recess. I also drilled a pilot hole for a 3/4″ screw that the magnet will stick to. If you need to take the magnet out just touch the end to a fridge or stove and it will pop out easily.
Step 4 – finish the spindle
I used a water-based polyurethane. Since it will be used in hot water during canning season select an appropriate, waterproof, finish.
This is a special use project that sure speeds up the canning process and keeps fingers from being burned when you take the jar lids out of the hot water. Use the lifter to position the lid over the jar before putting them on. The rare earth magnets are available from Lee Valley Tools, or Amazon. Enjoy your canning season without hurt fingers.
Let me know what you’re turning and thanks for stopping by.
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