Glue-up question for lathe work

Wishing to turn a gear shift knob for my 1948 Pontiac. Automatic transmission with lever on the steering column. Original was some kind of plastic/Bakelite that has broken to pieces.
Final product would be about 3 inches long and vary in diameter from about 5/8 inches to 1-1/4 inches. Would like to glue-up some light and dark woods for the turning, BUT, wish for the alternate colored woods in the finished product to look more like a spiral.
Do I simply glue up a block, say W/D/W/D/W (W=white, Drk) and saw it on a diagonal before turning? I can't quite picture how to make the blank prior to turning.
All help, advice etc. appreciated.
Ivan Vegvary
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Try also rec.crafts.woodturning
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See Segmented Turning, it's a bit tricky but do-able
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