Thursday, December 19, 2013

Twisted Christmas Tree - A Holiday Woodworking Project!

I was not looking forward to dragging our 20-year-old artificial Christmas tree out from under the stairs again this year.  Every year I have to do some sort of MacGyvering to get it to stand up and not lean to one side.  So, I wanted to make a new one out of wood...from a tree.  LOL

My initial plan for this project was to make a full size wooden tree.  But as usual, I didn't think about it far enough in advance to give me enough time to make it.  So, I ended up putting up our old tree and making this wooden table top Twisted Christmas Tree.

It's made from old cedar fence boards that my father-in-law replaced, so I had to work around nail holes.  I planed them down to expose the fresh wood underneath the gray weathering.  Then I cut the boards into 14-1/8" lengths.  I ripped those into 3/4" strips and cut them in pairs from 1" to 14" in 1/4" increments.  Each piece yielded two pieces of the tree.  The extra 1/8" in length compensated for the saw blade kerf.

I cut half-lap dadoes in each pair of tree branches so they would overlap in the middle and drilled a 3/8" hole in the middle.  I mounted a 3/8" dowel rod into a base and slid the branches on from largest to smallest.  I cut out a star and drilled a hole to mount it on top.

I used no glue or fasteners on this project so that I could disassemble it for storage.  I left this project unfinished because I liked the smell of the cedar - like a real Christmas tree.  This was an easy project with lots of repeatable cuts that go a lot faster than you would expect, so give it a shot.  I had extra pieces left over so I made a smaller one for my favorite mother-in-law!

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