I started by cutting 5 pieces each of red cedar and curly maple that were 2.25" wide by 4.5" long. I glued them together, offsetting the ends by 3/4" to create a diagonal block. To make it easier, I glued up two blocks of 5 pieces, then glued those together later.
Once the glue dried, I cut a 2"by 2" turning blank from the block on my bandsaw. Since I would be mounting it on the lathe between centers, I cut two centered shallow grooves into the end of the blank to help the drive center get a better grip.
I used a roughing gouge to turn the blank until it was round. Then I alternated between my roughing gouge, bowl gouge, and skew chisel to begin shaping the ornament. As a general rule, I think things look more pleasing to the eye if they are in groups of three. So, I turned three triangular shapes that get progressively smaller toward the tip.
On the top of the ornament, I turned three coves that mirror the three triangular shapes. I also added a little bead at the top where I could drill a hole and tie a string for hanging. I sanded the ornament smooth and turned both ends down to about 1/8" thick. I stopped the lathe and cut the ornament away with a knife.
I think it turned out really good for being my first time turning a Christmas Ornament on the lathe. Best of all, my wife loves it and she wants me to make some more! Yippee, that means more shop time for me! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Click here to see all of the 2014 Christmas Ornament submissions!