Friday, November 14, 2014

Christmas Ornament

I created this fancy Christmas Ornament on my lathe for the 2014 Christmas Ornament Challenge hosted by Carl Jacobson and Alan Stratton.  I usually only turn pens, so this was definitely a new challenge for me.  Watch my video submission below.

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!

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