Sunday, December 7, 2014

Make a Holiday Snow Scene on a Lathe!

This project began as a practice exercise for learning how to use different woodturning tools on my lathe.  Since the holidays are here, I decided to design a Snow Scene that would make a nice decoration if all went well.  Watch my video of this project below.

The practice exercise went really well, except for one small catch on the left end of the work piece.  A small chunk of wood broke off, but I was still able to complete the project.  If you would like to try this practice exercise yourself, or you would just like to make this holiday decoration, click here to download my free PDF template.  Here are the basic instructions:
  1. You will need a 1.5"x1.5"x11" turning blank.  A little extra length would give you a little more breathing room.  You will also need a piece of wood about 7" long for the base.
  2. Mount the blank on the lathe between centers and turn it round.
  3. Use the Story Stick on the template to mark the transition points and draw the lines around the work piece.
  4. Tape the story stick to your tool rest or keep it nearby to use as a guide.
  5. Use your different woodturning tools to finish turning the tree, snowman, and lamp post.  I started with the thicker portions and worked my way down to the thinner areas for stability.
  6. Sand the pieces and cut them apart.  Clue the pieces onto the base and paint as desired.

This was a fun practice exercise and it appears that I may actually be getting pretty good at this woodturning thing after all!  With each project, I am gaining more confidence in my lathe skills and I'm learning which tool to use for different types of cuts.  I think I will design some more of these practice exercises real soon.

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