Snow Dog Woodworks and Quiltworks

Pursuing the tradition of creating finely handcrafted items in wood and fabric

Longarm Quilting Services ~ Londonderry, NH

Ornament Turning Process

Initial Wood Blocks

My ornaments are turned from two pieces of wood in contrasting colors. The globe block should be roughly 2 3/4" square. The finial block should be roughly 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" x 8 1/2".

Globe block mounted between centers

I begin by turning the globe block between centers.

Globe block rough turned to a cylinder

Globe block is rough turned to a cylinder. Note that a spigot is turned on one end of the globe block where the block will be held by a chuck.

Globe is shaped and sanded

Globe shaped and power sanded. Note the vacuum ductwork that I use to collect the fine sanding dust.

Completed globe shape - ready for hollowing

Globe shape is completed and ready for hollowing.

Drill half-inch hole in globe for hollowing

Initial 1/2" hole drilled into globe - hollowing will be accomplished inside this hole. Tape is used to gauge depth as I only want to drill to the bottom of the globe and not beyond.

Ready for hollowing

Tool rest is in place for hollowing. I hollow with a set of Hamlet ornament hollowing tools.

Completed hollow globe

Completed hollow globe. Note that at this point, I have also completed turning the base of the globe to just under 1/2" in diameter.

Drill the globe base to remove the globe

Remove the globe by drilling away the bottom of the globe. Since I have turned the base of the globe to just under 1/2", when I drill the hole through the base of the globe, it is separated from the base.

Completed globe

Completed globe is drilled away from base.

Globe complete and ready for finial

Globe is complete and now ready to turn finial.

Finial block mounted

Finial block is mounted in chuck with tailstock for support and safety. The tailstock is especially important top support the fine finial as you near the completed shape. As the finial becomes more delicate, there is an increased chance that the finial may whip which will make it difficult to add fine detail.

Finial roughed to cylinder

Finial block is rough-turned to cylinder and major parts of finial are measured and marked. Be sure to leave at least 1/4" - 3/8" waste at the tailstock end as the tailstock typically leaves an indentation in the end of the finial block that you will want to remove in the final step.

Completed finial

Finial is completed and sanded. At this point, the base of the finial is turned precisely to fit the hole in the bottom of the globe.

Turning the top finial

Top finial is turned from the remaining portion of the finial block. Note that the bottom portion of the top finial is sized to precisely fit the hole in the top of the globe.

Completed wood ornament

The top and bottom finial are fitted into the globe and the ornament is ready for final assembly and finishing. I attach the finial pieces to the globe with epoxy.