Woodturning Christmas Ornaments: The Star of Bethlehem

Uploaded by AsWoodTurns on 24.12.2012

Hi, Alan Stratton from As Wood Turns dot com. I'm here with Santa who needs very little
introduction. We have been reviewing all of the videos for the Christmas Ornament Woodturning
Challenge. Now, he's a little bit hoarse right now so he's saving his voice. But
he wants me to thank everyone for submitting their videos. He thinks it has really increased
the spirit of Christmas. What?
Oh, But he wants another ornament, One that will really hammer home the spirit of Christmas.
What would that be? He suggests an ornament that represents the
Star of Bethlehem, the sign given to all the world of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior
of the world. What would that look like?
Oh, Okay. Let's do a Star of Bethlehem. The first order of business to give it a couple
of spins to make sure it does not run into anything as you start turning and jump off
the lathe. This wood is a product of urban forestry.
It is not well dried -- it is dry but has a lot of checks and wind shakes. It sprinters
very easily. Depending on where it hits. First to mark the length that I want the body
of the star to be. Part the groove. Then waste away the outside. You can see how, with the
bedan, the wood is shearing away instead of being cut away. That's a function of the
checks and windshakes. So, I have to be very careful on this.
Then I do some rough rounding with a gouge then switch over to the skew for more refined
work. I wanted to be very careful to not be overly aggressive and cause it to splinter.
The difficulty, of course, in making a round object is actually making it round. So we'll
make near round for the ornament body. An then make sure I have it to the approximate
size, then flip it over and mount it into a four jaw chuck so I could refine the body.
I have to turn the very end to expose the top. Then I need to drill holes that I'll
use to mount the rays. Sanded up thru all the grits. Finish it.
I did not want to mar the finish. So I covered the entire ball with blue tape, hoping it
would not lift the finish. Then made marks along the hemisphere, then halfway between
the hemisphere and the center on both ends. Then using the index on the chuck, I marked
every 90 degrees on the main hemisphere. Then offset it by 45 degrees, marked every 90 degrees
on the other two circles on the sphere. I knew the difficulty here would be getting
the holes all drilled exactly perpendicular to the tangent to the sphere. I decided to
do it without extensive jigging. It was a little off in the end but it still worked.
I had my wife stand by to the side to sight on it to ensure it was as level as possible
and used the tool rest as a guide. Then drilled them just about 3/8" deep to receive the
¼" end of the finials. Then at the end to drill out the center or
the top and the bottom holes. This would be a hole drilled clear thru the body from the
top down to the bottom. I had to leave enough of a tenon on the bottom so that it would
stay on after drilling out the hole for the finial.
I took it very easy while I was drilling it, make sure it did not wander. But it did wander
a little. Then strip off all the tape. See how it would
turn out. There was just a little damage. I'll need, after I remount it, to add a
little more finish and make sure it's ready to go.
Then off to finial action. Used a piece of maple. Rough it out with a
bowl gouge. Does a good enough job for me. Then the top finial needed to be about 3"
length and a little bit more for the tenon to hold it on with. Then start forming it.
Then I decided to make sure that I have the tenon well marked. I'm using the bedan to
form the tenon and a little end wrench to measure when I'm going to get to ¼ inch.
Scrape a little, measure, scrape a little. Ahh, there I've got it.
I wanted a very simple finial for this. Essentially to just flare out from the tenon, the to flare
down to a point. On the top and the bottom, especially, the bottom, I decided it need
a little bit of a ball. I did not want a sharp point because I was afraid my grandchildren
may be playing with this. So I did not want a really sharp point. So I put a little ball
end on the end of the bottom finial. The top finial would have the hanger on it. So it
would be protected. Then short side finials, I left somewhat pointed but certainly not
a long narrow sharp point. Then very careful work with the skew. With
this long of a piece of wood sticking out, I was fortunate to leave the tail stock up
to steady the work. Even then, you can see it deflect a little bit as I'm tooling it.
Then, or course, to tool it just a little bit more. And we're off and going.
Then repeat for the bottom finial that is just a little bit longer. Then for each of
the 12 side finials. The same pattern. There's just a little variation. They weren't turned
by machine. They were hand turned. But, they are very close to pattern. Essentially, rinse
and repeat. By the time I finished twelve, I actually had it pretty down pat.
Sand it, finish it. Part it off. Have it ready to go.
Then mount them all together. I think it turned out well. The Star of Bethlehem, the sign
of the birth of Jesus Christ. On behalf of Santa and the sponsors, Carl
Jacobson and myself, Alan Stratton, we thank everyone who has participated in the Christmas
Ornament Woodturning Challenge. Thank you and..
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.