Woodturning Christmas Ornaments: Icicles From Exotic Woods

Uploaded by AsWoodTurns on 02.12.2012

Hi. Alan Stratton from As Wood Turns. At a black Friday sale, I picked up an assortment
of pen blanks of exotic woods. So, I’d like to make some icicles for my
next entry to the Christmas Ornament Woodturning challenge. This will be freeform. I’ll just
work it out as I go. I’ll make each icicle out of a variety of these woods.
If you’d like to enter the Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge, make your video, upload
it to YouTube. Let me know to add it to the playlist. I’ll add it to the official playlist
of the Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge. So. Let’s have some fun.
This icicle project is an extreme for me. I’ve done bowls and other larger projects.
I’ve also done finials as components to projects. This time, all the pieces to this
project are very small, in the range of the smallest that I have done.
To start with, my plan was to turn a bottom finial on each of my pen blanks. Then cut
other icicle components from the remainder of the stick. Given that drill bits tend to
get off center, I wanted to drill each small piece, then mount them on a small scale mandrel.
This should have eliminated the off center problem as each would then be turned on its
center whatever that may be. My mandrel would have a 1/16” center shaft. Alas, my mandrel
setup did not work. So, I went ahead and drilled each component on the lathe. Unfortunately,
I had several center holes wander off center. For this project, I challenged myself to use
the skew exclusively – no gouges of any sort. I would have permitted myself a parting
tool but that was all. In the end, all I used was the medium skew.
For the most part, I inserted the blank as far into the chuck as I could to reduce the
blank whipping. Then as I made each small part I would move the blank further out the
chuck. For the last piece I would use a tenon on the end. I cut the tenon before flipping
the blank over into the chuck. For sanding I started with 180 grit but quickly
realized that I could start with 220 grit. I went up thru 600 grit. For some of the tight
coves, I wrapped the sandpaper around a small dowel. My finger just could not fit.
After parting off, I sanded all rough ends at the drill press. One trick then was to
mount the segment on a drill bit to give me more leverage in holding the small segment.
Then with the fingers of the other hand, I could rotate and move the segment. I lost
one very small bead because I dropped it at the drill press. I could not find that little
bead in all the shavings on the floor despite a good cleaning. Oh well.
My process evolved to: Trim the end, form the shape, Sand, Finish, Drill center hole,
part off. For the bell segment, I undercut the end a
little bit to give the bell just a little bit of a center hollow. I used just the point
of the skew and made the cut before reducing the diameter of the wood.
My evaluation of this project. Ok, but needs improvement primarily with the center holes.
I’d like the icicles to hang straight which they will not do with center holes even a
little offset. Also, I can reduce the number of catches and accidental spirals. If you’ve
used a skew, you know what I mean. And improve the yield – the number of good segments
I get. I’ll work on another mandrel idea and have another go at it.
Please join with Carl Jacobson and myself for the Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge.
Video your woodturning, upload it, and let me know to add it to the official playlist.
If you have a woodturning project you’d like me to try, please let me know.
Meanwhile, please “Like” this video and comment below. Please add your tips and ideas
for small scale projects.