The Christmas ornament challenge 2016
The Christmas ornament challenge is under way for 2016. I will be judging the contest along with Alan Stratton, but first I wanted to kick off the challenge with an ornament of my own.
This ornament uses laser-cut maple lighthouse outlines and matching acrylic lighthouses from Ron Brown’s Best. I closed up the back with some blue tape and filled the outlines with resin, then pushed the lighthouses into the resin and let it cure. I glued all four pieces to a block of walnut and let it dry.
Once the glue and epoxy had plenty of time to set up, I turned the main body of the ornament round and added a tenon to one end. I mounted the piece in the chuck and drilled out the center, then hollowed most of the body. Once hollowed, I added finish, then parted off the piece and set it aside.
The ornament takes both a top and bottom finial. I turned these from Ebony. Whenever you work with a super-dense, super-hard wood like Ebony, it is imperative to have extremely sharp tools. Ebony and other tropical hardwoods will blunt your tools before you know it, so don’t be shy about sharpening.
I drilled a small hole in the top finial to accept hanging hardware and used a simple eye hook to finish it off.
I made a small mistake when turning the body; I didn’t clean up the ornament body quite far enough, so I had to turn a dowel down into a jam chuck so I could fix my mistake. Remember, a mistake is never the end of a project — it’s just an opportunity to learn something new (or remember something you should have known already, like in this case).
That’s it! If you want to participate, make sure to submit your entry on or before November 30, 2016. You can find the rules and submit your entries at http://www.aswoodturns.com/Challenges/