inside-out ornaments

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Project by handy_andy posted 12-23-2015 09:02 AM 2259 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Tried my hand at inside-out lathe ornaments for Christmas gifts this year. I managed to make 11 ornaments out of 20 tires. A lot of the losses came from poor clamping and/or dull tools during the first inside-out turning. Pieces kept coming loose and breaking on on the thin rib sections. I’ve figured out how to make the tools not-dull but I’m not certain they are really sharp.

Materials came from an old oak desk, an oak pallet, and one ornament from a box of exotic scraps. I like leaving some nail holes and scratch marks on salvaged materials, to keep some of the history built in. Finished with a bee’s wax and linseed oil mix. Friction melting the bee’s wax on the lathe brings out a nice shine. I tired out 4 and 6 piece configurations. I have to say the 6 ribs with a spherical shape is my favorite. Next year I’d like to try 8 piece ornaments with alternating maple and walnut.

6 piece layout, made from an old oak desk top:

4 piece layout, made form a pallet:

The biggest problem I ran into was clamping; temporary clamping for the hollow turning and glue up clamping for the final assembly. Next time I will definitely make some of these PVC clamps

1 comment so far

View snowdog's profile


1166 posts in 4368 days

#1 posted 12-23-2015 12:06 PM

They seem a little large for tree ornaments. My buddy uses reinforced tape to hold them together, it helps to keep the 4 sticks from coming apart as you turn. Another guy uses old bicycle tubes as big rubber bands to help hold the parts together.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

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