Open Spiral Ornament

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Project by RVroman posted 11-10-2012 01:34 PM 10280 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finished this the other day, and after years of lurking here I decided to make it my first project post.

-- Robert --- making toothpicks one 3x3x12 blank at a time!

13 comments so far

View polecat's profile


78 posts in 3684 days

#1 posted 11-10-2012 01:52 PM

That’s real cool, I like it

-- polecat, south alabama

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30600 posts in 3353 days

#2 posted 11-10-2012 02:15 PM

Really nice

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3203 days

#3 posted 11-10-2012 03:04 PM

Incredible. Thank you for sharing.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Doe's profile


1437 posts in 3845 days

#4 posted 11-10-2012 04:46 PM

Beautiful! I like the way the top of the finial goes into the ball. How did you do the cut out parts? Thanks for posting it.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4592 days

#5 posted 11-10-2012 08:39 PM

View BenI's profile


333 posts in 3193 days

#6 posted 11-10-2012 09:32 PM

Thanks for posting, and welcome! Nice job.

-- Ben from IL

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3837 days

#7 posted 11-10-2012 11:00 PM

Welcome along for the ride.
Nice job here & look forward to seeing more of your work.
Always nice to have a bit of info as to size, timber etc :: ))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4605 days

#8 posted 11-11-2012 12:13 AM

Wow that is really beautiful.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3850 days

#9 posted 11-11-2012 12:33 AM

Amazing ornament, my brain is really struggling to figure out how you do that.

-- A posse ad esse

View RVroman's profile


163 posts in 3038 days

#10 posted 11-11-2012 03:09 AM

Hi All,

Thanks so much for the comments. I was nervous about posting as I feel my work pales in comparison to most people here. I have another one in the very early stages of creation. I will take pictures as I go and post them (with explanation) for those who wanted to know how it was done.

The one pictured was maple and walnut, it was about 2.75 inches in diameter and 3” high, the bottom finial was about 3” and the top finial about an inch. I will be sure to take measurements of the next one. :-)

-- Robert --- making toothpicks one 3x3x12 blank at a time!

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3203 days

#11 posted 11-11-2012 04:51 AM

No need to be nervous about posting. We all have our niches – I think you have found yours. Nice piece !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Boris Beaulant's profile

Boris Beaulant

99 posts in 3340 days

#12 posted 11-11-2012 11:16 AM

This is a nice ornament !

View RVroman's profile


163 posts in 3038 days

#13 posted 11-18-2012 04:24 AM

Sorry for the delay, but I finally got a chance to post the pictures I promised for those who were wondering how this ornament was done.

After turning it to the shape you want lay out as many index lines as you want. Personally I use 12 as I think more than that would make the openings too small. Then connect the lines in a shape you like. For these I just used straight lines and skipped every other line. After hollowing using standard techniques you will cut out the area between the lines. This is colored in red in the picture. The key here, if you want your ribs to be round, is to make your wall thickness the same thickness as the ribs. In the one pictured the ribs were 0.2” wide, so I made the walls 0.2” thick. Personally I use a dremel with a spiral cutting bit to do this, but there are probably other methods that would work. (top picture, right column)

After cutting the ribs will be rough. Much like any other cutting project like this I like to stay outside the layout line. (second picture, left column) You might want to be careful who you show the project to at this point. When my wife say my first one her response was “Boy, you really messed up a nice hollow form!”

Sand the ribs to the layout lines. (I use the small drum sander on the dremel, but you could use the large one if there is enough space between the ribs. Some hand sanding also helps at this point. After you are done the ornament looks much “cleaner”. (second picture, right column)

Everything else is by hand, and worth it. But I suppose if someone wanted to they could call it finished at this point and avoid the hand work. Wrap cloth backed paper around the ribs and sand them to round. I find that wrapping one direction, then the next, helps keep the ribs round. (third picture, left column)

Sand to your desired grit, and once finished part from the tenon, do the finials, finish, and viola! (third picture, right column. This was taken before parting)

That’s all there is to it, hope that helps those who were asking, and have fun!

-- Robert --- making toothpicks one 3x3x12 blank at a time!

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