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PhotoBlog: How I designed and created the First Year Ornament

See HERE for completed project

Recently, I bought a Grizzly bandsaw. One of the reasons I decided to buy a bandsaw was to re-saw lumber for use on a scroll saw. The scroll saw was my first 'tool' that I bought, and before, I was limited to purchased plywoods for my scroll saw cuts. I was quite surprised at how much wood can be obtained from a single length of wood when re-sawn. It will definitely expand my creativity for such projects.

Outlined is the first such project I have built using re-sawn wood. I bought this piece of Ash from WoodCraft just waiting for a project that I could use with it.

Wood Floor Composite material Wood stain Hardwood

The design itself was created rather quickly in Photoshop. The most difficult part was finding a suitable font. I found a picture of a snowflake and used that for the center, then drew two offset circles around the perimeter that would hold the lettering.

Font Cloud Wood Circle Art

I printed two off…one to use as a template for the outside circle, and one to use as a template for the inside circle and snowflake design.

Next, On the tablesaw, I cut off about 8" of the board…just long enough to where the pattern would fit. I set up my bandsaw with a couple of stacked featherboards to resaw the Ash. I believe the Ash was 4/4 when I started.

Wood Tool Gas Hardwood Machine tool

This was cut to 1/4" thicknesses.

Wood Office ruler Wood stain Rectangle Hardwood

After this, the square blanks were created into circles using the tablesaw method. See Woodworking for Mere Mortals if you would like to see a video of this in action. Below are photos of this method.

First, I measure over the Radius of the desired circle from the kerf in a crosscut sled and make a mark (Crosscut Sled is Steve's design from Mere Mortals :) ).

Wood Finger Flooring Floor Office supplies

A trim nail was hammered into this spot. The crossbars were a bit in the way but I managed to get it in there.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Floor Hardwood

After the nail was hammered in, I took some cutters and cut it as close to the wood as I could.

Wood Sports equipment Flooring Floor Wood stain

I then flipped the nail over so that the pointed in was sticking up. After marking a center on the square blanks, I proceeded by pushing the wood onto the nail point at the center of the wood. Be careful to not put too much pressure…the first one I attempted I split. Luckily I created three blanks.

Start by cutting the corners off the wood until you have something that resembles an octagon. From this point, you can stop the sled right where the blade meets the wood. Slowly turn the wood into the blade to create your wood circles.

Hand Wood Finger Hardwood Ingredient

And here is the template attached to the wood circle blank with spray adhesive (tip: if you lightly spray the paper and the wood and wait a few seconds, the paper will be easier to peel off after the cutting is done).

Font Circle Symbol Badge Metal

After drilling holes for my scroll saw to enter, I cut out all the negatives from the design. It was at this point that I decided I would woodburn the letters at the top, and cut out the '2011' at the bottom. If you cut out numbers or letters, be sure to save the insides of the letters that will be needed such as the circle in the middle of the '0' in '2011'. I put a piece of ply under the pattern to prevent the circle in the '0' from going down into the scroll saw as I cut it out.

Musical instrument Guitar accessory String instrument accessory Musical instrument accessory Finger

Here is a 'dry-fit' of the ornament so I can make any adjustments if needed.

Wood Font Artifact Art Circle

From here, I took the top circle and burned the letters in the top. I took a sharp and hot burning iron and traced the outline of the letters right through the paper. I was able to fill in the middle of the letters once the paper was removed.

Wood Font Manhole cover Manhole Circle

Finally, after sanding and smoothing to remove the rough edges, I stained the bottom circle a dark color, and the top circle a lighter color. Allowing the stain to dry overnight, I glued the top and bottom circles together. After adding a touch of glue, I used a screwdriver to position the circle in the '0' in '2011'. After the glue dried, I added 3 coats of spray shellac to produce the final ornament!

Wood Font Artifact Emblem Badge

And I had one very happy customer:
Nose Cheek Smile White Black


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