Making Ornaments #3: Finishing Up the Globe

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Blog entry by woodshopmike posted 02-24-2014 02:51 PM 1244 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: A Quick Detour for Tool Making Part 3 of Making Ornaments series Part 4: Finally Finials! »

Alright, back on track. Lets get to making the globe for a Christmas Ornament!

There are two ways to approach the design elements of any turning project. You can either work from a sketch, or sculpt your piece as you work at the lathe. There have only been a handful of instances when I work from a drawing. That’s not to say that I don’t sketch regularly. I like to immerse myself in and around good design and art regularly. This is critical to making something that is pleasing to the eye and has a spirit of it’s own. Bad design is thrown into the trash pile in my shop and unfortunately makes for very time consuming firewood.

So, onward to making chips! Before we got to this point, I mounted the wood onto a glue block. The glue blocks are made of Poplar and the globe I’m making is Bradford Pear.

For shaping the globe, I mainly use a 3/8 bowl gouge with an Elsworth grind. While this may sound a bit hippy, I develop the form of the globe by hearing what shape the piece wants to be. I work towards a pleasing shape and visualize a center line around equator of the globe. If I want a symmetrical piece, I establish the “equator” and begin to mimic the right half (farther from the headstock) to the left half (closer to the headstock). Once I get the shape established, I shear scrape the surface with the wing of the gouge and sand the piece appropriately. I generally start around 220 grit and work up to 600 grit before starting with Scotch Brite. I finish sanding with the white Scotch Brite and then burnish the surface with shavings from the piece. Before I start hollowing, I apply a coat of paste wax to the surface and buff again. The last step before hollowing the globe is to drill out the center with a 3/8” drill. Reduce the lathe speed and smoothly advance the drill through the globe.

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