Christmas ornaments have long been around as a combination of ball and icicle. Generally they have been made of plastic or glass but the wood turner has another opportunity to make use of the natural beauty of wood. For this to work as an ornament, it must be light and well designed for beauty. Many woods are heavy by their nature, certainly heavy enough to bear down a fir branch. Hence it is necessary to hollow the ball. The challenge at first may be to make it look good but the challenge continues as we try to make it serviceable as well.
Most turners who make this type of ornament start with a square of wood about 1 1/4" square and 7" long. I find this wasteful of wood and prefer to start with a 2" square of wood 7" long. Please note that this changes if you use a 3" square of exotic wood. This can be cut for 4 ornament blanks or, if you follow the text here,
- 1 ornament blank
- 1 slice 1" x 3" x 7"
- 1 slice 1" x 2" x7"
- 8 icicle blanks any of which might also make a pen
The center is marked out and a 5/8" section marked in the center about 5" long. Two opposite sides should be marked. Some simple woodworking skills and a good bandsaw will allow the waste wood to be taken quickly away.
At the bandsaw, cut down the two lines on one side, keeping to the waste wood on the outside of the line.
Rotate the wood 90° and cut the other side.
Now cut off the waste wood with a cut from the side.
Cut the waste from the other side.