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Wood Turning Christmas Ornament: Ball and Icicle (1)

With all parts of the ball and icicle Christmas ornament ready, it is time to check the fit for glue up.

simple bent wire "caliper"

I measure the thickness of the wall with a simple bent wire "caliper".

gap remaining in the wire

The gap remaining in the wire lets me know how thick the wall is. That is, the original gap minus the remaining gap equals the thickness. I am not worried about actual measurement so much as consistency. As long as I am less than an eighth of an inch I know I am good for the weight.

 cap for the ornament has a 3/8

The cap for the ornament has a 3/8" tenon. I use a 3/8" bit in a Jacob's chuck in the tail stock to drill the hole. To do so I reduce the lathe speed to 950, drill the hole remembering there is only a wall thickness of 1/8" or less, and then return the speed to 2500. I think it is faster in this case to use a belt drive rather than a variable speed lathe, but opinions vary. The lathe you own is the best one to use.

Part off the ball

Part off the ball remembering that there is a 3/8" gap in the center. If yu forget, the ball can fly off, bounce hard and ruin that finish.There is usually a bit of waste left on top of the ball that will need to be removed later.

remove the waste with a bench chisel

I remove the waste with a bench chisel and now have cap, ball and icicle for glue up.

check for fit before gluing.

It is a good thing to check for fit before gluing. A bit of sanding may be needed to get everything in place without forcing.