Still with xmas on its way I wanted to make another practice object on the lathe and had an idea for an xmas tree decoration.
I had some holly from a work colleague which I had been seasoning in the shed for 6 months or so and had hoped this would turn better than the usual cheap timber.
The piece was cut down to size on my mitre saw and then mounted on a 4 screw chuck so it would be nice and secure and this was supported by a live centre on the tailstock. The tailstock could be removed later for painting.
I roughed down the piece of holly with my new roughing gouge and this was a joy to turn leaving pleasing light wood chips and strips.
I then used a pencil to mark where I wanted the tree to start and the pot to be and used a skew chisel to rough the main shape making sure it was smooth.
I then used my parting tool to detail the trunk a bit further and create some concentric rings down the trunk to finish the tree.
I then gave it a light sand just so it wouldn’t cause splinters rather than any attempt to finish properly.
Green, brown and black kids acrylic paint was then used to give it some colour and the piece was done as a trial.
I noticed a small crack around one of the knots but didn’t think much of it however over the space of just a day where the paint dried a large crack appeared in the side and a week later this had grown.
I believe the piece was not fully seasoned so need to start reading up on wood checking and cracking and how to best season the wood or avoid cracks. I suspect the reason it turned so well was that it was still a bit green and the way my cuts went down to the core of the wood probably weakened the piece so maybe next time I will try drying the wood first before turning.
A great piece to learn from however and even with the cracks looks good!