Snowman – A Christmas Turning

Published on by Mike

So the latest in my tool addiction is my lathe.  As an update, when I went to the woodworking in America show, I got a really good deal on the Delta lathe I had been looking at.  Since then I have been turning like mad.  My first project was a set of screwdrivers, which will be the subject of a future post.  The latest turning I have completed is this snowman.  Actually this is the second attempt actually, the first one turned out okay, but it took a little bit of imagination to see it as a snowman.  So I started out again.  First thing is I wanted some actual features (buttons, eyes, nose, mouth, etc.) on this one.  So the first thing I did was took some scrap Brazilian cherry and started turning it into pegs.  Several 1/4″ round and a bunch 3/8″ round.  In the maple blank, I laid out each segment of the snowman, including the tenons which will loosely fit into the next section.  I then laid out the position for each eye, mouth dot, and button, and drilled them out on the drill press.  From there I glued in the pegs, and let them sit so that they were good and dry.  From there, I cut each section of the blank free, and then knocked the corners off with the band saw.

The turning of each section was the same.  First mounted the top of the blank to the faceplate, and the rough rounded the blank.  I then drilled out about 1/2″ deep hole that I proceeded to further hollow out to size and shape, to both accept the tenon from the lower segment, and to fit on the jaws of my Nova chuck.  From there, I rounded the piece again  to make sure the piece was balanced, form the tenon, then form the shape of the segment.  I used my skew chisels to make the segment as rounded as possible.  I hollowed out each section with 1.5″ inch forstner bit.  Since I don’t have any hollowing tools yet, that is the furthest I went with it, but there is still some room for some small pieces of candy or other small items.  Finally each segment was sanded smooth.

The finish on the main body is simply shellac.  I wanted to keep the wood as light as possible (its supposed to resemble snow after all!) so I didn’t put any oil on it.  The hat I stained.  I wish I hadn’t.  If I make one of these again, I will get a dark wood for the hat that I can use oil and shellac to finish.

While the stain was drying, I decided to have some more fun.  I turned the pipe from two pieces.  This was a fairly challenging piece to turn since it was so small. The pipe was finished with boiled linseed oil and shellac.  Finally I turned the carrot nose.  The finish on this was orange marker.  🙂  After very carefully drilling the holes in the head segment for these, they were glued in place.

Overall, this was a fun and a challenging project that I have about 8-10 hours put into.  Some how I have a feeling this won’t be the last snowman I turn on the lathe.

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