Once more into the vortex

Hey Folks,

It’s approaching that time again, wherein I drag the lathe out from under the bench and enter the vortex of wood turning. I call it the vortex because as it spins it tends to draw you in with instant gratification, causing you to forget about any other type of wood work. My annual entry into the abyss usually coincides with the approach of the holidays and my lack of any otherwise meaningful woodworking gifts.

In the past, I have made Christmas nutcrackers, snowmen and mice (think Nutcracker nemesis). Last year, the fad all over the internet was gnomes. I tried to avoid contributing to the hype, but his year I’ve run out of excuses.

Turned gnomes tend to be nearly featureless, hatted and hairy. I say “nearly” featureless as they have one distinctive feature, that being a prominent proboscis.

My gnomes are made of cherry, with hats of sapele, or bubinga and noses of cherry or sapele. Since there are dozens of YouTube videos available demonstrating how to turn them, I’ll limit my how-to discussion to making ordinary gnomes into holiday gnomes with a holly sprig hat badge.

First, pick up a few wooden coffee stirrers from your local barista. Then cut the tip using a sharp gouge (a #7 in this case). The side cuts were made with a slightly tighter curved gouge. A little paint and some Duco™ cement, and the badge is finished. One note: I do paint the holly berries after the leaves are glued in place as they are easier to handle then.

I have a few more to make before I can comfortably say I’ve met my Christmas quota so some variation in woods and beards may be in store.



3 thoughts on “Once more into the vortex

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