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The Eccentric Tree, like real trees, perhaps, looks good in a variety of shapes, sizes, and proportions.  Feel free to try concave, convex, and straight sided trees.  If you are using the trees for skew practice, be aware that starting the cut on a convex tree does have increased chances of having a catch.


The simplest paint variation is to leave it off.  The off-center cuts representing the branches aren't as obvious that way, but the ornament still looks fine.  More formal, perhaps.


You can try different colors.  Black looks good, although green does seem more like Christmas.  Alternating red and green looked best to my in-home evaluation committee.  I tried a “patriotic” red white and blue, but it seems a bit strained, and it would be hard to hang so that all three colors are visible.


Putting presents under the tree seemed an obvious step, but it did make what started as a simple quick ornament more complicated and time consuming.  Making little blocks for presents was easy using my pen sled for the table saw (www.davidreedsmith.com/Articles/PenSled/PenSled.htm).  Tying “ribbons” around them was less easy.  I tried wire, but it wouldn't take square corners well.  I ended up with button thread.  I looped the thread around the present and held it in my vise to keep the thread in place until it was tied.  Then I looped it around the other way an held it in the vise again.  I tied a big bow lightly, pulled the bow smaller, and then tightened it.


To finish the presents I used a drill to insert a straight pin into a bamboo skewer.  The pin could then be pushed into the bottom of a present to hold it for spraying.  The same rack used for the ornaments can hold the presents for drying.  I glued the presents on with a dab of regular wood glue.


You could also try tinsel of various colors.  Just sprinkle the tinsel on to wet paint or lacquer.  Covering the whole tree seemed a bit over-done—you can scrape most of it off if you feel likewise.  Putting tinsel on just the green paint seemed better.

[VFig01:  A concave Eccentric Tree with no paint and a simple ball finial.  This one is basswood or something similar.]



[VFig02:  A convex Eccentric Tree with no paint.]



[VFig03:  A Concave tree with black paint.]



[VFig04:  Although you can’t see the white paint, this straight sided tree has red, white and blue paint.]



[VFig05:  A convex tree in Christmas colors of red and green.]



[VFig06:  This red and green tree has a longer trunk to make room for presents.  It’s cute, of course, but does add quite a bit of work.]



[VFig07:  A bit too much glitter.]



[VFig08:  A concave tree with green paint and glitter on just the green.  Some of the glitter was lost during the last turning, I expect.]



[VFig09:  A reverse paint scheme tree.  Since I had to space the eccentric cuts purely by eye, it seems less successful.  Perhaps using a dark wood and white paint would work better.]