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This article was published in the Winter 2009 edition of Woodturning Design. 

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Scoop Ornament as 14 page pdf

Scoop Ornament


Hollowing a Christmas Ornament isn't really all that hard or time consuming, but I find myself tying to figure out ways to avoid it anyway. Sometimes the way I pick to avoid is almost more trouble than the hollowing would be in the first place but it's worthwhile because of the different design it generates. I think this is one of those times.


I was thinking about one old  way of avoiding hollowing thru a small hole by cutting the piece in half along the equator (relative to the rotational axis), hollowing each half like a bowl, and then reassembling the two halves. What if I split the piece in to East and West hemispheres, hollowed them like a bowl, and then DIDN'T put them back together?  The result is interesting, different, and has the possibility for a lot of design variations.


I called it a scoop ornament, because you turn it much like a coffee scoop (and I couldn't think of a better name).  Since a split turning technique is used, the blank is formed by temporarily gluing two pieces together. The ornament blank is first mounted between centers, roughed to round, and then a tenon is formed on one end. The blank is then mounted in a chuck using the tenon and the major part of the blank is formed into a sphere—several methods are suggested. Since splitting the ornament exposes the cross section of the ornament thereby changing the appearance, the finial is turned so as to appear as a star after the split. The ornament is split after the first turning, and a jig is made to hold it for the second turning. Hollowing the hemisphere shape is no more difficult than a bowl. After hollowing, the ornament is removed from the jig, a hanger fashioned, and some spray finish applied.


The pictures will follow forming a lattice effect by using a parting tool during both turnings—as the axis of rotation changes by 90 degrees, so does the direction of the grooves, forming a lattice. It's not necessary to do the lattice, as there are other design possibilities. Using the hemisphere as a frame you could turn a small “Christmas Tree” and glue it into the hemisphere, or suspend a fancy bead in the middle of it. In fact I don't really recommend doing the lattice until you've turned a few ornaments this way. First of all it adds substantially to the risk of failure. Secondly, it makes the ornament more of a “woodturner's” ornament as perhaps only we appreciate the skill, time and effort required. The uninitiated, however, may very well prefer the results of a simpler approach.

First Turning


Copy or print out the templates in Drawing 1, and use spray adhesive to attach them to a substrate. You can use thin plywood, aluminum flashing or other sheet metal, thin cardboard or even a recycled cereal box. Cut out the templates on the red lines. [Fig01] The main template helps lay out the turning. The sphere template is one way to form a sphere. The star template helps form a smaller sphere that will be turned into a star, and locates cutting lines to make it star shaped. You really need the template for the Star, as the star shape is difficult to see until the ornament is split.


Drawing1.  The Templates for turning.


 Fig01 The templates after cutting out

Preparing the blank

Start preparing the blank by cutting pieces. You can work with the thickness of stock you like, however the template is sized for 5/4 stock, yielding an ornament that is 2-3/8” wide. First rip the stock so that it is twice as wide as it is thick (2-1/2” for 1-1/4” stock). I suggest you cut enough for several ornaments at once. Next cross-cut the stock to 5” lengths.


Prepare some kraft paper (grocery bag) or cereal box cardboard the same size of the blanks. Spread glue on one face of both blanks [as in Fig02], and then clamp them together with the paper in between [as in Fi03]. Let the glue dry. After the glue is cured, trim the ends with your table saw [as in Fig04]. This will make it easier to mount them accurately between centers. Next mark the center at each end. Because you want the centering point to be on the glue line, draw one diagonal line from corner to corner and use as the center point where the diagonal line crosses the glue line. Make an indentation at the center point with a center punch, awl, or small drill [as in Fig05] to make it easier to mount centered on the lathe.


  Fig02The set-up for temporarily gluing the Ornament Blank together. I'm using cereal box cardboard instead of Kraft paper because it's easier to split apart


Figure03.           The Ornament Blank clamped together until the glue cures. You can use any kind of clamp, of course and don't need to worry about denting the surface which will be turned away.


Figure04.             Trimming the ends of the Ornament Blank after glue-up. This makes it easier to mount the Blank centered on the lathe.


Figure05.             Marking the ends of the Ornament Blank. Use the intersection of one diagonal line with the glue line.



Mount the Ornament Blank between centers [Fig06]. Cup centers will have less tendency to split the glue joint open. If you have only a traditional prong drive center with long nose you should make a shallow saw cut for the prongs and drill a pilot hole about as deep as the prong to prevent the drive from splitting the blank. The home made drive safety center I made from a 3/4” bolt to fit in my collet chuck solves this problem more simply.


Figure06.  Ornament Blank mounted between cup centers, which won't split the blank apart

Rough the Blank to round with a spindle roughing gouge. Then use your parting tool and skew (or other tool) to form a tenon to mount the blank in a chuck [Fig07]. I use a Bealle collet chuck because it's unobtrusively small and finger friendly, but any other chuck will work. You could also do the entire first turning between centers, but it would be a little more difficult to complete the star finial that way.


Figure07.  After roughing the Blank round and turning a tenon for the collet chuck. While the whole first turning could be done between centers, the collet chuck secures the Blank from splitting prematurely and makes it easier to turn the Star finial.



Mount the Ornament Blank in your chuck and bring up the tail stock for support. Use your spindle roughing gouge to true up the blank. Use the template to mark the extents of the sphere [Fig08] and then use a full size parting tool to cut down to about 5/8” at both ends of the sphere. Now use the parting tool to make a cut within the sphere area (but not at the center so your calipers don't mark it) to 2-3/8”. Use your spindle roughing gouge to reduce the whole sphere area to that diameter. Mark the center of the sphere with a thickish pencil line to remind yourself not to cut there [Fig09].


  Figure08.  The Blank has been mounted in the collet chuck and re-trued round, and then the template was used to mark the extents of the sphere.


Figure09.           The Sphere area has been turned to the final maximum diameter, and the center (do not cut) area marked broadly with pencil. Then the extents were cut with a parting tool down to a 5/8” [check this] diameter.



There are several ways to cut a sphere (probably because all of them are far from perfect). You could just wing it and cut by eye, but this will likely be unsatisfactory, because the stubs at each end fool your eye. You can add a transaxial cut cylinder to a flashlight and use where the light leaks out under the cylinder to gauge where to cut—but this method is geared more to getting a uniform sphere than a sphere of a particular size [Fig11 & Fig12]. Myron Curtis gives demonstrations of a method where the sphere blank is turned to progressively multi-sided polygons measuring along the sides of the prior polygon using a table. After seeing his demo I drafted a template with scales so I wouldn't have to use the tables. I'll post this template on my website if you want to try it. To my mind starting to round the sphere by eye and then refining it by comparing it to a template is sufficient for the accuracy required for this project.



Figure11.           One way to check to see how close you are to a sphere is to use a flashlight with a cylindrical extension(squared cut end is mandatory). Where the light leaks out tells you how the shape is off. In this picture the light comes out at front and back, which means that the surface needs to be rounded over more.


Figure12.           In this photo the light doesn't leak (except for surface defects) so that means the area under the cylinder fits A sphere. But the Blank hasn't been turned any more since Fig11—so if you use this method get the center right first.



Use a spindle detail gouge to begin rounding the sphere [Fig10]. Start near the corners of the cylinder defined by the parting tool cuts so you can makes cuts removing a more or less constant thickness—don't start at the middle and end up with a catch trying to hog off the entire corner in one cut. Once the sphere is rounded roughly, turn off the lathe and compare it to the template to see where you still need to remove wood [Fig13]. You can slide the template along the sphere to check near the ends. Once you have a reasonably good fit [Fig14] you can make a shear scraping cut with a pyramid point tool (or your favorite) to refine the surface [Fig15].


Figure10.  After starting to round the Sphere with a spindle gouge. I find that my tendency when rounding by eye is to leave it too fat or ovoid. If you tend the other way you'll want to start using the template earlier.


Figure13.           Testing the sphere with a template. The Blank is again unchanged from Fig11 and the fit isn't good.


Figure14.           A better fit after removing more stock towards the ends. Note that you can still see the pencil marking the center greatest diameter.


Figure15.           After refining the surface with a shear scraper (pyramid point tool).



If you want to do the lattice, start that now while the sphere is still well supported. Begin by marking locations for the parting tool cuts with a pencil—pencil being easier to erase if you don't like the initial results [Fig16]. Use a dull pencil to make pencil lines about the width of the parting tool to make it easier to visualize and get the spacing correct. I suggest that you make the cuts at almost ¼” apart on centers, at least at first. Now use a thin parting tool to make the cuts [Fig17]. Cut relatively deep, at least 1/10” as a little less than the depth of the cut will be the effective thickness of the sphere (what's holding it together, not how thick it looks).



Figure16.             After marking for the optional lattice with pencil. Begin by making a line in the middle. Then mark at each end as small as you will be able to comfortably access at right angles to the surface with a narrow parting tool. Then divide the remaining space up to a reasonable number of equally spaced elements.


Figure17.           After cutting the lattice with a narrow parting tool. For an ornament that will be strong enough to survive the second turning you need to cut deeper than is intuitive, at least 1/10”. Be sure to cut the lattice while you still have good support, as if you turn the ends small first at a minimum you'll get poor quality cuts.



Begin the Star Finial by using the template to mark its extents. Then make parting tool cuts at the extents down to about a 3/8” and reduce the Star area to a diameter of ¾” [Fig18]. Pre-shape the finial below the Star by making V-cut with a skew and tapering the finial with a spindle gouge,  Use the spindle gouge to round the Star blank. You can check the shape with the template, but it doesn't have to be as close as the main Sphere. Use the template to transfer the guide lines for the points [Fig19  & Fig20].



Figure18.           After marking the extents of the Star with the template and cutting at the extents with a parting tool.


Figure19.           After rounding the Star area to a sphere (you don't need to be as exact) and transferring the marks for the points with the Star template.


Figure20.             Marking the points with the Star Template.



Use a small skew (I used a 1/4” round skew) to make a V-cut with the left side vertical, at the top-most line to define the top surface of the side points [Fig21]. Then use the small skew to taper the top point, but don't cut it free yet [Fig23]. I have a tendency (again, it looks different when round) to leave the base of the top point too thick—and it's not obvious until the ornament is split, so check the diameter of the base of the top point with the template before moving on [Fig22].


Figure21.           After making a V-cut with a skew to define the top edge of the side points. Note that the left edge is perpendicular to the lathe axis.


Figure22.           After starting to form the top point and checking the diameter of the base of the point with the Star Template. The point is still too fat.


Figure 23.  After finishing the top point except for the tailstock nub.



Make a V-cut at the middle line, which defines the intersection of the side and bottom points [Fig24]. Go deep—you can try to judge by imagining a line running from the peak of the top point and the third line the point of the bottom point. Next use the skew to cut from the third line to the bottom of the V-cut you just made to define the top side of the bottom point [Fig25]. Thin the half-cove between the Sphere and the Star to its final size with a spindle detail gouge [Fig26]. Start to undercut the bottom point—using the 1/4” round skew as a scraper is probably the safest way to do this [Fig27]. Clean up the half-cove surface with a small spindle gouge. You may find a very small scraper (0.055” wire) held in a homemade holder or pin chuck useful to clean up the intersection of the bottom point and half-cove. The Star is now complete [Fig28].


Figure24.           After making a V-cut with a skew to define the intersection, or valley, between the side and bottom points.


Figure25.           After cutting from the bottom point line to the side/bottom valley to define the shape of the top of the bottom points.


Figure26.           The curved funnel shape of the top finial below the Star been cut to size with a spindle gouge.


Figure27.           After under-cutting to define the lower surface of the bottom points. I used a 1/4” round skew as a scraper and then refined the funnel shape with a small spindle gouge. Last the intersection of the funnel and bottom point was smoothed with a micro-scraper (sharpened music wire in a holder).


Figure28.           The completed Star finial.



Now would be a good time to do the bulk of the sanding. After you sand with progressively finer grits cut the Star free of the tailstock and sand the tip of the point [Fig29]. Reduce the bottom finial to its final size and sand the finial [Fig30]. Then cut the turning off at the bottom of the finial. Sand the cut-off bottom of the finial off the lathe. To complete the first turning set the ornament on a padded surface to prevent denting, and use a mallet and broad putty knife to split the two halves apart [Fig31 & Fig32].


Figure29.           After sanding the main portions of the Ornament, the Star point as been cut off and then the point sanded lightly.


Figure30.           After reducing the diameter of the bottom finial. In this picture I'm using a soft tailstock center for a little extra security. The soft center is urethane from an inline skate wheel held in wood held in my One-Way tailstock center. It's not necessary if you're gentle.


Figure31.           Splitting the Ornament Blank apart with a mallet and putty knife. The wadded up T-shirt keeps the lumps on my workbench from denting the Ornament.


Figure32.           One side after splitting. You don't need to worry about removing hangers on from the paper joint at this point, as most of it will be turned away.


Compression Jig


You need to have an ornament that has the first turning completed to fit the Compression Jig, which is why I didn’t start the article with this jig.  Start making the jig by cutting a 5” square of hardwood about 2” thick. The next step is to make a recess for the Star and bottom finial. For balance the recess needs to be all the way across—which is easier anyway. You could load a 3/4” dado head into your table saw, but for one short dado it's probably easier to make multiple passes using a sled on the saw.

Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner on one side of the block to locate the center. On one end-grain edge abutting the unmarked face lay-out a recess that is centered, 3/4” side and ¾” high. Set the saw blade ¾” high [Fig33]. Set a stop block so that the blade will cut on the inside of the recess line furthest from the stop-block [Fig34]. Turn on the saw and hold the block against the sled fence and stop block as you make a pass through the blade. Rotate the block 180 degrees, hold the block against the fence and stop block as you make another pass thru the saw [Fig35]. Hold the block against the fence as you slide the block away from the stop block in increments and make multiple passes to remove the interior of the recess [Fig36].



Figure33.             Setting the blade height for cutting out the dado.


Figure34.  The set-up for the first cut. The stop block is set so that the blade cuts to the inside out the line marking the side of the dado away from the block


Figure35.             The Base has been flipped around to cut the other side wall of the dado. Don't move the block or the dado may not be centered.


Figure36.           Removing the center portion of the dado. The stop isn't needed here, but you don't need to remove it.

Remove the corners from the block on your bandsaw [Fig37 & Fig38]. Mount your 4-jaw chuck on the lathe and tighten the jaws against each other. Pin the block against the chuck using your tailstock centered on the intersection of the diagonal lines (the recess side will be against the chuck. Turn on the lathe at a moderate speed and use a bowl gouge to turn the base round [Fig39]. Move your tool rest so that you can turn the face of the base and turn a tenon that your chuck will hold securely [Fig40]. The diameter of the tenon isn't critical, but a good size to aim for is as large as it can be without having the jaws extend past the body of the chuck. The depth should be the maximum you can insert into the jaws without bottoming out—that’s just less than ½” on my chuck.




Figure37.           Cutting away the corners on the band saw.


Figure38.           The Base ready for turning.


Figure39.           After turning the Base round with a bowl gouge.


Figure40.           After turning a tenon to hold the Base in a chuck. Use a size tenon your chuck holds best, hopefully without protruding jaws.

Compression Ring

Print or copy the drawing of the Compression Ring and attach it to some 1/2” plywood with spray adhesive. Clamp the Compression Ring to your drill press table. Mount a 3/4” Forstner bit in the drill press and drill recesses the depth of the heads of 1/4” for the 3 outer locations [Fig41]. Next drill through holes with the 3/4” Forstner bit at the 3 inner locations—these holes will let you see how thin the rim of the ornament is [Fig42]. Then mount a 17/64” bit in the drill press and drill through holes at the center of the three outer locations [Fig43].


Drawing2.  The Compression Ring pattern.


Figure41.  Drilling bolt head recesses in the Compression Ring. You can check to make sure the recess is deep enough by sitting a bolt in it upside down.


Figure42.             Drilling Rim View holes all the way through the Compression Ring.


Figure43.             Drilling through holes for the mounting bolts.



Cut out the Compression Ring on the band saw [Fig44]. Remove the Base from your chuck and close the jaws. Use the tailstock to pin the Compression Ring (making sure it's centered) against the chuck. Turn on the lathe and turn the Compression Ring round and to the marked diameter [Fig45]. You can remove the bulk of the center of the ring now. To do this on the lathe remount the ring with the tailstock with a waste block in between the Ring and the chuck. Cut at an angle with a thin parting tool starting the cut at the inner ring diameter [Fig46 & Fig 47].


 Figure44. Cutting out the Compression Ring on the bandsaw


Figure45.           Turning the Compression Ring round and to size by pinning it up against closed chuck jaws with the tailstock center.


Figure46.           After removing the bulk of the center of the Compression Ring with a narrow parting tool. A waste block (with parallel surfaces) has been added between the ring and chuck.


Figure47.  The completed Compression Ring.


Fitting the Base for Ring and Ornament

Mount the Base in the chuck. Mark the diameter of the Compression Ring [Fig48]. You could measure the diameter of the Compression Ring and transfer this measurement to the Base—or you could just pin the Ring to the Base with your tailstock and trace around it. Turn a recess in the base that is about half the thickness of the Ring [Fig49 & Fig 50]. It should be a loose fit.


Figure48.             After marking the Compression Ring diameter on the Base.


Figure49.             Checking the fit of the Compression Ring in the Base. It should go in about half way, and fit loosely but not sloppily.


Figure50.             The Base recess.



Now start turning a recess for the Ornament by marking its diameter on the base. Don't try to turn a hemisphere to match the Ornament—instead turn a slightly tapered cone section with a flat or slightly curved bottom [Fig51]. The Ornament should not touch the bottom, it should only touch at the top of the cone section. Adjust the size of the recess so that the Ornament is proud of the recess for the Compression Ring, but not so high that some part of the Compression Ring will not be inside the recess [Fig52].


Figure51.   After turning the Ornament recess.


Figure52.           Checking the Ornament fit in the recess. Make sure it doesn't bottom out. It must protrude above the bottom of the ring recess, but not stick above the rim of the Base.



Remove the Ornament from the Base. Mark one of the mounting holes of the Ring with a marker so you'll be able to mount it the same way every time. Place the Compression Ring in the Base recess and orient it so that the marked mounting hole is centered in the arc defined by the dado. Mark the mounting hole locations on the Base. Also use a marker to mark the Base rim at the marked hole in the Compression Ring [Fig53].


Figure53.           After marking the ring mounting holes in the Base.



Remove the Base from the Chuck and clamp it to your drill press table. Use a #7 drill to drill at the mounting hole locations [Fig54]. Remove the Base from the drill press and tap the mounting holes with a 1/4-20 tap [Fig55].


Figure54.           Drilling tap holes for the mounting bolts on the drill press.


Figure55.             Tapping threads for the mounting bolts.



There are other ways you could mount the Ornament for the second turning. You could use a set of wooden jaws mounted either directly to the base jaws of your 4-jaw chuck or screwed to a set of flat top jaws. You could also use a jamb chuck, perhaps reinforced with drops of hot-melt glue. The former is certainly more tolerant of Ornament size variations than the jamb chuck or Compression Ring Chuck. The trouble is the Star. If the Ornament comes loose due to a catch the Star will probably rotate out right where the side of your hand is resting on the tool rest. The scars are gone now, but I do prefer the Compression Ring. It's less likely to let go, and the Ring will keep the sharp edges of the Star contained and away from your soft parts.

Second Turning

To mount the Ornament in the Compression Ring Chuck first remove your tailstock center from the tailstock ram. Drape the Compression Ring over the tailstock ram and push the Ornament lightly into the Base recess so that the Star is within the dado. Bring up the tailstock assembly and use the ram to firmly push the Ornament into the recess. The wide, flat surface of the tailstock ram will insure that the Ornament is oriented correctly.


Orient the Compression Ring so that the marks on it and the Base line up and start the mounting bolts [Fig56]. Tighten the bolts (a nut driver works nicely for this) in rotation. Rotate the chuck to access all of the bolts. After all of the bolts are snug, check to insure that the Compression Ring protrudes evenly from all the way around the recess, and then slide the tailstock assembly out of the way. Snug up the bolts one more time now that you have full access.


Figure56.             Mounting the Ornament in the Compression Ring Jig. The tailstock ram, without a center, both presses the Ornament into the recess and keeps its surface perpendicular to the lathe axis.



Position your tool rest across the face of the Compression Ring Chuck [Fig57]. After turning the chuck by hand to make sure it doesn't hit the tool rest, turn on the lathe and start to hollow the ornament with a small bowl gouge [Fig58]. Usually the hollow looks deeper than it is, so don't worry about the depth in the beginning. When you have the thickness at the rim that you want for the hemisphere, stop the lathe. Measure the diameter of the hollow from rim to rim with calipers [Fig59]. Divide the result in half to get the radius. Measure the thickness of the Compression Ring (don't assume the ring is 1/2” thick just because you used 1/2” plywood) and add that to the radius. Set the result ((diameter/2) + thickness) on your calipers. You can now check the depth of the hollow by turning off the lathe and inserting the base of the calipers into the center of the hollow and sighting across the face of the ring [Fig60]. The gap between the end of the body of the calipers and the ring face is how much more you have to remove.


Figure57.           The Ornament mounted for the second turning.


Figure58.           After beginning to hollow the Ornament with a small bowl gouge.


Figure59.           Measuring the inside rim diameter after partially hollowing the Ornament and defining the final rim thickness.


Figure60.           Using the calipers to check hollowing depth with the lathe off. It's not deep enough.



You can make a simple tool for this measurement if you prefer—which you can even use without turning off the lathe because nylon won't mar wood. Be sure your bolt heads are well recessed or turn off the lathe for this project though. Take a small strip of hardwood, such as maple, a little longer than the largest hollow you'll want to measure. Drill and tap 1/4x20 threads in the middle of the strip. Cut a section of 1/4x20 nylon all-thread and insert it into the strip. Cut a screwdriver slot in one end of the all-thread if you like. Add a 1/4x20 nut to lock the depth [Fig61 & Fig62].


Figure61.             A homemade depth tool for small hollows made from maple, nylon all-thread, and a nut.


Figure62.             Using the homemade depth tool to check hollowing depth. If your bolts are fully recessed you can do this with the lathe on (if it feels safe too you).


Once full depth has been reached and the hollow looks like a hemisphere you can make a finishing cut with a shear scraper [Fig63]. If you're turning a lattice mark even positions with a pencil [Fig64]. Using a thin parting tool (a P2 metal working cut-off tool has less height and will fit in better, but you'll have to make your own handle. Another alternative tool is bent and then hardened 1/16” wire which you can hold in a pin vise or drilled brass rod). Start cutting the center-most ring. As you get near to final depth, stop the lathe to check and see if you've cut through to the outer cuts. If not, cut a little more and check again—repeat until you can see the intersecting out cuts [Fig65]. Move on to the next ring as cut as you did the inner-most one. Don't go back to inner rings as it may break. Continue until all the rings are cut [Fig66].


Figure63.           After completing the hollowing and shear scraping the inside.


Figure64.           The rings have been marked with a pencil.


Figure65.             After turning the inner ring. To lessen the chances of breakage, start in the middle and don't go back once you switch to an outer ring.


Figure66.             After cutting all of the rings.



Sand the inside of the Ornament with progressively finer sandpaper [Fig67], then remove the Ornament from the chuck. You can sand away any remains of the paper-joint by rubbing the Ornament on progressively finer abrasive taped to a flat surface. You could also use a drum sander, but be careful not to round over the edges of the Ornament.


Figure67.             After sanding the inside.



Finishing Touches

An Ornament has to be hung, of course. If the hanging point is directly over the point of the Star the Ornament will tilt backwards because its center of mass is well behind the Star. To avoid this unnatural tilt, hang the ornament from the middle of the side point. This still may not be far enough back, but that's easy enough to fix with a home-made hanger.


Cut about 4” of 22 gauge brass wire. Loop the wire around some small round object, like a screw driver shaft, and twist with pliers until the wire is a tight spiral [Fig68]. Then slide the loop off the screw driver. Cut the wire about 1/2” below the loop. Measure the diameter of the twisted wire and select a drill bit that size. Drill a hole in the side point behind the top point. Dip the wire in CA glue and insert it into the hole. Bend the loop back away from the face of the ornament until the proper balance point is reached [Fig69]. You can form a loop from brass wire to attach to the loop to hang the ornament.



Figure68.  Twisting brass wire around a shaft with needle-nose pliers to form a hanger.


Figure69.             After gluing the hanger into a hole drilled into the back of the side point.

Now that you have a way to hang it, finish the ornament with spray finish. Spray lacquer or spray clear acrylic works well. Let the first coat dry and then spray on another coat or two [Fig70].


Figure70.             The completed Scoop Ornament.



You can make quite a range of Ornaments by changing parts of the design. Consider leaving off the lattice and using the hemisphere as a frame for something. You could make a small separate turning and glue it in place [Fig72]. You'll probably want to finish the hemisphere and the object before gluing it in.



Figure72.             A Scoop Ornament with a turned Christmas Tree framed in the hollow.

You could use a bead or other decorative found object, either glued in place or suspended from wire. If you're really ambitious you could include a whole nativity diorama.


You can use something other than a star for the top. Substitute a plain finial, or an angel. I think you'll find the angel intuitive enough to turn without a special template [Fig71].


Figure71.           A Scoop Ornament with an Angel instead of a star, and a suspended bead instead of the lattice.


Tools and Materials

Ornament Stock:          2 each 1-1/4” x 2-1/2” x 5” hardwood.

                                    Kraft paper


                                    22 gauge brass wire

Jig:       5” x 5” x 2” hardwood.

            5” x 5” ½” plywood.

            4 each ¼x20x1” bolts

Turning Tools:

            First Turning:    Spindle Roughing Gouge

                                    Parting Tool


                                    Spindle Gouge

                                    1/16” parting tool

                                    ¼” Skew

            Second Turning:            Small Bowl Gouge

                                                Shear Scraper

                                                1/16” parting tool or homemade tool for cutting lattice



David Reed Smith is a Basement Turner of eclectic interests, with a Christmas Tree to match. He welcomes questions, comments, and suggestions as well as photos of your variations at