Christmas Ornaments - This is what I've been making since August - Router Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Default Christmas Ornaments - This is what I've been making since August

Well, after my post about better lighting on my scroll saw I promised to post pictures of what I've been making. The first photo shows less than half of the small ornaments that I've been making. These start out as a 1" X 1" X about 4" block of wood. I cut from 2 sides to produce the compound cut you see here. When complete, you remove the waste pieces to reveal a beautiful ornament. More wood is wasted than is kept as an ornament when making these. I have made almost 70 of this size in various styles, but have already sent many of them to relatives as presents. Each of these ornaments takes about an hour to cut, but a few take longer because of the very fine detail and the need for high accuracy in them. I use a #1R Flying Dutchman to cut them on my DeWalt 788 saw.

The second photo shows a sample of the four sizes of 3D reindeer that I've been making. I've been making these and giving them away every Christmas Season for the past five years and this is year six. Every woman cashier, sales girl, waitress, nurse, etc. who helps me during the Christmas Shopping Season gets one if they want it. Every little girl who seems old enough (8+ yrs) also gets one. I usually hold out my right hand palm down with a reindeer in my palm, wish them a Merry Christmas, and drop the reindeer into their hand. I enjoy putting the smile on their faces. 98% of the time it brings forth a wide bright smile and shows them that I appreciate what they did for me. Making and giving them away makes me happy and more into the Christmas Spirit too, so I keep doing it. Last year I made and gave away 91 of the largest size, which is only about 3" tall. This year I've been making the other three sizes as well, but usually only giving the largest size away because they are easier and faster to make. It usually takes me about 8 minutes to cut one this size. I then use marking pens to make small black eye dots and a big red nose on them.

Back when I first started making reindeer I would use a Dremel to round the corners and make them look more correct, but this took me a lot of additional time. Then I realized that most who received them were just as happy with them right off the scroll saw, so that's as far as I go with them now, except to occasionally remove loose fringe left from the saw cutting.

The smallest reindeer that I make is only 1" tall, and I'm making hanging type earrings from them by drilling a tiny hole just under their antlers and attaching them via a ring large enough to clear the antlers to the ear piece.

I've made 337 of the largest reindeer so far this year and have given about 230 of them away so far, so I'll likely make more before Christmas. I've only made a few of the middle sizes, but have made 53 of the smallest ones. So far, only 2 sets of earrings have been put together. I'm waiting for additional gold and silver earring hardware to put more of them together. They will also be given away, but as Christmas Presents. My 17 yo grandaughter and my daughter-in-law (her mom) received the first two sets of earrings
on Thanksgiving and seemed very excited about them.

In the third picture you can see some of the larger ornaments that I've been making. These were stack cut flat and then the two pieces put together with glue. Since August I've made about 60 (I lost count) and many of these are also on their way to relatives. They are 6-8" tall and 2-4" wide (ruler scale didn't make it into the photo)

The forth photo gives a better idea how tiny my smallest reindeer are. I make all of the larger size reindeer from pine, but I had to switch to poplar to make these. The pine wouldn't reliably hold together and some reindeer fell apart before I even finished cutting them. The legs of these tiny 1" tall reindeer are so small that their 2 front legs are about the size of the small end of the standard flat tooth picks. I also cut these with the #1R Flying Dutchman blades, but more slowly and carefully.

I was able to make all of these much easier after I installed the two LED lamps on my scroll saw that I showed in my previous post. They actually made doing all of this a pleasure. A repost of my DeWalt saw with these LED lights attached is the last photo. posted here.
Anyone looking for more information about these lights should look up my previous post about "Improved Scroll Saw Lighting"

Charley
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 03:58 PM
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Those are exquisite looking!!!
I am enthralled with the ones that look like scrollwork leaves on the bottom. They are almost magical looking... I'd decorate my ceilings with those and have them up year round. They are too beautiful for just the holidays.

Very, VERY good job!
~M
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 04:06 PM
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Excellent craftsmanship and a very nice description of the process.

No doubt these will will hold a special meaning for the recipients - nice work Charley.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 04:44 PM
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It blows me away, Charley to see what you and some others do with the scroll saw. I would have no way of even attacking such a project.

These are a perfect example of the excellent craftsmanship that a proficient person can do on a scrollsaw.
Great job, and a great gesture to all at Christmas, I know the pleasure you get from making and giving to others. Keep it up . and keep making people happy.

Herb
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Moz,

Do you mean the Colonial Lamp Light shape? That's one of my favorites of the larger ornaments that I make, and one that many of my relatives like too. The plans for it came from a Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts magazine Christmas edition way back in the late 90's. (the plans are in my computer now, but I'll try to find the original issue # for you). Most of the rest of my ornaments of this size came from the same magazine.

These are a bit tricky to cut and can take up to about an hour and a half, so I stack cut them most of the time. Both halves of the pattern are nearly identical, except for the center slot, which needs to be the same width as the plywood that you are cutting them from. The slot comes down from the top to the center of one piece and up from the bottom to the center of the other piece. After they are cut out you just slide the two pieces together with a little glue. The Colonial Lamp Ornaments were made from 3/16 thick mahogany plywood and are clear coated with clear gloss lacquer.
I really like the wood grain, so I clear coat most of the ornaments made from the furniture grades and better quality woods. Some get sparkle dust while they are wet and some are just left with the gloss clear coating.

The white large ornaments were cut from Baltic Birch plywood and then painted white.
While the paint was still wet I sprinkled sparkle dust on them, but it doesn't show in the photograph. I've used other colors of paint including chrome and gold for these too, but don't have any to show right now, only the white ones.

I have a pretty extended family, and even distant cousins come asking for my work. So much so that I have never sold any of my wood working, but I give the reindeer away (I've saturated my relatives with them).

Charley
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 05:21 PM
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the craftsmanship and attention to detail is way above impressive....

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 05:41 PM
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Charlie, "Colonial Lamp Shade" works for me... The ones along the top row after the white one, and the first on on the second row. They visually strike a chord in me, I adore them!
Yes, please, I would very much appreciate the design for those, thank you!

I am an only child of two only children. Family is alien enough. Extended family is simply beyond me. It's like imagining being related to everyone on my block...weird...
I can well imagine the reaction those beautiful earrings get. I don't think I've ever seen such a thing before. Talk about fashionable!

You really have impressed many of us with these photos. Even Grumpy...I mean Stick.
Thank you for sharing!!!
~M
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Herb,

I teach and demonstrate scroll sawing and other woodworking, but mostly scroll sawing. I also design and build exhibits for the Science Museums in NC, but mostly for Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC and their satellite museums (see Discovery Place » Charlotte's Fun, Family-Friendly Science Museum. For the exhibits, I do everything except the graphic arts. The Cabinet making, electrical, mechanical, wiring, programming, etc. are all done, either in my home shop or at their shop. Everything but the signs and the pictures that go on them is done by me, and I'm 73, so I volunteer my services to them.

Anyone can scroll saw if they can see, have a good scroll saw, good lighting, the right blades, and a steady hand. My eyesight is beginning to fail, so I now wear 3X glasses for reading and to scroll saw, and when I'm making the 1" high reindeer I add a head band magnifier too. Maybe the young'uns can do it without magnification, but I can't.

I belong to an internet virtual woodworking club (Search Results - North Carolina Woodworker). We don't have meetings or monthly dues, we get together on the website - go there and look around. We have over 6000 members now, mostly in the Carolinas and the neighboring States. It would be great if this idea for a woodworking club began in other locations too.

Several groups of us get together at restaurants in different towns and cities once a month to have lunch together, meet each other face to face, talk woodworking, and sometimes someone will bring something to do a show and tell. Each member pays for his own meal at these sessions. There is an annual picnic in May every year that's hobo style (everyone brings something) and the website pays for the meat and rolls.

A 15 minute meeting is part of this annual picnic where we install the club officers for the coming year. We sell advertising space on the website and have annual fund raisings to pay for the website and the Outreach programs. We are a registered non profit tax exempt group and consider ourselves to be one of the friendliest woodworking groups on the internet. Of course, I think Router Forums is right up there too, but Router Forums isn't really a club. All this has made for a great woodworking club for us over the last 10 years.

We also have a trailer full of tools and do Outreach Training for Wounded Warriors, Police, Fire Co's, scouts, church groups, or any group of about 10 people who would like us to help them get started in woodworking. We even go to community fairs if we are asked to. We bring the trailer full of tools to them and the training is done by our member expert volunteers and it's frequently it's one expert to one student. Each student can pick from a list of simple starter projects that we have the supplies for, and then we help them learn how to use the tools and build it. We don't do it for them. Some of these Outreach Students have even gone on to become new members of NCWoodworker and begin working in the field of woodworking. The best comment that I ever heard from a Wounded Warrior at one of these training sessions was "I don't want this day to end. I'm enjoying this so much." and this Is why I volunteer to help them.

The community fairs are usually not training, but are demonstrations by us to get people to know who we are and what we do. We never charge for what we do, not even for the materials used and I am one of the Certified Volunteer Outreach Trainers for these programs.

I think I've said too much. Oh well.

Thanks for the positive comments. I really appreciate it.

Charley
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 06:54 PM
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@CharleyL ...

WOW!!! KUDOS!!!...
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This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”

Last edited by Stick486; 12-07-2015 at 06:56 PM.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 12-07-2015, 07:27 PM
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[bFANTASTIC ![/b]

Please send us a link

Last edited by old coasty; 12-07-2015 at 07:35 PM. Reason: The computer didn't do what I wanted it to do.
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