Thursday, March 12, 2015

Giving a Christmas Tree a Second Chance

For the past 15 years we've had a fake tree. As a kid we always had a real tree but when I moved out my wife got her parents old tree and we've been using it ever since. This year we decided it would be fun to head to the Christmas Tree farm and get a real tree. My daughter wasn't too happy about cutting one down but she didn't mind 'saving' one from the tree lot. When Christmas was over however, sending the tree to the chipper wasn't a happy thought. Instead I took some time to hone my turning skills with a few simple projects.
The first project was pretty simple. A pencil holder. The centre was drilled out with a 2 3/8 forstner and the outside turned to about 3/8 of an inch thick. A bit of felt on the bottom and a shellac finish and it was done.

The second project was much less practical. A baseball bat made from a noble spruce isn't going to stay straight for long but it was a fun project. I wasn't sure on dimensions so I winged it by splitting it into thirds. One third for the thick part, one third for the thin part and one third for the transition. It turned out pretty well.
The final project was a simple vase for Valentine's Day. Centre was drilled out with a 3/4 auger bit and the outside was finished with wipe on poly and wax. I also had a small plastic insert so it can hold water for the flowers.

This was my first time turning green wood which is much more enjoyable. The only issue was the sap which was mostly in the bark layers. It left a film on my turning tools that was a bit of a pain to get off. Other than that, this was a great way to give a Christmas Tree a second chance at life.

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