Icicle Ornaments by Tom Stevenson
The ornament is made in three pieces. The globe in the center is created first then an Icicle is added to the bottom and a finial for the top. I use Ash for the globe because I like the grain pattern. However, you can use any light wood such as Maple, Holly or Dogwood. I start by spindle turning a flattened ball shape attached by a tenon. When satisfied with the shape I drill a hole through the globe. Make sure your hole goes through the globe and into the connecting tenon.
Start hollowing the globe. I have created most of my hollowing tools using Allen wrenches. You heat the Allen wrench below the bend of the wrench and bend it away from the direction of the top piece by about 45 degrees. Then break off the tip so that the end of the wrench lines up with the shaft after scoring it with a file (kind of looks like the top half of the letter “Z”). Then you flatten the tip on the top and put a bevel around the front edge of the tip. Mount the tool in a handle and you will have a great hollowing tool. Hollow the globe to make it light. You can hollow the globe out to a comfortable thickness. The thinner the lighter the ornament will feel. Then turn off the bottom of the globe and you will have the globe with an accurate hole through both ends. The icicle is made of some dark wood. I have been using Walnut. I start with a 2 to 2 ½ “diameter blank mounted in a chuck. I bring up the tail stock for support. I thin the first segment of the icicle down to about 1 ½ ‘ length and about 1/4 “ diameter at the top. Leave the tip connected until most of the shape is complete. Smooth the tip after removing the tail stock support. Sand the first segment and apply first coat of finish. Next start the taper into the tip of the second segment. From this point on DO NOT THINK ABOUT TOUCHING THE FIRST SEGMENT AGAIN. So complete the second and third segments the same manner. Each segment is a bit wider and longer than the first one. Complete the icicle with a disk a bit wider than the hole in the bottom of the globe. The last step is to create a tenon that matches the size of the drill used to make the globe holes. One last cut is made to undercut to top of the icicle to allow the icicle to fit up tight to the bottom of the globe. The Finial is made of any small scraps of dark wood. I use Brazilian Cherry. I start with a small 1/8” segment to accept the screw eye. Then I create two disk segments, the last covering the top globe hole with the same tenon and undercut. Glue the tenons in place. (If the tenon is loose, I use some wood shavings and glue to wrap the tenon and twist into place. The screw eyes are size “00”. I purchased my last ones at the Sears Hardware store. In the fall/winter issue of Woodturning
Design there is an article on making Icicle ornaments.