Introduction: Wood Lovers Faberge' Egg

Picture of Wood Lovers Faberge' Egg

I make canes and walking sticks out of unusual and fancy woods and this is my version of a wood worker's Faberge' egg made from the dried seed pod of a Banksia flower. It is very organic compared to the original intricately jeweled treasures, but I wanted to incorporate materials that are not usually seen in this context. Mother Nature has created some beautiful and intricate designs and many of them are ignored in our daily routine as we rush through our tasks. I have taken a simple object which could be considered trash and bejeweled it to create a whimsical, fancy object. The egg sits on top of a stand made from Manzanita Burl. The egg can be can be fastened on top of a shaft to be used as a cane or walking stick. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did in creating it.

The lighting in this photo makes it makes it look like a petrified pine cone full of amber. Maybe something pre-historic will emerge from it.

Step 1: Prepping the Banksia Pod

Picture of Prepping the Banksia Pod

I selected the widest banskia pod for this project since the pod has a lot of soft, unstable material outside of the hard core, there is about 40% waste. This pod was approximately 8" Long x 4" Diameter. Clean out the seed holes from any debris, just in case there are rocks or other hard items that the tools may not cut through. You may find some seeds and if you are into horticulture, you can grow these.

Step 2: Cutting the Banksia Pod

Picture of Cutting the Banksia Pod

The inner core of the pod is quite strong even if there are a lot of holes from the seeds. You will need to get to this core by removing the soft, unstable material on the outside. For a flat surface cut off the ends of the pod with the band saw (approximately 1"). If unsure, you can cut off 1/2" slices until you get to the core. Remember it's best to cut off smaller pieces as it's difficult to replace if you cut off too much.

With the stem end up, you now have a flat surface for the foot of the egg.

(If you are only making an egg to sit on a shelf, you can skip this step.) I also need the flat surface to drill a hole, since I am making the egg to use as a cane handle it needs to have a dowel or fastener. Using first a 1" Forstner bit I drilled 1/4" deep, then using a 3/8" Forstner bit I drilled the length of the coupling screw. This hole is made for a brass coupling so I can screw it on to the shaft securely and it will be hidden inside the egg (handle) and shaft. Note: If you do not need the top to be removable, you can use a dowel to fasten the handle to shaft instead of the brass coupling.

Step 3: Shaping the Pod.

Picture of Shaping the Pod.

Now the pod has a flat bottom to sit on. You can cut off some of the top end of the pod to make it more proportionate to the egg shape you are aiming for. Using a coarse grit (40+/-) I shaved off the soft outer material until I get to the inner core. You can remove more outer material with a band saw to save time, but be careful, as the pod has a lot of holes and the blade can shift.

Once you get close to your desired shape, use a higher grit (80) to remove less material and start shaping to your final size.

Step 4: Bejeweling the Pod.

Picture of Bejeweling the Pod.

Clean the pod holes of debris and place a 1/2" square piece of foil inside each hole. This will be a backing for the filler and it will reflect light. Make sure the foil is not pushed too far in to the hole or it will not be seen.

Step 5: Filling the Pod Holes.

Picture of Filling the Pod Holes.

You can now fill the pod holes with a clear, colored resin. I used a hard wax filler that melts when heated. Epoxy can also be used but will take longer to cure. Make sure the holes are filled and no air bubbles surface and your foil is not pushed back too far into the hole. Use a piece of crumpled foil to hold the egg in place and allow your filler to set before turning. Otherwise your holes of gook will drip.

Allow the filler to set hard and sand with 100 grit sand paper to remove excess filler.

Step 6: Manzanita Wood Egg Stand

Picture of Manzanita Wood Egg Stand

Using Manzanita Burl, I cut a triangluar piece approximately 3" by 1 1/2" thick. I drilled a center hole to use for a dowel to keep the egg in place and as an option to use as part of the cane. I shaped the stand using wood files and sanding tools (Sanded with 80, 100, 180, 220, 320 grit).

Step 7: Finishing the Egg

Picture of Finishing the Egg

Finish the egg and egg stand with a coat of Tung Oil or Polyeurethane. Allow to dry thoroughly before touching. Display and enjoy.

Note: Since I have made the egg and stand to use as a cane, I plan to assemble them on to a shaft of Purpleheart and take my egg for a walk in style!

Comments

suayres (author)2011-06-17

I, for one, would love to see the finished cane! And, as a user or canes, I'd like to know about how much such a cane would cost?

mmh (author)suayres2011-06-19

Hello,
Thank you for your interest of my canes. I have not finished this piece to be a cane and hope to get to it soon, but you can see other pieces of my work at www.bigstickcanes.com and http://lumberjocks.com/mmh/projects.

A finished cane with the banksia pod would be $350.-$550. depending on the design, as filling the holes is quite time consuming and if I make it to be removable, this is more complicated than if made as a solid one piece cane. I can also fill the holes with different color schemes such as: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/35073.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Meilie Moy-Hodnett
www.bigstickcanes.com
meiliemh@hotmail.com

suayres (author)2011-06-17

That, sir or ma'am, is drop-dead gorgeous! Where do you get banksia seed-pods, pray tell?

mmh (author)suayres2011-06-18

Banksia pods are available through specialty wood craft suppliers. They range in size a bit, so if you have a particular project size needed you'll want to get measurements. Remember that the outer area is quite unstable, so you need to carve down to the core for the stable wood.

Farah_tj (author)2010-10-04

wow !! awesome craft... I'll definitely try it !! :)

Farah_tj (author)2010-10-04

wow !! awesome craft... I'll definitely try it !! :)

otakucode (author)2010-04-03

That seed pod is one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen in my life.  I don't know how you could stand to be in the same room with it.  Great job on the project overall, but the structure of that thing is like something straight out of a nightmare. 

CrLz (author)2010-03-24

Beautiful!

lexi-s_omi (author)2009-12-19

Awesome! A well deserved win!

Nextraker (author)2009-02-10

Great Instructable keep it up

bauble (author)2008-11-11

I like your banksia egg very much. Thanks for sharing it with us. Does the finished egg in the photo have the tung oil or polyurethane finish?

mmh (author)bauble2008-11-11

Actually it is a combination of both, as the Tung oil penetrates the wood and the polyurethane protects it.

Faro (author)2008-10-31

Congratulations! Lovely entry.

Carole B. (author)2008-10-31

Congratulations on being a Winner. I still like your stand as much as I like your egg. Both are quite awe inspiring pieces of art. My Best Wishes to you. Carole B.

egger1 (author)2008-10-31

Congrats on your win! I love your egg! Very innovative. It's wonderful to create something beautiful from natures provision.

oldhamedia (author)2008-10-31

Congratulations on being a winner!!! The pod thing is so wild! And such a creative egg!

mmh (author)2008-10-30

Thank you everyone for your vote and support! I will be sending off my egg to the Big Apple to be displayed at the Forbes Gallery. I hope it brings me back a t-shirt!

radiobath (author)2008-10-23

I love it, although I think it is a little eerie. Looks like some sort of gruesome alien egg, or something with a lot of eyes. However, I really love how cheap it is for something so priceless. Epoxy, tin foil? Dang, even *I* can afford to make it.

Very beautiful, I would love to have one sitting on my bookshelf.

Carole B. (author)2008-10-22

Congratulations on being a Finalist. I always admire nice woodworking. My Best Wishes to you. Carole B.

kelllbelll (author)2008-10-22

Wonderful work! Congrats on being a finalist!

oregon_mushroom_man (author)2008-10-18

Hay mmh what you are doing is great I have collected the glass eggs for years and I never new about these. It now looks as if I have a new collectable on my must haves list. Keep up the awesome work. oregon_mushroom_man

chitswood (author)2008-10-18

Beautifully done. Unique flavor. Bravo!

mmh (author)2008-10-18

My next Banksia Pod Egg may be able to light up from the inside. I will have to drill the center out to get to the numerous pod holes so they can be illuminated from within.

tomhr (author)2008-10-17

Very nice--not a tradional Faberge egg, but very well constructed--nice to see the whole procedure. Never heard of banksia pods...wonder how much they cost? Might look nice to have a small pile of them in a well-turned wood bowl as a centerpiece...

mmh (author)tomhr2008-10-18

The Banksia pods are not that expensive so your idea of a group or bowl of them would be quite feasible and very attractive. If I don't make other cane handle shapes out of the ones I have I may make more egg shaped ones out of them. The filling of the holes are the key attraction, as I tried to make this look like amber or other gemlike material. FYI: They do bounce. (My heart missed a beat.) Not good practice to do for the filler can crack, but nothing broke. I had to reheat some of the filled holes, and had I used epoxy it would be sturdier.

GerryTX (author)2008-10-15

Excellent! Experience,skill, and easy to do. I would like to try that someday. Awesome burl base also.

rwexelblat (author)2008-10-14

Banksia pods have been used by wood-turners for quite a while and are available from many U. S. wood turning specialty places like Packard Woodworks and Craft Supplies USA. Woodcraft carries them too, I think. Although they are better for turning than carving, if you're a carver and have VERY sharp tools, you can do interesting work with them. They come from Australia

Wandarella (author)2008-10-14

What a talented artist to see the potential for this egg in a simple seed pod! You've created a treasure.

ChrysN (author)2008-10-13

What a unique egg, it's beautiful. It looks like it has inlaid gems, nice effect.

thompsonla (author)2008-10-13

This is a fantastic piece of art and should be in a museum.

ikaruseijin (author)2008-10-13

Beautiful! I'd never call it eerie- it looks like it's been inlaid by topaz gems.

RadBear (author)2008-10-13

Awesome egg.

mmh (author)2008-10-13

The Banksia pods are available at the specialty wood working stores. They range in size so if you have specific needs you need to be able to select or inquire the size you need (fat, skinny, long, etc.), as there is about 50% waste. Use a shop vac when sanding or cutting and a mask.

sweetnienna (author)2008-10-13

Really nice egg _

where do you find banskia pod ?

carpespasm (author)sweetnienna2008-10-13

I think I remember seeing some at a local woodworking supply shop. Wood You if I remember right. They carry specialty woodworking tools and supplies.

jessyratfink (author)2008-10-13

That is really, really pretty! I'm liking all the less conventional eggs. :D

gmjhowe (author)2008-10-13

Wow, thats excellent, nice clear instructions as well!

About This Instructable

12,021views

37favorites

License:

Bio: I love creating art and functional art is a challenge that I am enjoying by creating one-of-a-kind canes and walking sticks, as these can be ... More »
More by mmh:How To Make A Custom Fancy Walking CaneWood Lovers Faberge' Egg
Add instructable to: