Introduction: Wooden Christmas Carousel Ornament (Roundabout - Decoration)

Earlier in the month I posted a guide on making Christmas Decorations:

This guide combines Christmas Decorations with a Carousel - the result can be used either as a decoration itself or a child's toy. Take a look at the video and if interested please read on.

If you like this then please take the time to vote in the competitions that this guide is entered into.... Thanks

I started by creating a sketchup model to see how the parts would look :-

I then gathered the materials needed - all a recycled - either from other objects (tables, necklaces, left overs from other projects)

Step 1: Preparing the Bases

The base and the hanging platform where made from the top of an old table, I scratched 2 squares (15 cm and 10 cm) then marked the center of each with a cross and cut both out using a band-saw.

The Hanging Platform

The platform would need to hang free from the center post, so I used a short forstner bit to drill part way into the center of the 15 cm square. During turning the platform would be attached to the lathe chuck in expansion so I made sure that the bit was larger than the jaws I would be using. This would also ensure that the platform would hang free of the center post once complete.

I then drilled a 6mm hole in the center and attached the square to the MDF in picture 6 above, this was then clamped to the Band-saw and the majority of the waste material removed by rotating the square with the saw running (if you do it this way take it slow as its easy to rush and break your blade.)

With the disc cut I finished off drilling the Forstner bit hole - the previously made partial hole allowed me to center the bit to finish the drilling.

Once done the disc was placed on the lather jaws and for extra support a bit of scrap was used at its face using the tail stock to keep it in place.

The Base

Once the disc for the base was cut it only required a 9.5 mm hole drilling at the center. This would later be redrilled to 10mm, but for now the hole would be large enough to attached it to my lathes screw chuck for turning.

Step 2: Turning Large Discs

The first two images show the hanging platform. I removed most of the top material first(leaving the inner portion square, I then turned it over on the chuck. Because I had not turned the inner section on the top the platform sat level of the chuck when turned. I then turned, sanded and finished the bottom of the platform before flipping it again to complete the shaping of the top and applying its finish.

The base of the stand was attached using a screw chuck. You can see that then material of the base was very thick so a put a spacer between the wood and the face of the chuck - this allowed me to remove more material before reaching the top of the screw chuck at the center of the last image.

You can plan the shape as much as you like, but once you start turning its down to making what you like at the time so have fun with that part. For the finish I used a combination of sand and sealer, friction wax and Carnuba wax.

Step 3: Parts for the Platform and Stand

You can see in the pictures above all of the parts for the platform and the stand.

The shaft was recycled from our children's old cot, It is approximately 20 cm to which was added a 10 mm tenon at the lower end to attache it to the base.

I then re-drilled the hole in the base to 10 mm and once the shaft had been turned and finished it was attached to the base using the tenon and some glue.

You will also need to drill a hole in the top of the shaft for the strings to support the platform.

Step 4: Making Snowmen and Trees

The decorations on the platform would be Snowmen and Trees and to help get then the dame size I turned two of each type at the same time.

First the Snowmen.

  1. The wood must be held in the chuck and not between centers - important when you get to removing the decorations
  2. Each Snowman would need 5 sections
    • Top of the hat
    • Rim of the hat
    • Face/upper body/lower body
  3. Decide on the proportions and make a pencil mark on the wood for each section
  4. Add a section the the bottom of the lower body for a tenon and also to allow for cutting the piece off.
  5. Repeat the marks after the tenon for the second Snowman
  6. Turn the lathe on and hold the pencil at each of the spinning marks to create a complete line around the wood.

Use the marks as guides - I like to use he thin part of a parting tool to make a V shaped cut at each line to the depth I wan the intersection to be and then shape each section (working from the center of the section to the V cut)

I also added a cut in the top of the hat this was for some decoration on the hat at the end. Both Snowmen where then sanded and polished as much as possible, however the hats where still attached and so could not be completed at this point.

Removing the decorations from the Lathe

To start removing the decorations first use a hack saw and cut at the tail stock end with the lathe and then move the stock out of the way. This is a bit trick as the lathe has to be kept spinning using your hand to steady the end.

Now carefully saw and finish the first Snowman's hat and once done remove the decoration from the lathe using the hack saw as above. and repeat the finishing of the second Snowman.

The Tree's

The trees are made in the same way as the snowmen (i just used red cherry for the wood to add a bit more colour). Once you have allowed for the tenon and the trunk of the tree start to cut a cone, BUT do not cut all the way to the tip as this will be done later when removing the tree.

The levels of the tree are made by making V cuts as required. Again sand and finish both decorations as far as possible before starting to remove the individual trees (finishing the tops as you go)

Step 5: Attaching the Trees and Snowmen

To attach the decorations measure the thickness of the platform and mark 4 equidistant points around its circumference - then drill four 10 mm holes at a depth of about 2 mm (important - not all the way through). With the holes made I used the band saw to cut the tenons to length and then glued the decorations in place.

Step 6: Adding Some Bling

The platform is hung from strings from the top of the shaft to anchor points half way between each decoration.

Start by marking and drilling shallow holes so that you can insert the wire of the anchor and glue for this I have a small hand drill (see second picture) then twist a loop on the end of some wire, or as I did recycle a necklace and open one side of a link, cutting the wire to the corect length to fit the hole just drilled. Then glue this in place. Repeat for all the remaining anchor points.

Now cut some gold thread (oversize it) and attach it to the bead decoration see picture 6 and once the anchors are set hook two of these in place - then pass the other ends through the hole in the shaft.

Next lift the platform to the height you want it to rest at when stopped and pull the string on the loose side to a distance above the opposite anchor point (the distance equals the length of the bead decoration to be attached at that end.

Tie on the decoration and then use this completed string to attach the last bead decoration and get it the same length. Now hook on all strings to the platform.

The Snowmen needed a bit of dressing up so I used double sided take on some ribbon and wrapped this around their hats putting a little glue at the ends to stop the ribbon from fraying.

Step 7: Hanging the Platform

At this point I gave it a spin to try it out and found that the anchors had not quite set (two came loose) so I made a simple support for the platform from Lego bricks to take the stain off of the strings and reset all of the anchors, this time using a little medium thickness super glue.

Check out the results - if you have not looked at the video there is a link at the top of this guide.

Thanks for reading and please vote.

Step 8: Related Instructable

This is my other Guide for Christmas Decorations

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