Introduction: Floor Samples Christmas Ornament

About: Just an old guy who likes to dabble in an eclectic mix of technologies and arts.

Another episode in using other folks' trash to make useful objects. This time I used hickory and cherry samples from my vast supply of real wood flooring samples slated for the landfill. Using them, I made the Christmas tree ornament in the second picture.

This Instructable is intended to show a way to re/upcycle these little rescued gems and not to provide instructions for some of the processes used. If you have those kinds of questions, ask in the comments and I'll try to address them.


Step 1: Preparation

I am not going to list all the tools used. Those should be obvious in the pictures.

First I cut individual pieces from the flooring samples and then cleaned them up, removing the finish.

Step 2: Glue Together

Next I glued and clamped the pieces of cherry to the pieces of hickory. When gluing, I like to set down freezer paper, shiny side up, to avoid a lot of the mess. The glue doesn't stick very well to the freezer paper and when done, just crumple it up and toss it. NOTE: I tape the paper to a worktopper board and it usually lasts for a month or more before trashing.

When using clamps made from PVC pipe, there can be quite a bit of uneven pressure so take care that pieces stay aligned.

Step 3: Sizing and More Gluing

Next, cut all the glued pieces so all sides are exactly the same. They must be perfectly square for this to work.

Then glue the pieces together, two at a time, inserting newspaper at each glue joint (picture 3) because this is only a temporary joint for now.

Mark the ends to show which corner is out. They should also be numbered to show position (I did this in a later step).

Use nylon-reinforced strapping tape after gluing for safety when turning (Picture 4).

Step 4: Turning the Inside

Mount the assembly in a lathe, turn a shape for the inside of the ornament and apply a finish.

Step 5: Get Ready to Turn the Outside

Now number the pieces so you can remember their location.

Gently use a chisel to separate the glue joint. Rotate each piece 180 degrees so that the lines from Step 3 now point inward and the numbers are in the same order.

Making absolutely sure the pieces are in the correct orientation, first glue two pieces together and then all four together.

Step 6: Completing the Ornament

Back to the lathe to turn the outside to a pleasing shape and apply a finish.

Some sharp-eyed folk may be confused about the ornament but I actually started two of them in the earlier pictures and didn't necessarily take pictures of both in all the steps. One broke during final turning. What you see here is the one that survived.

Once I finished it, it looked a little stumpy so I found a piece of walnut and added the tail on the bottom.

All it takes to recycle/upcycle is some imagination. Use yours. Keep useful items out of the landfills.

Comments welcome.

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017