Introduction: Wooden Helical Christmas Tree

Hi everyone, like a lot of people, I'm confined to home. Lets see the good side, it's time to be creative. Christmas is getting close and I had some wood remaining from my roof renovation. So I wanted to make a decorative tree out of it.

It's really easy to make and don't need a lot of tools, even if I use some big ones, almost everything can be hand done (we have plenty of free time at the moment)

In this instructable I will try to detail how I built it the best as I can. Please don't be offended by my English it's not my mother language.


For this project I used

  • 15x35 pine wood (~28m)
  • 60x40 pine wood (~3m)
  • 10mm threaded rod (2x 1m)
  • M10 nut x3
  • M10 washer x3
  • Wood glue
  • 4.5x60 wood screws x8

Step 1: Cut the Body Parts

The tree I made is about 135 cm high. But you can adapt it on your will. It's composed of 71 parts. The bottom one is 665mm, and I reduce each part with a step of 8mm. Make an excel sheet to get all the sizes as I can't upload mine. With 71 parts, the top one must be 105mm if you are right.

Note: For this height, you will need a ~1m20 threaded rod. Standard rods are 1m long. If you can't have any longer or are not equiped to weld two rods, make a smaller tree.

Gather all the wood you need and cut the parts. Nothing complicated for now and you will see everything is as simple as it.

Step 2: Drill Them

Mark the center of each part and drill them with a 10mm bit. If you have a drill press, use it but it is not mandatory as you drill nearly vertical.

In my case I had this stand for drill, and I made a jig to drill the parts faster and be centered each time.

Once everyting is drilled, take the last part (the 105mm one which will go on top of the tree). Put a washer on it and mark it with a pen. Drill a 3mm deep pocket and insert the washer. So you will not crush the wood tightening the nut at the end.

Step 3: Make the Head

If you have planks more than 100 mm wide, you can use it and win a lot of time. If, like me, you don't, take 6 bits of wood (the same as the ones you used to make the body) Cut them 180mm long and glue them 3 by 3.

Press it for 24h and it will give you two pieces 105 x 180mm.

Sand it and cut the ends to mae it clean and 105x170mm.

the head is composed with two pieces, blueprints are in attachmnent.

To make the nothes, just saw them and finish with a wood chisel.

Now you can assemble them. Be sure the bottom is flat and adjust the notch with chisel if needed.

Step 4: Turn the Head to a Key

Because we want to be able to disassemble our tree in January without any tool, it would be cool if the head became the key.

To do so, we will insert a nut in it. Place it in a way it is covered by the wood and mark it with a pen. Trace the pocket that is needed. Be carefull with the deep. It must be 1mm smaller than the nut, so it will exceed from the wood? Doing this, we are sure that the nut press the washer we put earlier and no pressionb is applied to our head's wood.

Make the pocket with chisel. For the octagonal part, start with a square and finish the sides from above. The more precise you are, the better your nut will be holded and the wood will not be disformed when tightening.

Reassemble the head, place the nut to his place, use it as a guide to drill a 9mm hole. Take of the nut, and enlarge the hole with a 10mm bit. (if you drill 10mm through the nut, you will damage it). This hole will allow you to have a longer threaded rod. Then glue the nut to his place. The head is done.

Step 5: Make the Base

The base is basically composed of 3 stacked squares. The bottom on is 300x300, the second 220x220 and the last one 140x140.

I used 60x40 pine wood to make three panels. (make them at the same time as the head's ones so you won't have to wait 24h twice)

Cut them to size.

Take the top and bottom ones. Mark the center with a 2mm drill. On each one of them, make a 32mm pocket, adjusting the deep to fit a washer and a nut. Be sur nothing exceed from the panels. the bottom one will not be visible, and the top one will be hidden by the first body part wich is 35mm wide.

Assemble the parts. This step is optionnal as the rod will hold them together, but I prefer to have it assembled anyway. You can glue or screw them. Personally, I screwed the middle one in the top one from below with 4.5x60 wood screws (always drill before screwing to preserve wood from bursting).

The base is done, lets assemble all the parts.

Step 6: Make the Tree

If, like me, you have 1m rodes, you have to weld them to make a longer one. Grind it to make it ~10mm. It is not important if the thread is dammaged, we will only use it on the ends.

Insert the rod in the base and place a washer and a nut in the pockets you made on it. Tighen them as strong as you can (don't crush the wood of course).

Now the funny part, put each part of the body on the rod (of course you kept them sorted by size, otherwise, good luck ;))

Once it is done, place the head, cut your rod if it is too long but remember you have some flexibility thanks to the 10mm hole in the head.

Place the body parts as you wish. You can place them flat, or random but I prefer helical. When you're done, turn the head to tighten it and show me yours !

I saw someone who made the same and painted the ends brown it's nice and highlights the helical path.

Thanks for reading and I wish you a merry Christmas !

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