1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. ATTENTION FORUM MEMBERS!

    Guest, if you have not yet updated your forum bookmark to a secure log in connection, please delete your unsecure book and add the following secure bookmark: https://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php

    You can dismiss this notice by clicking the X in the upper right of the notice box.

    Dismiss Notice

Sea Urchin Shells for Xmas Ornaments

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Dennis J Gooding, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Grants Pass Oregon
    I know, it's a bit early, but I have been tasked by a friend to make some in assorted sizes. My question is: should the shells themselves be sealed (overcoated)? If so with what? I am using gloss spray lacquer for the finials.
     
  2. GRJensen

    GRJensen

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    Bay Settlement, WI
    At the minimum I spray them with a clear matte finish. For larger sea urchins (e.g. Sputniks) I use a small acid brush to coat the inside with PVA glue.
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    6,318
    Location:
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    The urchin shells will vary in strength. Many are quite fragile. A spray finish will strengthen them.

    Below are the first pages of two articles in the journal you may find useful
    Bob Rosand
    6337BBCC-464D-46F8-B4E0-C25CD0BC195C.jpeg
    David Lutrick - he fills the ornaments with foam to strengthen them.
    30FF6591-2C19-42AE-9ACE-28EA304B792A.png
     
    Mike Adams and Tim Connell like this.
  4. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Grants Pass Oregon

    Thanks Al, very useful.
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  5. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Messages:
    396
    Location:
    Invermere, British Columbia
    Spray foam inside will strengthen them immensely. But use the low expansion foam or it will break them open as foam expands an cures.
     
    Tim Connell likes this.
  6. Larry Parker

    Larry Parker

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2019
    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Grottoes, VA
    I coat inside with Hodge Podge, recommended by Cindy Drozda, PVA is probably about the same. I then spray with lacquer when assembled.
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  7. Walter Mooney

    Walter Mooney

    Joined:
    May 26, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Dennis,

    Before you foam with the low-expansion foam (absolutely the right product), cover the shell with painters' tape or similar, turning a small lip of it into the shell, because if any foam gets on the outside of the shell, you'll never get it off. Once the foam is cured, peel and cut away the painters' tape. Your finial will hide the edge of the hole if there are tape remnants left.
     
    Paul Lajoie and Tim Connell like this.
  8. Curtis Fuller

    Curtis Fuller

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    North Ogden, Utah
    I've never tried the foam for stabilizing the shell. Might have to try that. But I've made dozens using Modge Podge on the inside of the shell. Just brush it on, 2 coats, with a small brush being careful not to get it on the outside of the shell. I think I learned this from Cindy Drozda's youtube demo. Even the more sturdy "sputknik" shells are too fragile to hold up without making a post through the center of the ornament connecting the cap and icicle. I've found it's best to not glue the shell to the wood parts. I finish the wood parts (spray lacquer) before gluing them all together and then give it one last coat when it's all glued up and hanging from the hook.
     
    Paul Lajoie likes this.
  9. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Grants Pass Oregon
    Thanks all for your advice on this. The results are shown below. I had available only a 3/4" thick cocobolo board, so the finials are a combination of side-grain and end-grain wood. This entailed a lot of time boring, tenoning and waiting for glue to dry before I could actually turn the finials. I opted to use the Moge Podge reinforcement method rather than the foam method as it seemed safer for a first-time. The outside of the shells are coated with the recommended Krylon matteproduct and the finials are sprayed with gloss lacquer.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Kevin Weir

    Kevin Weir

    Joined:
    May 13, 2020
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Ontario, CA
    Hi Dennis. Nice job. What is your source for the sea urchin shells?
     
  11. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Grants Pass Oregon
    Thanks, Kevin. A friend supplied the shells and asked for the ornaments. I will try to remember to ask her where she bought them.
     
  12. Curtis Fuller

    Curtis Fuller

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    North Ogden, Utah
  13. Kevin Weir

    Kevin Weir

    Joined:
    May 13, 2020
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Ontario, CA
    Thanks Curtis. Yes, I just checked, there’s lots on Amazon and Etsy.
     
  14. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Grants Pass Oregon
    Kevin, I checked with my friend. She bought a package of four from Amazon for $10.00. They measure 2.8, 2.4, 2.0 and 2.0 in diameter.
     
  15. Kevin Weir

    Kevin Weir

    Joined:
    May 13, 2020
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Ontario, CA
    Thanks Dennis. I see some on Amazon that are green and a pinkish red. Thinking these would be perfect for Christmas decorations.
     
  16. Tim Connell

    Tim Connell

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Cameron, Illinois
    Donovan Bailey likes this.

Share This Page