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weight for ornaments

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Perry Hilbert, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    How many turners try to keep the weight of their ornaments down so the ornament can actually be hung on a tree. I have seen some awfully large ornaments that I am sure would break a bough.
     
  2. Chris Lawrence

    Chris Lawrence

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    I hollow all my ornaments out to at least 1/8 in wall thickness but i try for 1/16. If your selling them customers will put them right back if they feel to heavy. If i gift one i want to see it being used.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I always went for light ornaments.
    Did hollow-ball ornaments a miniature cedar birdhouses
    These are quite light in weight DCDEA703-208F-490A-BC8C-602C3CB091C0.jpeg one of Sherry’s 90F7D9B5-5DFD-4132-A44C-221CBAA0F92F.jpeg
    Like @Chris Lawrence said- customers pick one up and the lightness surprises them in a spending way.

    Last year I started experimenting with using glass cabochons in ornaments. Did a couple of demos using them
    Two 35mm cabochons add a lot of weight. But with the advent of artificial trees they work well and are comparable in weight to Chrystal and ceramic ornaments which tend to be heavier than most. A couple of Cabochon prototypes
    2E733775-5A91-4DCC-A27F-DB913D9757EC.jpeg 6C93E5F4-C71B-49BD-B81E-EFBCFF7232B7.jpeg
    The glass by itself reflect tree lights. Also, it can be sand carved or have something glued(photo) or painted on the back. The cabochons have a slight magnifying effect. Can also put things between the glass like a colorful fishing fly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
  4. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I hollow mine so they can hang on the tree, 1/16-1/8” wall.
     
  5. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    I've sold hundreds of ornaments, the only ones I hollow are multiple piece birdhouses. I bore them out so I can turn the outside and end on a pin chuck. All the squat spherical are solid. The picture was a single commission, tree and ornaments.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
  6. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I try to keep my ornaments under 2OZ. My personal ones that I keep are almost always well under an ounce. I donate most of my ornaments to our club to sell for a charity tree. for that I turn a lot of solid ornaments that are very fast to turn so we can sell them for $10. I usually use light weight woods so these really aren't over 2 oz. I probably make 100 a year of all sorts. Just finished 20 of the zig zag ornaments in the last 3 or 4 weeks.

    Last Christmas I was one of the selected artists to have one of the Governors trees decorated with my ornaments. I know the ones I delivered were all very light because I wanted to impress them. It really depends on what woods you use as to how far I hollow them. Walnut and mahagony can easily be left 1/8" or more and still be very light. If I make one out of Cocobolo or Osage Orange I thin the walls as thin as I dare to cut down on the weight. The other day I made one and I had just replaced the cutter on my Hunter ornament hollowing tool. It cut so quick I saw a slight discoloration on the ornament side and stopped the lathe to see a slightly raised bump. I knew instantly what I had done. It did not blow up like they usually do. I poured some medium CA into the ornament and turned the lathe on at slow speed so it would run into this depression. It worked. I sanded it down and finished the ornament. This one is extremely light do to how thin it is. Here is a photo. Don't know if you can see the line about half way through it.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
    Stephen Schmidt likes this.
  7. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    Yes I try to hollow them to reduce weight which is easier on a one piece ball since you can come in from the bottom where the finial will hide the access hole. The zig zag can be a problem because the way I did them was to hollow out each half using a tomato past can bottom that has a 2 1/8th" diameter to gage the inside before I add the zigs then after all of the gluing is done I try for a sphere centered on the zags.
     
  8. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    When I make the zig zag ornaments with the milliput I use a dowel glued to the inside to create the spacing while the epoxy cures. I just use some CA on the dowel. Occasionally the dowel will break loose while hollowing and it can be a real hassle finishing the hollowing and getting the broken pieces of dowel out.
     
  9. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Could you use hot melt and pop it in the microwave and pull the dowel out before hollowing?
    Saves the dowel too.
    David Springett glues supports all over the place in his work and uses hot melt with microwave release.
     
  10. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    Haubstadt, Indiana
    I hollow all mine as practical.
     

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