Saturday, October 1, 2016

Santa Ornament TIPS

With Christmas and Christmas craft shows fast approaching some whittlers and carvers like to carve Santa ornaments for these times.  Whether you sell the ornaments or gift them, you'll need several.  In fact you may need lots of them.  This is one reason that I like to be sure to be very efficient in making them.  That's why I like to cut some corners in the process.  Here's the way I do many of the Santa ornaments.

I have already decided to finish the ornaments natural, instead of painting.  There are several reasons for this decision.  First, I am lazy.  I also do not like to paint, and run the risk of ruining an other wise decent ornament.  I am just not as steady as I used to be.  It's also much faster.

I do not like to sand my pieces after whittling them with a knife - with one exception.  The tip of the nose.  In my humble opinion. a smooth rounded nose tip makes for a happier looking Santa.  Here's some of the materials that can smooth and round the tip of the nose.  The last/bottom device shown is a dental burr held in an adjustable chuck.  Some refer to this as a "pin vice".

Here's the result of smoothing and rounding the nose tip.  Compare this photo to the previous photo and see if you agree that the rounded and smooth nose tip makes the Santa look happier.

Next I push an eye piece into the top of Santa's hat.  This will serve to help DIP the piece into finish as well as hang on a tree.  Notice, that in keeping with the lack of paint, I have wood burned some "snow flakes" into the hat band.

I dip the piece into wood conditioner and hang to dry.
After drying, wax and buff.  Add more wax to get darker, or stain - but that's one more step.

Dpn't know how much easier this can get!  But I'll still try.


Pete said...

If you use shoe polish like brown or neutral Kiwi you can get a real nice finish and combine 2 step s into 1. Merry Xmas!

Tom H said...

Thanks Pete! I am going to give this finish a try. I'll post results.