2015 Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge Results

May also be viewed on YouTube – But Best Right Here

Official Challenge Playlist at this link.


  • Craft Supplies USA –www.woodturnerscatalog.com
  • Robust Woodturning Tools – www.turnrobust.com
  • Chefware Kits – www.chefwarekits.com
  • Pony Tools Inc. – www.ponytools.com
  • Easy Woodtools – www.easywoodtools.com
  • Lyle Jamieson – http://lylejamieson.com
  • Hunter Tools – http://huntertoolsystems.com
  • Konifer Watch – www.koniferwatch.com
  • Zack Fuller

Challenge Victors

  1. Justin Fiaschetti
  2. Jose Alberto Giordano
  3. Daniel Vilarino
  4. Sam Angelo
  5. Terry Vance



Inside out

LED Globe





Plan now for the 2016 Christmas Ornament Challenge.

Molly Winton Demonstrates Wood Burn Basket Weave Brand

Molly Winton Vase

May also be viewed on YouTube – But please stay here if you can!

For this video, I have a special guest, Molly Winton. I recently attended one of her workshops where she taught pyrography or woodburning. She was a great teacher and gave me the bug — I have to incorporate wood burning into some of my projects.

In this video, Molly demonstrates making her basket weave tip and how to best use it. She uses 20 gage wire (sometimes 22 gage). She uses a hex drill bit as a mandrel that is cut off where the flutes begin. A vise grip holds nichrome wire to the hex part of the mandrel. She wraps the wire five times, removes it from the mandrel, then straightens and trims the leads.

Molly’s website: http://www.turningmaven.com/

Molly’s email: TurningMaven@hotmail.com

If you have a chance to attend one of her demo’s or workshops – DO IT!

If you want woodburning tips pre-made by Molly visit Packard Woodworks at http://www.packardwoodworks.com/

Here’s a link to my Vaporizer (power supply) video
and a link to my woodburning pen and a link to my first woodburning project.

Good turning.

Christmas Drum Ornament For Little Drummer Boy

May also be viewed on YouTube – But best right here.

Drum OrnamentThis video uses the third and last pieces of wood glued into a stave segmented block: The first was a traditional globe ornament; then a vase ornament; and now a drum ornament.

I do not know the pen blank wood – this wood was part of a “exotic tropical wood” pen blank Black Friday sale a couple of years ago. However, I did use Padauk in between each pen blank.

The tropical wood is quite soft and tears out from end grain very easily. This ornament is finished with Mylands Friction Polish.

To finish turning the exterior of my cylinder, I needed to customize a chuck to hold and center the hollow wood. The chuck is a threaded wood faceplate with a t-nut to receive a bolt from the other side. Small adapters turned from cedar center the cylinder. Check out my video of February 2013 for how to make threaded wood faceplates. I use them all the time.

Walnut discs form the drum heads.

The drum is for the Little Drummer boy who beats his drum for the baby Jesus.

Good turning.

Check out the Christmas Ornament Challenge playlist here at this link.

Christmas Ornament Vase Reminds Of Spirit Of Giving

May also be viewed via YouTube – but best right here.

Christmas Vase OrnamentThis Christmas vase is turned from mixed “tropical pen blanks”. I had glued up the pen blanks for an earlier project and had ample left over. Move than enough for this project.

Since the wood was already glued up, this was a simple project. I hollowed it, then added a top and a bottom to the vase.

It reminds me of the gifts given the the Christ Child.

Good turning.

Meanwhile, we’re starting the judging for the Christmas Ornament Challenge – What a tough job. :)

DIY Pyrography Pen And Tip For My Woodburning

Pen Still 03 WSMay also be viewed on YouTube – But Better Here!

There’s still time to enter this year’s Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge. See this year’s challenge playlist here for all ornament video submissions.

We appreciate all skill levels and all types of Christmas ornaments.


As promised, this is my build video for my DIY or home made pen for pyrography or woodburning on my woodturning projects.

This pyrography pen uses;

  • 6″ ¾” PVC pipe
  • 6-8 feet 14 gauge insulated stranded wire – Ace Hardware
  • ¼” Male Power Jack
  • 4 PA10HDS-R connectors from connector strip – #215029 TERMINAL BLOCK,12-POS,10MM, $2.3900 – Jameco Electronics
  • 8” – 1/8” brass rod
  • JB Weld Epoxy
  • 1 cotton ball
  • 1–strip thick veneer, popsicle stick, or solid wood a little longer than the brass rod plus connector length
  • electrical tape.

The most difficult item to source are the connectors. I could not find them in local stores such as Radio Shack or Fry’s. I ordered them online from Jameco electronics. Others from my club found them at a commercial electronics supply firm.

The connectors are sold in a block of connectors. I tried to unscrew the screws to extract the metal tube but could not remove the screw from the plastic housing. Then I succeeded when I tightened the screw then clipped the plastic and pried back the plastic. Then I could easily remove the screw and slide out the metal connector.

I soldered the wire to my 1/4″ power jack which matches the jack I installed in the vaporizer.

I cut two pieces of 1/8″ brass rod about 4 inches long and tightened a connector to each end. Then I glued the flats on the metal connectors on one brass rod to a piece of veneer. After the glue dried, turned it over and glued the other rod with connectors to the other side. Then I wrapped both ends with electrical tape.

With my sub assembly complete, I connected the wire and inserted the rod assembly into the PVC pipe. After stuffing cotton into each end, I filled each end with JB Weld epoxy.

This completed the pen.

Home made tips are made from nichrome wire 18 to 22 gauge. Molly Winton recommends 20 or 22 gauge.

My pen can use both Razortip commercial tips and home made tips.

This is a great project, very economical, to create a variety of effects applied to woodturning projects. My “Vaporizer” packs enough power punch to drive even larger pens.

Good turning.

Home Made Vaporizer for “Pyrography”/Woodburning

May also be viewed on YouTube – but better here!

There’s still time to enter this year’s Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge. Follow this link for details and and this separate link for this year’s challenge playlist for all ornament video submissions.

We appreciate all skill levels and all types of Christmas ornaments.

VaporizerAs promised, this is my build video for my DIY or home made power supply to use for pyrography or woodburning on my woodturning projects. Graeme Priddle is the source for this design that he called a “Vaporizer”.

This vaporizer uses a battery charger modified to remove much of the internal circuitry with the addition of a household dimmer switch.

  • 1- Harbor Freight – 10/2/50 Amp 12V Manual Charger With Engine Start ~$39.99 – watch for a sale and/or coupon.
  • 1- Ace Hardware – Lutron Push On/Off Dimmer (D-600PH-3K) ~$9.49
  • 2- ¼” Female Panel Mount Jacks

In Graeme Priddle’s notes, he often uses a NAPA battery charger. I don’t believe this matters as long as you can figure out the internal wiring that needs to be removed. He also hard wires his pyrography pen to avoid any power loss from the connection. However, I chose to mount two 1/4″ sockets in the front panel to enable two pens to be plugged in at once. However, only one can be used at a time. I used a switch from the battery charger to control which switch is powered.

The most difficult part was routing power to the switch and to the power sockets. Had I used a single in-line connection, the work would have been much simpler.

At the input to the battery charger, I removed a circuit board and wired the dimmer switch into the black or power input wire. I had to use additional wire to make the connections since there was just not enough extra wire.

On the output side, I traced back the wires leading out to the battery clamps. I was able to remove a couple more pc boards that otherwise control current.

After removing these components, I soldered a wire leading from the front meter to the center connector of the switch that originally controlled amperage. Then I soldered wires from the two poles of the switch to the power socket terminals.

I cut these wires from the output cable running to the battery clamps. This wire is heavier and should handle the power adequately.

Another couple of wires from the other connectors on the power sockets and connected to a wire that originaly lead to a component.

For operation, power is controlled by the push on/push off operation of the dimmer switch then by rotating the dimmer clockwise to increase power. It’s best to start with the dimmer rotated completely to the left.

The front switch controls which power socket will receive power. Two pens can be plugged in but only one will receive power.

This power supply has ample power to drive a large pen tip and to quickly reheat a tip after a touch to burn wood.

Please remember to unplug when not in use. Rotate the dimmer counter-clockwise before powering up. Let tips cool before touching. Whoever uses and modifies a commercial unit to adapt its use has to take full responsibilities for maintenance, safety and proper operation.

That said, this is a great project, very economical, to create a variety of effects applied to woodturning projects.

In another video, I’ll show how to make a pen to use with this power supply. Don’t worry, the pen is easier than the power supply.

Good turning.

Salvaging My Christmas Bell Ornament

Christmas Bell Ornament

This video may also be viewed via YouTube – But Best Viewed Right Here!

This Christmas bell is turned from maple about 2 inches in diameter and three inches tall. It is finished with colored artists pens and lacquer.
It started life as a hollowed bulb ornament. However, one end got too thin. My salvage efforts resulted in a bell.

While I’m happy with the bell, I’m always disappointed when I turn a wall too thin.

See our Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge at this link.

This year’s Challenge Playlist for all ornament video submissions is continually growing here.

We appreciate all skill levels and all types of Christmas ornaments.

Prizes will be announced during December 2015.

Good turning.

Woodturning Stave Segmented Pen Blank Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament 2015 90This video may also be viewed via YouTube – But best viewed here.

This is another ornament for this year’s Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge The ornament’s body consists of eight ‘exotic tropical hardwood’ pen blanks cut in stave fashion with strips of padauk between each. Each pen blank was ripped at a 22.5 degree angle.
The ornament’s top and bottom are walnut. The ornament is finished with Myland’s Friction Polish.

Already we have some great ornaments here.

To enter your ornament and video, please go here.

Prizes will be announced during December 2015.

Good turning.

Woodturning Hollow Christmas Ornament With Wood Burning

Cherry Christmas Ornament

This video may also be viewed on YouTube. But much better here.

This ornament is my first for this year’s Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge. It is cherry with the bulb about 2 inches in diameter plus about 1 inch integral finial. I hollowed the bulb by cutting it in half, hollowing the two halves, and gluing it back together. It is finished with shellac friction polish.

For decoration, I turned several v-grooves and woodburned (pyrography) some random designs. I then sanded the burned areas before finishing and buffing the ornament.

Enter your ornament video at http://www.AsWoodTurns.com/Challenges. There’s still lots of time before the deadline of November 30, 2015.

Click here to view the all ornaments submitted.

Good turning.

Pyrography For Lid Of My Segmented Utility Bowl

Lidded Oak Bowl

This video may be viewed on YouTube.

This video builds on my last video to make a lid for my bowl. It went well except for the home-made plywood I used in the lid. I had expected it to blend well to make the lid. While it sanded well, and had a smooth surface, it did not look right at the size it was and for the more visible top of the vessel.

Last year, I took a workshop from Graeme Priddle. More recently, I took another from Molly Winton. Both used pyrography or woodburning to enhance vessels. I decided to enhance the look of the lid by burning a pattern over the plywood area.

To burn, I used three burning tips: a skew for the outline; a large basket weave for the outer fill; and a ball point to stipple the inner fill. After burning, I painted the area with black gesso. Finally, I burnished the burned area with RubnBuff to give the high points a gold luster.

The lid is three segment rings with twelve segments each for thirty-six segments. The lid is finished with walnut oil like the bowl portion. At ten inches in diameter, the lid add about two more inches to the bowl’s height.

Good turning.

Don’t forget the Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge!