Sept 2014 Demo


“Christmas Trees

by Jim Tanksley

Jim Tanksley- Mansfield Texas

Tanksley1Tanksley2I have been a member of the Wood Turners of North Texas since 2005. I was impressed from the first meeting on the willingness of members to share technics and tips with other members. I started on a Jet Mini Lathe and quickly moved up to Nova 3000 with 16” capacity over the lathe bed. It had a 2hp, Reversible, Variable Speed motor and a swivel head. Not long after I bought it from another member I hit the reverse switch while it was going forward and twisted off the shaft. That was $600 lesson. I ended up selling the Nova to another club member and bought a Powermatic 3520B with an 18” extension. I love the Powermatic and can turn up to 20” over the Lathe Bed and 38” off the end with a face plate.

I mainly turn medium to large Mesquite vessels and bowls with natural edge but have turned many different woods, sizes and shapes. I even turn an occasional pen for friend or as a conversation piece to market my other turnings.

Several years back the club had a demo on Snow Men. I thought they looked fun and starting making them in October for the Christmas season. While making the Snow Men out of Mesquite I got the idea of using Mesquite to make Christmas Trees. The first ones I turned were just cone shaped turned from a log between centers.   I liked the way the yellow sap ring in the wood looked like snow on the branches.   After some experimenting I came up with a design which has consistent sap rings on one side of the Christmas Tree. Come out on Thursday September 25th and learn how it’s done.