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Bigger hammer

Angel Figurines

I recently made a little angel figurine for my mum, who collects them:

I made it from the same piece of pretty spalted Sycamore that I made the turning top from. The body was turned between centres. Undercutting the halo as much as possible without breaking it off was a bit hairy.


The wings were turned like a little platter to get the profile (mounting it on the faceplate without leaving visible screw holes was a bit of a challenge), then I whittled the wing shape with a carving knife and cut the feather notches with a small v-shaped carving gouge. It's simply glued onto the body with rapid epoxy.


Surface finish is beeswax polish.

I was so pleased with how the first one turned out that I decided to make a second one to give to asphodeline:




I think on this one the stub connecting the body to the wings was made from a separate piece and the three parts were pinned as well as glued together, with a little oak plug glued into the pin hole to hide it.


I like the way the spalting gives them both the suggestion of a face.

Impressed by the work on the halo.

(If you ever have time, don't forget you wanted to try making a jig doll)
Thanks! When deciding where to mount the wings I turned them around until the most face-like pattern was at the front.

Yes, the jig doll is still on the TODO list. I'm looking forward to working on it! *blows stray wood chips out of my laptop keyboard* I think the challenge will be the joint hinges. I've had a bit of interest in making a couple more to commission once I've worked out the techniques.
I like your maker's mark
Thanks! The one on the second angel is hopefully the final version - originally the vertical lines of the H were parallel but it was a bit tricky to carve neatly because of the acuteness of the angle where they intersect the verticals of the A.
I just checked, yes the angel wing stub is a separate piece.

Regarding not leaving screw holes.

Traditional ways round when the only option was the screw chuck boiled down to either wasting wood by cutting/turning off the part which the screws are sited. or you glued on a sacrificial piece of wood which you removed once the turning was complete.

The downside of the latter choice is that the glue line is a point of weakness (particularly if, as some turners do, you laminate a piece of paper between the sacrifice and the turning proper - it's done to make it easier to make a clean separation) so you have to be careful not to overstress the joint.

Having said that I've successfully used the glue laminate hold for pieces where the wood was too scarce/valuable to waste on screw mounts. In my case the sacrificial piece is usually a piece of plywood.
Thanks. I've read about but not yet tried the 'glue chuck' method. I think one source suggested using hot melt glue because it sets almost instantly and it's relatively weak, so it's easy to break the joint when finished without damaging the work.

Hot Melt Glue

I'm a little wary of hot melt glue. The cheaper glue guns don't have any or accurate thermostatic control and the more expensive ones, well different types of glue stick have different thermal curves so you have to experiment until you dial in the best results.

A cheap gun can be all you need, you just have to remember that just because the glue will squeeze out of the nozzle doesn't mean that the glue is at it's optimum temperature to allow you to both apply and bring the pieces together before the glue cools below the point where it won't stick properly (I allow at least five minutes after the glue will just flow through the nozzle.

Ordinary PVA works quite well and if you need it to break cleanly use a sheet of newspaper (it absorbs the glue better than writing paper.