Lathe Birds

Making bird toys and ornaments on the lathe using laminations of contrasting wood.

Below are the basic dimensions of the laminations as viewed from the end grain. The circles represent the widest and thinnest parts of the finished pieces. They can be scaled proportionately for smaller or larger birds. It’s important to mount the blank in the lathe at dead centre or the ‘wings’ will not be evenly sized. Try to select three wood species with good contrast relative to each other. I tried Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) for the ‘body’, Alaskan Yellow Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis) for the ‘breast’ and a mahogany species for the wings. Next time I might go with something a bit lighter for the wings.

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