Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ear Ring Tree Christmas Present

Some time after I started creating my band saw boxes my eldest daughter hinted the would love me to make her a holder of sorts for her numerous collection of ear rings. At first I had to admit I had not clue one what an ear ring holder was but I did some research. The internet is a marvelous thing. Most of what I found was cheap plastic or metal displays but only a few wooden types. I did learn what features should be on the horizontal pieces however. The top of the bars should have vertical slots to allow brad type ear rings to drop onto. And of course a series of holes to slip the hooked type ear rings into.
I played around with the size on my Canvas program and made up some quick proto types. My wife quickly commented my first design was waaaaaaay too big. So after a edit or two I printed out my templates and began cutting out the pieces from a nice piece of red oak I had in the shop.

The display is made of 6 pieces; 3 cross bars that actually hold the ear rings, 2 posts with mortise holes spaced ~ 4" apart which the cross bars fit into and finally a solid base again with mortise joints the posts fit into.

I finished the piece with Tung Oil which gave it a nice luster and hue showing off the wonderful oak grain. So here is the finished Ear Ring Tree. Let's hope my daughter loves it as I probably spent of and on about two weeks working on it. I wanted to personalize it so I did some wood burning on the bottom of the base.

I'll wait until after Christmas to determine if there might be some design improvements but I learned I need more practice with my mortise and tendon joinery. The joints for the cross bar were pretty good but the main joints for the posts turned out rather loose. I am thinking of buying a mortise bit for my drill press. Another problem was from some still unknown reason my drill press did some walking when I was drilling the line of holes on the bars despite my pre-marking the hold locations with a punch. It happened on my prototypes and the final bars. I need to find out why that was happening.

But overall I am pretty happy with the display and it was really fun to be able to make a nice gift like this for my daughter.

I am thinking once I work out the problems I will probably make another one and list it on my E
TSY shop.

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