How to Make a Turned and Painted Pine Tree

Decorate for the holidays with these small Christmas trees.

This is a simple turning best done with pine. This is an Eli Avisera design that I learned from his DVD which I watched a few years ago.


Simply use a piece of pine about 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch in diameter and 4 to 5 inches long. Mount it in a chuck and turn it round.

Define the bottom (at the headstock end) then add 1/4 in for the mounting tenon, another 1/4 inch for the base, another 1/2 inch for the trunk of the tree and then about 3 - 4 inches for the tree itself.

Turn a cone shape on the tree part and turn the trunk down only half way which with keep the strength while turning the tree. This will define the end of the tree for the next step.

Now sand to 120 grit and color green with either a marker or paint.

Using a skew or a 'beading/parting' tool, use the tip to curl up the grain in short push cuts starting at the top and moving down the tree towards the trunk. This motion leaves curls of wood that emulate the furls of the pine tree bows.

This will take some practice so - practice a couple of times before you color. If it doesn't look good just cut it away and try again.

Once the tree is finished the next steps are to turn the trunk down to size and clean up underneath the bottom of the tree. Then to define the base, turn its diameter a little smaller than the largest diameter of the tree and now decorate the trunk and base. I used a knurling tool, a pencil and a black Sharpie marker for this decoration.

Last is to create a small tenon on the very bottom to help mount it on your platform of choice. I used a 1/4 inch tenon about 1/4 inch long. Then I used a small pull saw to cut it free.

As you can see in the photo above, I mounted my tree in a small piece of tree branch cut in half lengthwise.

Watch the YouTube video of this project  ...

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