Making a piece of fruit is a perfect introduction to woodturning and as a beginner, it’s likely you’ll produce quite a few. In this article, we explain how our resident professional, Colwin Way RPT, would turn a wooden apple. But, there are two parts to this project as Colwin experiments with Rustina™ finishes to give his turned apples a rotten appearance!
What you'll need
In this article, we explain how our resident professional, Colwin Way RPT, would turn a wooden apple. But, there are two parts to this project as Colwin experiments with Rustina™ finishes to give his turned apples a rotten appearance!
How To Turn A Wooden Apple
Cut your blank to the following dimensions 75mm x 75mm x 70mm long. Mount the blank between the centres on the lathe.
Using a roughing gouge, with your tool rest just below centre, begin roughing down the blank to a cylinder shape.
Smooth the surface with a bowl gouge shear cut.
Raise up the tool rest to just above the centre and use a 3/8 bowl gouge to shape the top of the apple.
Now shape the underside at a lesser taper than the top.
Using a Parting tool shape deep into the upper and lower curves, near to the centres.
Remove the tool rest and sand the apple working up through the sandpaper to 400 grit. Make sure not to leave any scratches or imperfections.
To clean off the centre marks, use a jam chuck. This is a piece of 100mm square timber turned into a cylinder, then hollowed with a slight taper on the inside. This taper holds the fruit in place and allows for fine finishing.
With the apple in the jam chuck, use a 1/4 ” bowl gouge and turn away the waste end. Sand to a good finish.
Gently tap the apple out, turn it over and repeat the process on the other end.
Congratulations, you’ve officially managed to turn a wooden apple!
How To Make The Apple Stem
On the top of your apple, using a 4mm drill, make a 15mm deep hole at a slight angle.
Using a set of pin jaws mount a length of 8mm timber in the chuck.
Skew the blank down to a cylinder, then into a taper making sure the taper ends at roughly 3mm.
The stem can now be parted off using a Skew Chisel.
Using a sanding disc sand an angle at the top of the turned stem.
Do not glue the stem in place until after painting. This will allow you to use a stick, placed in the hole, as a handle.
If you need more guidance on how to turn a wooden apple or make a jam chuck watch Colwin’s detailed demonstration during an episode of our Woodworking Wisdom Live series – Fruit Turning With Colwin Way
How To Create An Ageing Effect With Rustina™
Rustina™ is a unique paint ageing system from Chroma Craft that will give make your work stand out. This water-based system is designed to provide an aged metallic look on a variety of surfaces including wood, metal, ceramic, glass and plastics. It’s typically used to turn projects into rusted artefacts but here it’s been applied to wooden apples, to give the illusion that they are rotten.
First, you need to prime the surface. Of the three Rustina primers available we’ve chosen Black to create a smooth finish and Road Rash for its textured quality. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.
Spray the surface of the apples liberally with the Brown-Rust Ageing Solution to bring the lovely rust effect to life.
Now, sit back and watch how the paint slowly changes colour. As it dries you will see the copper, brass and iron metallic paint start to brighten, creating the ageing effect.
To lock the colour spray the fruit with Rustina WRU-20 Sealer. Without causing the colours to alter it provides a rich satin lustre finish and offers long-lasting protection for your projects.
Made it? Let’s see it!
If you have had a go at making a rotten apple, or anything else using the ageing solutions from Rustina, we would love to see it! Comment below or send us a photograph. Alternatively, get in touch via our social media platforms. Find us on Facebook or connect with us on Instagram – search @Axminstertools.