The Woodworker|December 2019
As Christmas is fast approaching, I wanted to make a project that gives people a reason to celebrate. To fulfil this brief, I designed and made a swivelling timber Christmas tree, which allows you to change its configuration as you wish, every day leading up to the main event. The celebrations don’t stop there, however, because an added bonus is the incorporation of an Advent calendar into the tree’s branches. These start from door 1 at the top to door 24 at the bottom, leading down to the big ‘present’ box at the base, which symbolises Christmas Day.
Making the gift box base
The first step is to make a box, which will form the base of the project, using 18mm chipboard, but ensure to leave the top open (photo 1). A box measuring 200 × 200 × 200mm is more than sufficient. This is just a mould for the concrete mix, so simply cut and screw the joints at each corner. Drill a hole in the centre of the bottom of the box, which is the same diameter as the 28mm timber dowel; this will ensure it’s adequately held in place. Use Gorilla Mould Resistance Sealant on the internal joints and leave to dry.
Making the concrete mixture
The second step is to make a concrete mix – three parts sand to one part cement – which is then mixed together with water to give a sufficient consistency. Once you have the correct consistency (not too wet and not too dry), you’re ready to pour it into the box (photos 2a & 2b). Don’t forget to place the timber dowel in the centre before the mixture goes in. Alternatively, it can also be held in place using a timber brace at the top. The important part is to ensure the surface is nice and level.
Cutting the branches
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