King Snake Ornament

Over in the King Snake Pen topic I mentioned that the blank I made would be trimmed to size for the pen. That left a decent-sized offcut. I have some mini-ornament kits left over from Christmas so I figured I’d put it into one of those.

Here is the offcut piece. Rather than trim the blank even shorter to match the ornament kit tube (which is maybe 1.25" long) I cut a custom tube the size of the workpiece.

Then after turning and polishing, press the hanger cap and finial in, add a hanger, and voila! Coral Snake Ornament! Size is 3.5" tip to tip, and the wood part is about 2.5" of that.

My wife and son both raved over it but personally I prefer a simpler design. Solid wood ornaments can get quite heavy so I like to cut concave contours in them. But with this blank design, all the contours expose so many paths through the laminations that it looks chaotic to me. So despite my wife and son’s positive reviews, I’m lukewarm on this piece.

The ornament above was Made On A Glowforge but the ones below were not. I offer them here for comparison of a simpler lamination style with cleaner lines. The one on the left is my first experience with paduk sawdust bleeding over into the lighter maple - and why I picked the King Snake design. Sandwiching the paduk between very dark wenge seems to have mitigated that problem. They are also comparatively heavy, despite being much shorter, because I had not at that point learned to carve away lots of bulk.

I have some ideas on how to use the GF to make hollow layered ornament blanks but that’s on a back shelf for now.


Very nice! I’m really liking your turned experiments.


i like both styles. but what i think’s cool about the king snake one is how carving the contours changes what the pattern looks like so much from the pens.


The layering makes me think this is what it would look like if a King snake had a rattle tail :slight_smile: It’s beautiful, and I can see why your family loves it. Yes, it’s more chaotic, but that also makes it hard to stop looking at it!


Yup. My pens have either straight barrels or slight arcs but some people make bulgy wasp-waisted pens like the ones in the pic below and here. Since I never have that much curve in my pens I’m not very good visualizing the final result on something this complex. No worries though, experimenting is half the fun.

Oooh, I think I’ve found my target market: Snakes that want to cosplay as rattlers! The first round of ads goes in Southern Homes and Gardens magazine.


my FIL has made a few of that wasp waisted style. not my cup of tea, either. i like me a fat pen. :slight_smile:

or a bullet pen, that he makes out of 308 shell casings. while i like the wood or acrylic pens he’s made us (we have a display box full of them), i really like the weight/feel of the bullet pens for writing.


A beautiful showing of grain. I never tire of it.


I like the solid wood better.

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I agree. Give me a good old cigar pen any day

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OMG I see a rabbit hole in my future. These are gorgeous.