Omega Psi Phi Ceremonial Mace

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Project by Jerome posted 12-31-2017 01:25 AM 510 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a ceremonial mace that I made for my Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. Where do I begin? I made my first mace a few years ago and shorty after, I decided that I would make this, at least a variation of it. I picked up a big turning blank from the lumber supply and it sat around, moving from place to place in the shop for over a year. I gradually began working on the 4 shields that I would attach to the four sides on the top. Those were the bulk of the work actually. The layout, scrool work and paring on all sides, including interior was very time consuming, about 12 hours total.

In an earlier post I wrote about “procrastination projects ”, This was one of them! A few weeks ago I finally buckled down and got started. The first step was to cut the upper portion out, which is half-lapped and I also added corner braces that were filed down and rounded. This project required me to use my router. I generally don’t use this tool , but recently I’ve gotten comfortable with it. I cut the round part on the bandsaw and rounded over the edges. Each hook of the Omega has a dowel inserted and it is connected to the base. The base has a center dowel.

I hate to say it, but I’m getting the hang of using a router! There were a few design changes. My main learning curve is learning how to use the router on my router table. Feed direction.

The molding was done with a Classical Edge Bead router bit. I found out that my table saw blade was not perfectly straight, even thought I had my miter gauge set at 45 degrees. This caused problems during assembly. I clear it up with my miter saw, but even that was not dead on. I later confirmed that problem later.

Once I secured the molding I attached to the lathe.i was unsure that my late would handle this piece, but gave it a shot. Disaster struck after about 10 seconds with it rolled off the lather. I discovered that the faceplate tightened more that expected and I needed a better live center. I also had to hold down my lathe and add 200 lbs to my lathe bench. That was a project in itself because I had to grind down the end of six bolts in order for them to sit flush at the mountung hole.

After a little give and take at the lathe I was ready to turn! It wasn’t bad, a few knucklebuster moments, but it never came off until I was ready for it too, although it did get a little loose, but I noticed and corrected the issue.

I laminated some yellowheart and strips of cherry for the frame. This is were I verified my 45% issue. I’ll have to track that down later. All the corner clamps I’ve seen wouldn’t clamp these small frames. I need a jig for that. I just glued them together without a clamp and felt that when I glued the frame to the molding that it would be sufficient. The shields also have a dowel and a glued them to the molding. The pictures were cut to fit the inside of the frames.

The finish was totally unplanned. I already Researched how to finish cherry. I picked up water based Vintage Cherry dye stain and some pre-color conditioner, but I did a test piece and didn’t want the entire mace to be Vintage Cherry. I sat in Tickler for about 30 minutes deciding on the tint and chose Amber dye stain. I had some get topcoat, but it was oil-based. I settled on the Zinsser Amber Shellac. The idea was to make two blends. One 3 parts Amber one part Vintage Cherry, the other half and half. So I had a color palette of 4 colors. The centers would be Amber and the ends Vintage Cherry. The Amber shellac would give a subtle Amber tint and darken the Amber some. It worked out well. Pre-color conditioner was applied twice and sanded after each coat. Two coats of Shellac, then I did the risky move, rubbed a light coat of the gel top coat.

The base is also made of cherry and roundover with a router. (I actually like free had routing). Then I made the rests from cherry offcuts with bark on them. They are glued and screwed. The ends Amber with the center vintage cherry.

Thanks for your comments and for reading!

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

5 comments so far

View Andybb's profile


841 posts in 538 days

#1 posted 12-31-2017 02:04 AM

Q Dog!! Very nicely done.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View stefang's profile


15878 posts in 3269 days

#2 posted 12-31-2017 12:16 PM

Excellent work on this Jerome!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Planeman40's profile


1126 posts in 2695 days

#3 posted 12-31-2017 04:44 PM

Nice work, Jerome!

I was over at Jerome’s home Friday evening. He has a nice large shop in the making. We worked on tuning up a used (but not very much) Powermatic jointer that he bought from someone for a ridiculous low price. Great piece of machinery! Hope you got those new blades adjusted right after I left!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View helluvawreck's profile


30527 posts in 2801 days

#4 posted 12-31-2017 09:02 PM

You did a wonderful job on this project.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20179 posts in 3040 days

#5 posted 01-01-2018 07:45 PM

Nice work, Jerome!!

cheers,, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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