Eccentric Dodos

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Project by SPalm posted 07-13-2013 07:53 PM 1819 views 8 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Meet Fred and Ginger. They have joined my breakfast table birds that I turned a few weeks ago. These guys are helping me learn how to turn. They are an experiment in off-center turning and presented a few challenges to me.

The first 4 photos are of them in various poses. That is Fred showing off his tail feathers. I used a V-bit in my router table to make a groove and then glued in a stick of walnut for his tail.

Photo 5 shows how I did it. I started with a build-up of two pieces of cherry for the body and two pieces of thin walnut for the wings. The bottom of the cherry has a tenon used to hold the piece in a chuck during the turning of the neck. First the neck was turned between centers. Then the head was freed and I completed the rounding of the top portion. Next I cut off the tenon and re-chucked the body on the big axis and turned it.

Photo 6 is of my first attempt at a Dodo. He is pretty much a disaster as far as design goes. His name is Zork, and he wanted his picture taken also.

They are finished in Danish oil and wax.

Thanks for looking,

P.S. I really wanted to scoop out the flat portion of the body, but I found it nearly impossible to do without a lot of tear-out (and it was kind of scary). I guess endgrain does not like this? Any turners have any helpful hints? This would be done while the neck was the axis and would yield a tail that would rise up at the back.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

25 comments so far

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 1451 days

#1 posted 07-13-2013 08:14 PM

Nice flock.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View Lenny's profile


1348 posts in 2496 days

#2 posted 07-13-2013 08:16 PM

That’s quite an adventure you took Steve. Do I dare call it a maiden flight? You apparently learned a few things and certainly got nice results.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View lew's profile


10469 posts in 2724 days

#3 posted 07-13-2013 08:41 PM

Cute design, Steve!

Some great thoughts you put into the glue up to allow for the offset turning!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View stefang's profile


14551 posts in 2303 days

#4 posted 07-13-2013 09:22 PM

Cute birds and nicely turned Steve.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8310 posts in 3021 days

#5 posted 07-13-2013 09:44 PM

Very nice…

Slick way you turned them…

I thought Dodo birds were extinct… you’re reviving them!


Enjoy your breakfasts with Fred & Ginger!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Eric in Florida.'s profile (online now)

Eric in Florida.

3736 posts in 2544 days

#6 posted 07-13-2013 10:04 PM

I love Fred & Ginger !
They came out fantastic !

-- Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs ~ Henry Ford

View peteg's profile


3302 posts in 1792 days

#7 posted 07-13-2013 10:11 PM

Hey Steve, ya just a big Kid at heart :)))
Nice colourful turn, well done

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View KnotCurser's profile


1908 posts in 2037 days

#8 posted 07-13-2013 10:23 PM

I think I like zork the best – by having the entire bird as one piece of wood it makes folks wonder more how you did it!

Great job all around Steve!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View amagineer's profile


1397 posts in 1566 days

#9 posted 07-13-2013 10:44 PM

Steve: Very unique birds. I just uncovered my lathe this week and was looking to start turning again, but I don’t think I would be up to doing offset turning just yet.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View JL7's profile


7989 posts in 1934 days

#10 posted 07-13-2013 10:46 PM

Very clever Steve….lots of engineering in the dodo bird. Whats next?

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View Rustic's profile


3196 posts in 2565 days

#11 posted 07-13-2013 10:50 PM

Very nice

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View nonickswood's profile


477 posts in 1356 days

#12 posted 07-13-2013 11:08 PM

Nice job! Steve,
Very clever turning, soon you will need an aviary.

-- Nick, Virginia,

View sedcokid's profile


2702 posts in 2567 days

#13 posted 07-14-2013 12:50 AM

Great job Steve!!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

13644 posts in 2074 days

#14 posted 07-14-2013 02:38 AM

Would that be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers?

Those are some cool turnings. i like off center work but have not tried this yet. If you scoop it out, that front will be turned down quite low and thin and would tear out. Try a flat round nosed scraper that is real sharp .

Nice job-thanks for sharing!!.................cheers,.Jim

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

View wiser1934's profile


438 posts in 2116 days

#15 posted 07-14-2013 03:33 AM

for your first try, they are fantastic. excellent work.

-- wiser1934, new york

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