Christmas Nutcracker

Christmas Nutcracker

This week I tried my hand at making a classic soldier Christmas nutcracker.  Ultimately it turned out okay, but wow, this was very challenging!

Handmade Christmas Nutcracker

I began by designing lathe turning templates for the various pieces. I am so glad I took the time to do this because it sped up the turning process and allowed me to make matching arms and legs.

To use these, I printed them out and spray mounted them to a piece of cardboard. The I cut out the white areas to create profiles of the nutcracker parts.

image1

image2

After rough turning a block of wood into an even, round shape, I made marks where each of the transitions would occur.

image3

Using these pencil marks as guides, I turned the arms, legs and body, checking the template along the way.

image4

image5

Here are both the arms.

image6

To ensure each the diameters were the same on each piece, I used an adjustable wrench to measure various points.

image7

I turned the nutcracker’s body and hat in one piece.

image8

Then I separated the head from the body and cut a notch in the body piece for the lever mechanism to fit into.

image9

image10

image11

The nutcracker’s jaw, the part that “cracks” nuts was super tricky. I ended up making three attempts before getting one that worked correctly.

image12

image13

Once I was reasonably satisfied it would work, I drilled a holed through the body and the lever and tested the pivoting with a nail.

image15

image16

image17

Next, I made a brim for the hat and glued it into place.

image18

image19

image20

I used dowel pins to attach the legs to the body.

image21

image22

image23

image24

The I glued the legs to a block of wood and shaped a couple of tiny shoes.

image25

image26

The arms are attached with smaller dowels. I tested the fit here, but removed them for painting.

image27

image28

image29

I permanently attached the swinging jaw with a nail and cut off its head to make it flush with the body.

image30

Finally, I glued the arms, head, and hat in place and added a beard and hair.

image31

image32

image33

image34

image35

Plans

Here are the templates I created for my nutcracker. The lathe templates will get you pretty close. For the jaw lever, I just traced the one I made. I suggest using it as a starting point, but you will probably have to adjust it. Good luck!

SIMILAR ARTICLES

Staircase Planter Boxesvideo

0 11
video

0 33

1 COMMENT

  1. Really enjoyed watching! I will nevrt make one and, actually, I have no desire to lathe. Just not my bag. I don’t have to o many cool tools. Would love to learn to router next.

Leave a Reply