So I finish the bottom "icicle", part it off, drill the hole in it for the "rope", assemble the parts, thread the piece on the monofilament line and - it turns itself upside down. #$&**!@$%&^(^%!!!!!!!!

The ornament "body" is too heavy - and being above the "rope", it ends up UNDER the rope.

So - I turn ANOTHER body - out of boxwood, which is lighter than the fruitwood I'd used for the first attempt. And this time, rather than leaving the bottom of the body a bit thick, I hollow this sucker down to almost nothing - about 30 grams - or about 1.2 ounces - which ain't bad for a 3x3x3 chunk of wood I started with. Blew through the bottom - but I fixed that with some judicious sanding - the top of the "icicle" hiding the fact that there'd been an OOPS!

Assemble everything with the new body, thread the "rope" and - it still hung upside down. Oh CRANUS!

Can't lighten the uppper parts - so I've got to add weight to the end of the icicle. But whatever I add can't be very large, what with it at the bottom of the African Blackwood icicle. Wood, even very dense wood, wasn't going to do it. I needed something very dense - and that I could turn - with wood turning tools.

LEAD! - specifically - lead fishinhg weights.

So off the the Sporting Goods Store went I, returning with packs of three sizes of sort of egg shaped lead weights - with holes through them. Mount one of the smalles sizes between centers and take a skew to it. Turns beautifuly - no grain to deal with. And turned surfaces are shiny! Problem solved. To cover the hole in the bottom, a little CA glue on a small hematite round bead, perfecto - a multi-media piece - wood, metal and stone, and if you add the monofilament line - a synthetic material as well.

The results look like this.

And here's the whole Tight Rope Walker - the Vanity Shot.
Look closely near the top of the Icicle.

NOW do you see the monofilament line?

Notice anything unusual about the following two pictures?

Yup - the finial IS leaning. The bottom of the finial is a ball - and the collar of the ornament has a socket for that ball turned in it. And there's a wire in a hole in the bottom of the ball that extends down into the hollow body of the ornament - and it has a counterweight on the other end - to keep the finial vertical, regardless of at what angle the rest of the piece is.

Here's the parts for the pendulum finial. The collar has a half round cut in the top - with a half round router bit (so quick, easy and accurate). Of course you need the bit - and a MT drill chuck for your lathe - but so quick and easy. A drilled black onyx ball on the bottom, a piece of spring wire, a stud earing clasp on the wire, adjustable, to keep the finial from being pulled up too far by some curious person, the spring wire glued into a hole in the underside of the finial. If you want to get tricky, rather than drilling a hole in the collar for the spring wire to go through, make it a slot in order to limit the pendulum action to a single axis. Rock the piece one way and the finial pendulums. Rock it a different direction and the finial doesn't move.

Here's the whole set up. The padouk collar on the right is held in place with a removeable peg. The padouk collar on the left slides up and down to get the Tight Rope Walker to walk the tight rope. It also can be rotated around the "candle" to swing the rope - and the ornament - like a jump rope. There's a removeable peg in the left collar that you can't see in this photo. It fixes this collar in place when it's not in Slide Mode. The left candle also has a peg that acts as a bottom stop for the left collar when it's slid down.

Of the Movement Pieces I've done so far, this one has the most movement - yet appears quite conventional and semi-familiar

When the ornament rocks over far enough, the counter weight for the pendulum finial taps the inside of the ornament, creating a metronome type sound. I added some lead bird shot inside to get another sound as the piece rocks, a subtle shhhhhhh ing sound.

Don't know if you noticed, but one of the finials on the top of the right vertical support / candle ain't all round - or symetric. Started out all round and symetric - before I took some wood off with an oscillating belt sander. You can get an idea of the original shape, and what was removed by looking at the middle image - a 3/4 view of the image to its left.

I've finished several turnings that surprised and pleased me. This is by far my favorite - so far. Another Wild Hare Idea that had plenty of "challenges", has a range of types of movement - and it's kind of elegant. I look at this thing and say to myself - "I can't believe I made THAT!"

Still photos just can't convey what this piece does, or looks like as it does the things it does. CLICK HERE to see a video of this piece in motion. I'm working on either a video with sound or an added soundtrack I'm working on in Garage Band.

Oh - and the title of this one has changed - the result of an upcoming 45th High School Class Reunion - to

Still Crazy After All These Years

Next up, a turned "rain stick", with internal noise generators, bells, DOINGers, etc.

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