Turn a Banksia Nut and Resin Apple
This project combines a number of creative elements to make a beautiful resin and banksia nut apple. If you've perfected turning wooden apples, then is project is perfect for branching out into turning other materials.
This project combines epoxy resin and banksia nuts, to create a unique effect with the resin filling the seed holes within the pod.
Watch our Woodworking Wisdom video or follow our guide below to learn how to turn a resin and banksia nut apple.
Make the blank
In preparation for this project, you will need a paper coffee cup, a resin mixing pot, some resin, and a banksia nut cut and sized to fit the coffee cup.
First, pour into a mixing cup the desired amount of resin and add the hardener. This resin requires a mix of 2-1 by volume or 100/42 in weight (follow the packet instructions for accurate results).
Add your pigment and stir thoroughly making sure resin, hardener and pigment have completely mixed. Then, pour a small amount into the bottom of a paper coffee cup. About 25mm should be ok.
Push into the resin your cut and sized banksia nut, all the way to the bottom allowing the resin to come up the sides of the nut. If the nut starts to float and rise up, add some tape around the cup and over the banksia to hold it down. Add more resin to the top of the cup. Do this slowly to avoid air being trapped and causing voids.
Leave to set for four days.
Prepare for turning
Break the banksia and resin blank from the mould, then centre and mount on the lathe between centres. Rough the blank down to a cylinder and start shaping your apple with a bowl gouge.
Depending on how much resin forms part of the apple, you may need a little help from a negative rake scraper. Then, using the side of a parting tool, create the curved top and bottom of your apple. This tool allows you to get close into the detail. Now the shaping is done, hold the skew flat to blend in the surface then sand to a good finish.
Turn away the ends
Attach your chuck to the lathe and hold a jam chuck. The jam chuck will need to be turned in preparation and is a simple tapered hollow cup that grips to fruit under friction. Then tap your piece of fruit into the jam chuck.
Using a small bowl gouge, turn away the stub ends where the centre held the workpiece. Sand this area and turn the apple over and repeat on the other end.
Add the stalk
Using a 4mm drill bit, drill an angled hole into the top of the apple where the stem to be inserted. Then, using a 6mm x 6mm piece of dark timber, turn a tapered stem making sure the end of the stem tapers down to 4mm.
Using the toe of your skew, part the stem off using a series of V cuts. Add a sanding disc to the lathe and sand an angled flat to the top of the stem and tidy up any ragged areas with a bit of hand sanding.
Oil the apple, wipe off the excess and leave to dry. Once dry, buff to a good finish adding some carnauba wax to make it brighter.
More banksia nut and resin projects
Enjoyed this? Share with us pictures of your finished project. Upload them to our gallery or share on social media. Search and tag us @axminstertools on Facebook or Instagram. If you liked this project then try our banksia nut and epoxy resin vase.