Apples and Pears

Author: John Morgan

Apples and pears are quite easy to make with offcuts of some nicely figured wood. They allow you to practice with your spindle gouges.

Suggested blank sizes

Apples such as a Cox’s: 60mm by 50mm long.

Conference pears: 50mm by 100mm long.

William pears: 60mm by 65mm long.

Tools needed

Roughing out gouge, spindle gouges, round nose scraper, drill chuck.

Tailstock with ring centre is useful and a small screw chuck (5x50mm screw).

The screw chuck can be home made.

  1. Cut blanks to size and mark the centre in one end. Then drill a hole for the screw chuck. I use a 4mm drill. Mount the blank on the lathe. I use the tailstock for extra support as it puts less strain on the small screw and eliminates any vibration.
  2. Turn the base of the fruit with a nice flowing shape. On an apple the highest point is near the top. Now turn a small depression in the bottom for the remains of the blossom (a clove). This can be done with a small spindle gouge or light cuts with a small round nose scraper working from the centre outwards. Sand and polish.
  3. Drill a hole in the bottom using the drill chuck in the tailstock, then reverse the blank on the screw chuck.
  4. Turn the top of the fruit to its final shape and then make a larger depression in the top for the stalk. You may find that the fruit does not run completely true near the bottom, don’t worry, 180 grit sandpaper will solve the problem. Sand and polish.
  5. Finally glue a clove in the bottom for the blossom remains and a twig in the top for the stalk.
  6. All you need now is to make a fruit bowl for your collection.