Poisoned Apple




About: I started woodworking with my grandfather as a young boy. I continued woodworking through high school, and started woodturning after seeing a turned project in a friends shop. Some of my fondest memories are...

The Poisoned Apple is an iconic symbol from the classic fairytale from the Brothers Grimm. I turned this one on a lathe, and dyed it red with Transfast wood dye. To add an extra element of spooky, I used a Lichtenberg figure wood burner to burn lines in it. It's 4" tall and 3 1/2" in diameter, and made out of Maple.

Tools and Supplies used:




Spindle sander

Drill Press

Easy Rougher

Easy Finisher

Parting Tool

Roughing Gouge

Clear Lacquer

Lichtenberg burner http://www.conestogaworks.com/

Transfast dye


Step 1: Wood Choice

I picked out a piece of Maple 4" x 5 1/2" with a bark enclosure to simulate a bite mark for the apple. I think picking the right piece of wood can really make the project sometimes.

Step 2: Shaping the Apple

I marked center on the wood, and put it between centers on the lathe. Use a roughing gouge to true the piece up, and a bowl gouge to shape the apple. I used a Easy rougher to put a tenon on one end, this will be used to remount the piece in the chuck for sanding and parting off.

Step 3: Lichtenburg Burning

Lichtenberg figures are branching tree-like patterns that are created by the passage of a high voltage discharge along the surface. I really wanted to give it that bad apple look :) Here's a link to how this LICHTENBERG FIGURE WOOD BURNER works. Video

Safety notice: The output voltage and current (12,000 volts
@ 35 mA) from this burner can cause serious burn, injury, or death if these instructions and safety precautions are not followed. The safe use of this burner is entirely the responsibility of the purchaser. If you have any electronic implant, consult your doctor before using. If you do not agree with this, do not use it and immediately return the burner for a full refund.

Step 4: Making the Stem

I used a small piece of Lacewood for the stem. I drew it out with a pencil 1 1/4" by 1/4" and cut it out on the bandsaw. Using a spindle sander, I rounded over the corners and finished it with an oil finish.

Step 5: Dye

I put on three coats of Transfast scarlet red wood dye with a paint brush. Let each coat dry for about an hour before reapplying.

Step 6: Finish

After burning and the dye, it really opened up the grain so it took about 15 coats to get it to shine. I used a gloss lacquer finish.

I hope you enjoyed this project.



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    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    This is so cool. Perfect use for that neat chunk of wood. Nice work as usual Carl!

    1 reply