Replacing An Acorn Roof Finial

By Robert Robillard on Finish Carpentry

A few days ago we ripped 8/4″ Spanish Cedar to size and glued together several boards to make two blocks of wood. One block will make the acorn finial and the other will make it’s base.

If you look at the block of woods end you will see a circle. The circle represents the finial base which is the largest diameter needed. 45 degree cuts were made on the block to assist in making this fit in the lathe as well as make it easier to make round.

Fitted in the lathe in Bill Langton’s shop.

The block was roughed into a round shape. It’s important to get the shape round and to try to keep the piece balanced in the lathe. Bill worked back back and forth as he continued to remove material.

Some of the tools that were used: included a 3/4″ Roughing Gouge, 1/4″ Spindle Gouge, 1/2″ Spindle Gouge, 3/8″ Bowl Gouge, 3/4″ Skew, 1/4″ Diamond Parting Tool, 1/2″ Round Nose Scraper, and 1″ Square End Scraper.

Many of these tools were very old and had been refurbished by Bill. He also added new oak handmade handles. I had fun playing with these old tools ~ nothing beats the feel of the old fashioned steel!

The calipers helped us duplicate the turnings.

Bill roughing the block with a gouge tool.

Bill carving and using the calipers to ensure we make the turning the same size. This is where the block was laid out for each detail and brought down to individual shapes.

A little early but still your able to get the picture.

The block is roughed down to it’s approximate size before turning the specific details.

The acorn finial top starts to take shape.

Checking the layout.

The turning is really starting to take shape.

The acorn shaped. It was sanded right in the lathe ~ which is easier than on the bench top. Later when we were finished turning I used a hand saw to cut off the tip of the acorn and then sanded it smooth.

The dowel, on the left, was the last thing to be turned.


New acorn finial next to the old.

New and old. In the next post I will detail the work performed on the finial tail and skirting.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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