Lollipop Tree

by Paul Meisel on ‎12-16-2010 08:02 AM

Blog 23


Lollipop Tree


Making this lollipop tree provides more practice measuring, using the miter box and using the drill press.  This project uses small lollipops called Dum Dums made by the Spangler Candy Company.  If you use larger size lollipops it may be necessary to make the branches longer or make the holes in the ends of the branches larger.


Where does the word Lollipop come from?  This term is made up of two words.  The word lolly is British slang for candy.  The British use the word pop to mean to move suddenly.  For example a common British expression is: “I’ll pop in to see you.”  They might also say, “Pop that into your mouth.”  So we see that the word lollipop comes from the combination of the British words lolly and pop. In other words a piece of candy that you pop into your mouth.


As can be seen in the photo, the lollipop tree project holds 18 lollipops.




The lollipop tree is made up of a base, a trunk, nine branches, a wood dowel and a round ball.




Start by Making the Branches.


To make the branches you will need to cut nine pieces of 3/4” x 3/4” strips of wood to the lengths shown in Fig. 2. 




Begin by measuring and marking one of the branches to length.  In Figure 3 the 2-1/2” long branch is being marked on the wood strip.




Cut the branch to length using a miter box.




Next measure and mark a distance of 3” and cut the next longest branch.  Each branch is 1/2” longer than the branch above it.  Continue measuring, marking and cutting until you have made all 9 branches.




Using a measuring tape or ruler, locate the center of each branch and make a light mark with a sharp lead pencil.




With a square, draw a light pencil line across.




After you have marked the center of all nine pieces, arrange them as shown in figure 8.  Since each piece is 1/2” shorter (or longer) than the piece next to it, arranging the branches in this way will make it easy to see if you made any mistakes in cutting the pieces to length.  Also check that the center marks are all in a straight line.  Re-make any pieces that are not the right length.  Re-mark any pieces in which the center has not been marked accurately.




Prepare the drill press for drilling the hole in the center of each of the branch pieces.


The next step is to drill a 17/64” hole through the center of each branch.  This hole is just a little bigger than the 1/4” diameter dowel rod.  The reason the hole has to be slightly larger than the dowel is so the fit won’t be too tight.


Set the drill press speed to between 2000 and 2500 RPM.  Select the 17/64” bit from the twist bit holder and install it in the drill press chuck.


Because you will be drilling all the way through each branch, you will want to place a piece of scrap wood on the drill press table.  The scrap wood will prevent the drill bit from tearing out the underside of your wood as the bit comes through.


Clamp a piece of wood 3/8” from the center of the bit to act as a guide.  This guide is called a fence.  By placing your wood against this fence, you can be sure your hole will be in the center of each branch.


Drilling the Center Holes in Each Branch.


Place one of your branches against the fence and slide it until the drill bit is over the center line mark.


Be sure there is no sawdust between your wood and the fence.  Your wood will not fit tight against the fence if there is sawdust in the way.  Have a chip brush handy to brush away sawdust as you proceed to drill your branches.  With the centerline of the wood directly under the drill bit, turn on the drill press, hold the wood with your left hand and lower the feed handle with your right hand.  Drill all the way through the branch.  Stop drilling as soon as you feel that the bit has gone through your wood.




Brush away sawdust with the chip brush and position another branch. 




Continue drilling a hole through the center of each of the other branches.


Drill a Hole in Each End of Each Branch.


A hole must be drilled in each end of each of the nine branches.  These holes will be used to hold lollipops.  Set up the drill press as follows:  Install a 3/16” twist bit in the drill press check.  You can use the same fence you clamped to the drill press table when you drilled the center hole, except now you will clamp a stop block to that fence so all holes will be drilled 3/8” from each end of each branch. 




Now drill a hole in each end of each branch.  IMPORTANT: Drill the holes on the same side of the wood as the center hole.  All holes must face in the same direction. 




Remember, sawdust will prevent your wood from going up tight against the fence and stop block.  Brush away sawdust after you drill each hole.




This project will be completed in the next blog.


Paul Meisel -
WOOD Online Blogger
Specialty: Woodworking with Children 
Meisel Hardware Specialties







by john r connell
on ‎12-17-2010 09:30 AM

It would have been nice to see this project a little earlier in the season.  It would have made a nice decoration/stocking stuffer, had one time to finish it before Christmas.

by troxelde
on ‎12-18-2010 07:04 AM

when do we get to see finished project?