How to make an Earring Stand

This is a nice project as it requires a number of different techniques including face turning, spindle turning, drilling on the lathe and reverse mounting on tenons.  The end result makes for a beautiful and useful gift.

Earring Stand

To download these instructions complete with the pictures click here.

To download these instructions without the pictures click here. This should make it easier to print out and take into the workshop with you.

You can click on any of the images to see a larger version.


I used two pieces of cherry, a 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ block and a 1″x1″x6″ piece of spindle stock. The larger piece will be used to make the top and base of the earring stand as well as to reverse chuck the top and base. The smaller piece will be used to make the upright stand of the earring stand. For the spindle stock you could easily use a pen blank. If all goes well you could actually make two tops and two bases from a piece this size.

Earring Stand

Mount the larger block on the lathe between centers. Orient the grain so that it is perpendicular to the lathe bed, much like you would mount a bowl blank.

Earring Stand

Turn the piece round and turn a tenon, sized for your chuck, on one end.

Earring Stand

Remove the piece from between centers and mount it on your chuck. Re true the blank and true the front of the blank. Using a 3/8″ drill mounted in a drill chuck in the tail stock drill a hole 1″ deep. (I forgot to take a picture of the hole being drilled)

Earring Stand

I have a jig that I purchased from Craft Supplies.  The jig is used to drill the holes from which the earrings will hang.  It would be very easy to make a similar jig from acrylic plastic. It is 2 1/2″ diameter and has a 3/8″ tenon on the center of one side. There are 24 3/32″ holes drilled 3/16″ from the edge of the jig. To download a scale diagram and instructions to build a jig click here. If you purchase the jig it will also come with a set of instructions for making the Earring Stand which are different to the method I chose to use.

Earring Stand

Mount the jig in the hole drilled in the blank and then drill all 24 holes to a depth of 5/8″. The locating pin is inserted in the first hole you drill to keep the jig aligned. While the jig is mounted draw a line on the face of the blank outlining the diameter of the jig. This will define the diameter of the top of the earring stand. After removing the jig mark a line 5/8″ diameter on the face of the blank. This will define the area on which the finial of the earring stand sits.

Earring Stand

Earring Stand

Using a parting tool, part the blank about an inch deep and 1/2″ from the edge of the blank. This defines the top piece of the earring stand.

Earring Stand

Turn this section down to the line that was defined by the outline of the jig. Then shape the profile of the top. Leave the center 5/8″ flat as this is where the finial will sit. Also take care to ensure the edge of the top is no more that 3/16″ thick and that the holes are not more than 3/16″ from the edge or it will be difficult to insert the earrings into the holes.

Earring Stand

Earring Stand

Sand the top and if you plan on using a friction polish for a finish, apply that now. Then part the top off the blank and set it aside for the time being.

Earring Stand

True the face of the blank and the chuck the 3/8″ drill in the tailstock drill chuck again and confirm the hole in the center of the blank is 3/8″ deep. Mark a circle of 5/8″ diameter and another of 3″ diameter on the face of the blank. These will define the areas where the upright stand will sit and the diameter of the base. Also mark a line 5/8″ from the edge of the blank. This will define the total thickness of the base.

Earring Stand

Make a parting cut about an inch deep to define the thickness of the base. Also turn the blank down to the diameter of the base.

Earring Stand

Shape the profile of the base taking care to leave the center 5/8″ flat. Sand the base and if you plan on using a friction polish for a finish, apply that now. Part the base off and set is aside for the time being.

Earring Stand

As you can see there is enough of the blank left over to make a second base and top. If you are planning on making two earring stands repeat the above steps and make a second base and top before moving on and finishing the bottom of each base and top.

True the face of the blank and turn a 3/8″ diameter tenon on the face. Reverse mount the base of the earring stand on the tenon. Check the fit is secure and the base is running true and then finish the bottom of the base. Turn a concave profile so that the base will sit flat. Sand and apply your finish if you are using a friction polish.

Earring Stand

Earring Stand

Earring Stand

Repeat this procedure for the top of the earring stand.

Earring Stand

Earring Stand

Mount the spindle stock between centers and turn it round to about 3/4″ diameter. Mark out for the tenon, upright stand, tenon and finial. The measurements shown in the picture are 3/4″, 3 7/8″, 4 3/8″ and 5 3/4″ from the head stock end of the blank.

Earring Stand

Turn the tenons to 3/8″ diameter. I use a wrench to check the diameter, calipers work as well. When making the tenons take care to undercut slightly so that the stand and finial will sit flush on the base and top.

Earring Stand

Mark the blank with the details of the desired profile and then turn the profile of the stand and finial.

Earring Stand

Make the starting cuts to part the tenons, checking the depth of the holes in the base and top in order to determine the length of the tenons. Do not part all the way through. Sand the piece and if you are using a friction polish apply that now.

Earring Stand

Continue shaping the top of the finial and part the piece off at this point.

Earring Stand

Earring Stand

Cut the tenons using a handsaw. Do a dry fit of the whole piece checking tenon diameter and length. Adjust where necessary and then glue the four pieces together.

Earring Stand

Earring Stand

I finished my earring stand with a couple coats of spray lacquer.

Earring Stand

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