Finials are architectural ornaments carved in wood or stone at the top, end or corner of a particular structure or edifice. These features can be made in practically any design, including pineapple finials. This shape is popular because it is both attractive and easy to make. Read on to learn to make pineapple finials for flagpoles, bed posts, curtain rods and other similar structures.
Step 1 – Mark the Blank Finial
Use an indexing plate to mark your oval finial lengthwise into 16 equal parts. If you do not have an indexing plate, you can use a piece of paper instead. Get a blank paper and then wrap it around your wooden finial. If the paper is longer that the actual circumference then cut off the excess. It is important that the ends meet. When you have that, fold the paper in a series of halves until you get 16 creases. Wrap the paper around the finial again and transfer the marks on the wood.
Make a line on the very peak of the finial towards the mark you made around the center of the finial’s entire length. It’s important for you to connect the marks you made to the top of your finial as this will create narrowing sections. Do the same technique for horizontal lines. Now that you have grids, make diagonal lines in each square. When joined, the diagonal lines will become spiral lines.
Step 2 – Carve the Lines
To start carving, use a V tool to make a shallow groove on the diagonal lines that you drew. When you have made grooves for all diagonal lines, you can start carving the side of the ridges with the use of a flat gouge or a chisel. Remember to always follow the grain of the wood. When you’re done with one side, do the other one but this time carve in everything reverse. You will end up with twists that are going on one direction. You can start marking new diagonal lines and consequently spiral lines for the other direction. Follow the same steps as you did with the first batch of spiral lines. You will finally see the soft pyramids once everything is done.
Step 3 - Mark the Leaves
When you’re done with the pyramids, you can start marking leaves in your finial. Divide the entire circumference of your finial into four and draw in four leaves of equal sizes. You can make a template if you’re not comfortable drawing each one out. In between each leaf, draw a smaller leaf to fill in all of the spaces.
Step 4 – Carve the Leaves
When you’re done marking, you can start carving the outline of the leaves. Find the mid-section of each leaf and hollow out the sides of the leaf to emphasize this midline. Now start chiseling the finer details of the leaf like the veins.
Step 5 – Apply Finishing Touches
Finish carving pyramids if there are blank spaces in the finial.