My grandma collects nativity sets. She had thirty of them prior to me giving her this set a couple days ago. I had this idea about eight years ago but didn’t have the tools, nor access to the wood I wanted to use to properly execute it. I could still stand to pick up a couple narrower carving gouges to get the face details just the way I wanted.
The wood is olive from Bethlehem. Seemed the most appropriate given the subject of the build. I used my bandsaw, rasps, a Dremel with various sanding and cutting attachments and a variety of carving gouges to make the figurines which I cleaned up with sandpaper through 400 grit. The finish is just dewaxed shellac. The box was made from eastern white pine and stuffed with shavings from aromatic cedar.