Friday, November 25, 2011


I'm back.

I've been wanting to make some smaller diameter wooden boxes for a while now and I've watched every video on the subject known to mankind (sorry gals, but there aren't many female wood turners in the world and I haven't seen any of them make a box...ok Lynn Yamaguchi makes boxes...). So since it's a not so cold day today I decided to go down to the work shop and make a prototype out of some red oak.

The preliminaries went well:

First I cut two pieces from a long 3"x3" red oak spindle stock:

The larger piece is the bottom and the smaller piece is for the top. Next I put the larger piece on the lathe and turned it to a cylinder between centers:

Then I proceeded to hollow it out. Deep, small diameter turnings like this are nearly impossible to do by hand with a lathe chisel so I decided to drill it out with a large Forstner bit. Here is what we have at this point:

This worked well. I drilled 3 inches deep doing this:

Yeah, baby, drill  !!!!!!!!  This part went well until I began to cut the edge for the top to rest on-you can clearly see that at the rim. It was at this point that I realized that this blank wasn't quite straight and the whole interior hollowing and the rim were off center. Now the top will have to be cut but it's going to be difficult to get these two pieces to line up and work properly.

I went through the same steps with the top and began hollowing out the underside of the top:

I cut this recess out until it fit over the top of the bottom half. Then I put the two together on the lathe and turned them as a single piece in order to even up the diameters:

And I managed to do this part. And I began the parting off of the top and the bottom from the waste wood portions-those are the grooves in the picture.

Then I took the parts apart and realized that I had turned down the top and the bottom far more than I should have:

You can see how very thin the wood is. This would soon break under daily use.

So I decided to part off the two parts and then put the two sections together one last time to shape the top. By now the two portions were off center from one another and the whole thing went straight down the tubes.  Here it is:

It looks like a bloody artillery shell. Thank heavens this is only a prototype...

Well, my coffee has gotten cold and I'm covered with sawdust, and my right shoulder is killing me. I think all the wood turning I have done has given me a very painful shoulder--woodturner's shoulder! Now there's one for the textbooks. I'll have to tell my internist that...I bet she'll get a kick out of that.

Well, I think we can stick a fork in this one and call it done. Thank heavens.

More later,

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