Friday, April 27, 2012

Tea Box out of black walnut and mahogany

Hi Everyone,

I have several small projects to do today and the first one is a tea box primarily out of black walnut for a friend's birthday next month. The second project is a bowl for a cat! Since these two projects are different, I'll do them in two different postings.

Tea Box

I've made quite a number of these over the past 8-9 months and I wasn't going to post all of the process photos. But there are a number of new viewers here on the SWW blogsite, so I'll give you all a run through on the process.

The tea boxes consist of two parts-the bottom for the tea and a lid. This posting will cover the bottom part.

This particular box is made out of laminated walnut and mahogany. My friend likes walnut and mahogany and she does drink tea so this will be a welcome present.  Here are some photos:

These first two photos show the outside of the box. This is a very nice piece of wood and taking my time with this really paid off. The outside of the box finished beautifully.

I'm a great believer in taking my time with sanding as skipping this or skipping steps almost always results in a poor quality appearance at the end. I began sanding this with 60 grit paper and ended up with 400 grit paper. While I am careful with my cutting technique, beginning with 60 grit, really gets rid of small scratches and end grain problems.  The finished surface in the second photo shows how smooth wood can become with proper sanding.

Let's flip the box over and work on the inside.

Here are two photos of the box being hollowed out:

This second photo shows the how the inside can easily become rounded, and while this is a good thing in a bowl, I prefer the inside of a box to be more squared off in shape. The best way to do that is to scape the inside of the box with special scrapers and you can see those in the next photo after this one.

The tool with the rounded end is a bowl scraper and it's designed to be used inside on the bottom and sides of a bowl and the tool next to that has a square profile. That scraper is designed to be used in the corners of boxes. Both of these will give a smooth finish if used slowly and carefully.

These next two photos show the inside finished and smoothed:

Our next step in the tea box is the construction of a lid. I don't have any mahogany in stock right now so I'll make one out of kempas wood. As it's beginning to get cold and windy (my shop isn't heated) I'm going to make a lid tomorrow and I'll take you through this process then.

Let's go to the next posting and talk about a very special cat.  See you in a minute.


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