Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tea Box-Pine box, continued

Hi Everyone,

Well, the weather isn't as bad as it was supposed to be and I decided I needed to ignore my cold for about an hour. So I came down to the wood shop and did a little turning.

 Preparing to turn

I took the pine block and cut off the corners and drilled a hole into it. Cutting the corners off results in less tearing of the wood (usually-see below) and the hole gives me a place to insert the wood vice so I can attach the block to the lathe:

Here is a photo of the block and the vice. The jaws of the vice will go into the hole and I'll tighten it with the chuck key:

...and the whole thing screws onto the lathe. Ready to go:

I've got two things to do here: shape the block into a cylinder by rounding off the sides, and turn the bottom of the box. As I'm going to need to flip the box over to hollow it out, I'll need a way to re-attach it to the lathe so I'm going to drill another hole:

 Next I'm going to take the roughing gouge and shape the sides of the box. Note the tear out of the wood in this photo. Sometimes cutting straight into the surface of a block will produce this. When that happens it's time to stop and cut inwards from the ends. By doing this I'll be cutting the wood fibers diagonally instead of straight across. We'll get much better results by doing this:

In this photo you can see how this works. The surface on the right side of the block is much smoother than the rest of the block:

And here's the block about 10 minutes later:

I'm going to shape the remainder of the block. Here you can see the surface beginning to angle from the end to the top of the box:

 I'm going to create a band around the box towards the top. I've marked this off with a pencil. I'll cut away at the surface of the rest of the box. The band will stand up and away from the surface:

And here we are about 10 minutes later:

This is the box sanded to about 400 grit and smoothed with 0000 steel wool. Time to flip it over and hollow it out a bit:

Here I've drilled another hole into the center of the block. This helps me to set the depth as I'm turning (it's really easy to cut right through the bottom of a piece of spinning wood. This usually produces firewood):

Hollowing a block, especially with a roughing gouge, can produce a lot of physical stress and it can completely knock a spinning piece of wood off the lathe. So again I'll cut into the wood at an angle instead of straight into it. Here's a photo of this:

I hollowed out the box a little bit and here is what it looks like. It's about 2 inches deep at this point and it can be hollowed out about 1" to 1 1/4" more:

Here is a side photo of the box at present:

Now the box needs to be deeper and we need to think about the lid. 

I'm sneezing my head off and my cold is probably going kill me later today so I'm going to stop here and go have some hot tea and a cough drop. We'll pick this up tomorrow if I'm still alive.

See you soon,


  1. I also ignored my cold today and did some turning. Maybe I shouldn't have because now I feel even worse. :/ But when a project (which should have been ready ages ago) is there on a lathe waiting for you I just couldn't resist... :D

    I hope you're feeling better! The box looks nice already! :)

  2. Hi Saaara,
    I know exactly what you mean.
    Get better soon!,
    Vickie W.