Yesterday I unwrapped the silk oak block and today I've begun what is going to be a complex process of turning it into a tea box.
Here are today's process photos:
Here is the blank on the lathe. I was going to turn the surface with the aim of just smoothing it and I found that the blank was indeed a little distored-it had dried into an oval shape so it had to be re-turned until it was round again and that's what I did with it. I probably removed about 1/4" of wood off the diameter of the blank:
Each piece of the tea box will be placed on the lathe and shaped so each piece has to have an attachment point, in this case a tenon and that is the part on the top of each of the pieces:
The cut surface of each piece is really damp and this shows that the interior of the wood is still unseasoned. I could just put this in a paper bag again for a couple of months while it dries, but I would like to work on the project sooner so I hollowed out the interior of the outside lid and the box with a large Forstner bit. This will remove the dampest part of the wood. It will also leave me enough wood so if the wall of the box or the lid distorts, I can true it up again before I turn it again:
Here is a photograph of the box after I've drilled out the center:
Here is the outside lid being drilled out:
And here is the finished pieces for today. The large piece needs to be drilled deeper so I'm going to that next and then I'll wrap up each piece individually and let it dry for another 2 weeks in the wood shop:
My next step then in two weeks will be to re-turn all the pieces, true them up and then if they are dry enough proceed with the shaping of the box. When that is completed, I'll let the pieces stabilize for a week before I begin the finishing process.
So we'll return to this in mid June.