Friday, June 14, 2013

Leon's Tea Box-Part 1: Turning the outer lid and the sides of the box

Hi Everyone,

I was in the shop this afternoon looking at the silky oak pieces that have been drying in preparation for the tea box I am planning to make for my cousin's husband Leon, and I decided that the wood was dry and stable and so it was time to begin the turn.

Here are the photos and discussion for the outer lid:

Here are the basic pieces of wood for the box. They consist of the box, an inner lid, and an outer lid. I've been nervously drying this out in the shop as this is a critical step. The box parts are going to have to fit precisely so if there is the slightest bit of moisture still left in the wood and it dries out after I've shaped the pieces, the parts won't fit and I won't be able to put them back on the lathe for adjustment.

I've been drying these pieces in the shop for weeks now and they feel light enough and they haven't distorted so I think now is the time to go:

This is the outer lid in it's rough cut state:

 Here is the lid on the lathe. I'm going to hollow out the underside of the lid and true up the face of the blank:

Here is the blank after the face has been flattened. Time to hollow it out. The pencil lines indicate the thickness of the walls of the lid, which is 7mm thick:

Hollowing only took a few minutes as this wood is soft and the blank itself is small in diameter. One thing that was important was the rim of the lid. The inside walls of the lid have to be parallel with the outside walls so it will fit properly over the box. After I finished hollowing it out, I sanded it with a sanding mop. These are nifty gadgets that enable you to sand an irregular surface:

This is the finished underside of the lid:

Next, I took the lid off the lathe and attached the box and got it ready to turn. The pencil lines on the side of the box and the first line on the edge denote where I am going to remove wood so that the outer lid will fit flush with the box portion of the tea box:

In this photo you can see how the rim is being created. This is another critical step as the lid has to fit very snuggly so I can use the box to turn the top and sides of the outer lid (you'll see what I mean shortly):

And here is the finished box:

Now I've fitted the top on the box. They fit very tightly for this next step which it the  shaping of the sides and the top of the lid:

Here I've placed the box and lid between centers for turning:

And here are the sides of the box. You can see they match up:

 And here is a photo of the outer box having been shaped, and sanded. It's ready for a finish, which we'll do later:

I'm unable to add more photographs to this posting so I'll end this and start another and show you how the turn was finished.


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