Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Small Gift Boxes, continued-The Cedar of Lebanon box-Is it a Box or a Wood Muffin? The Pitfalls of Turned Shapes

Hi Everyone,

Well, I spent the evening yesterday looking at the cedar of Lebanon box and I heard from several friends about it and the consensus of opinion and mine as well is that it really did look like a muffin. The top is too large for the bottom and it completely overpowers the whole thing.

While turning a piece of wood on a lathe holds all kinds of possibilities for unusual shapes, you do have to be careful of the shapes that you wind up with. Pieces that may look great to you and took hours to turn may wind up looking like giant mushrooms, Coca Cola bottles, doorknobs, and yes muffins. Holding to a shape like that is never a good idea. A person looking at a piece like that will zero in on the shape and totally ignore the rest of the work or even hold it up for ridicule. So if you're not sure of the shape of a piece of wood, do it slowly, carefully, and don't be afraid to take your time with it. Sometimes you have to be brave- if setting it aside and making something else in it's place is the answer, then do it.

So I took the whole thing back down to the wood shop and very carefully turned it. It's narrower and I've removed wood from the top of the lid.

Here is the box from yesterday:

And here it is at present:

It's not quite as large as it was. It's not perfect but it's better.

Coloring the box

I don't think I've ever stained a turned piece of wood. Working in wood is rather like pot luck-you get what you get and it's up to you as the turner to work with that and make it into something great and staining it can shortcut that process. But this  piece is going to have a great deal of significance for the giver and the receiver so it has to be the best it can be.

I am thinking of staining the bottom box portion because:

1. The color is rather drab. If it were a more-orange color like Douglas fir, I would leave it alone.

2. I think staining is may tone down some of the grain pattern.

3. I will be staining the bottom and possibly the top as well. It would darken the pine but it would make the top and the bottom appear more integrated with one another.

I'm going to think about this a little more before I do it so I'm going back down to the wood shop and we'll look at the camphor wood box.


No comments:

Post a Comment