Monday, March 17, 2014

Brazilian cherry keepsake box continued-turning the lid

Hi Everyone,

Well, last week's spring thaw was rather short lived-we got a mix of snow and ice this morning and it feels colder than the 40 degree reading on my thermometer at the moment. But a lot of the snow has melted and we can actually see grass. There may be hope after all:

Burrr. Time to get back to work.

Turning the Lid

Last week after my last blog posting I took the bottom of the box down stairs and I deepened by about 1 1/4". It really needed that and so with that part of the turn completed, it's time to begin the lid. Here is a photo of the box and the turning blank for the lid:

I mounted it on the chuck and the first thing I did was to true up the face:

Next I marked off the underside of the lid. By removing the wood between the lines in the photograph, I'll be able to cut out the tenon which will fit inside the box and hold the lid in place:

This has to fit snugly in the box and so I generally turn this part of a lid very slowly and mm by mm. Here is a photo of the side of the blank at present:

Lastly I sanded the underside of the lid and turned a small decorative design into the underside. This portion of the lid is now complete and the total time for this was about 15 minutes:

Next I flipped the blank over and placed it between centers again to begin shaping the outside of the lid. This will help to hold it securely in place while I remove a lot of wood:

Here you can see it beginning to take shape:

My original intent was to create a Raffan-style box. Raffan boxes are named after Richard Raffen, the well known Australian wood turner who popularized this design. The tops are generally rounded over with a cone-shaped finial and the boxes are cone shaped as well, with the bottom being narrower than the top. In this photograph you can see the finial beginning to take shape:

Now I was going to turn a bead on the bottom edge of the lid but I don't think I'm going to have enough wood to do that with so I'll have to skip the bead and simply round off the bottom:

 Nope, no bead on this one:

And so I turned off the bead. Here is the lid. It really needs to be flattened and rounded off more so I put it back on the lathe and proceeded to do just that:

Here is the lid after several minutes of turning. I added a base to the finial to avoid turning a long finial which I don't think would have looked very good:

And here it is after flattening the top. I could make the finial smaller but I think the box is large enough that the larger combined finial-base structure looks fine:

I also turned a small depression into the top of the finial and added a small cone inside. This replicated the cone shape of the finial and is a nice design element:

And here it is at present. I'm satisfied with the over all shape and design and so this part of the turn is completed. Next I'll be taking it back down to the wood shop for a thorough sanding and then I'll think about the finish.

Stay tuned,

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