Well, it's gotten cold and grey here today and when the weather does that, the best thing I can do is go down to the wood shop and make something and here is the story behind this:
I have a friend who has been ill with a respiratory illness and she's had several bad days as of late so to raise her spirits a bit, I'm making her a small keep sake box out of Brazilian cherry aka jatoba wood.
Brazilian cherry is a very hard, dense, reddish brown wood. It comes from Central and South America and I've seen it most often as flooring here in the US. It's one of my favorite turning woods and it holds fine detail very well. If you're a wood turning, Brazilian cherry is a wood you should try.
I have a 3"x3"x 12" turning block of Brazilian cherry and I'm going to cut it in half and make a small, Raffen-type box out of it, named after Australian wood turner Richard Raffan. I'll probably use a spray lacquer for the finish.
Here's today's photos:
This is the turning block. This is heavy wood and you can see how the ends have been waxed to prevent premature drying:
Here it is cut in half and mounted between centers on the lathe:
Turning it down to a cylinder took about 15 minutes. I used a wide roughing gouge and then I smoothed the surface with the skew that I used yesterday. I have also divided the block into the box and lid portions and turned a tenon on each end so I can hold it on the lathe with the Nova chuck:
And I sawed the block in half:
I'm going to turn the bottom portion of the box and here it is mounted on the chuck. I'm going to narrow the bottom and I'm also going to turn a bead along the bottom edge of the box. In this photo I've roughed out the design and left enough wood for the bead:
I've remounted the block in the wood chuck and I'm going to drill out the center and begin hollowing it out:
And here is a preliminary photo showing the hollowing out. I'm doing this the same way I hollowed out the music box and since the wood is hard, I'm cutting slowly with a very sharp tool:
And this is the finished bottom portion of the box. Since this wood is so hard, it finished beautifully with a minimal amount of sanding needed:
Here is a photo of the interior:
The box is about 1 1/4" deep at present and I may deepen it a little bit more tomorrow. As it's getting colder, I've decided to stop and come in.
Tomorrow I'll probably deepen it and then turn the lid of the box.
See you tomorrow,