I turned a lidded box recently and was asked to explain how the feet are made. I wrote a paragraph, actually more than once, but I thought it was difficult to understand. Since I had the day off and only 40 projects on the list, I decided to turn a box with feet and describe the process. I’m not going to describe the entire box making process, but I follow Richard Raffen’s method. I’m sure others have done feet like this before, but I’m not sure who.
I started with a walnut turning blank about 6” long and 2.5” square. Between centers turn tenons at each end to fit your 4-jaw chuck. Don’t just turn the blank round, leave about 1.5” square just above the tenon on the bottom of the base. Then I roughed the rest of blank to a tapered cylinder because I wanted the box to flare toward the base.
After roughing I separated the lid turned and finished it with normal procedures. I usually put a bead at the bottom of the lid, but didn’t in this case because I wanted it to be almost spherical. Then I chucked the base and turned a jamb chuck to hold the lid, placed the lid on and completed the turning and finishing of the lid.
Then I hollowed and finished the inside of the base. I hollowed it to a depth about 1/2” above where the top of the feet would be. I turned the outside of the base taking care to be gentle on the square section that would become the feet. It’s important to leave some of the flat sides intact. You will see why further along.
The little arches you can see just above the chuck are the flat sides of the square. Those sections will be removed. What remains, the former corners of the square that were turned, become the feet. At this point reverse the base and grasp the top flange in the chuck. I always wrap the flange in tape to protect it. Because my blank was rough, I used a block plane to smooth the flat sides and define the arches, making them higher.
I then hollowed the bottom under the feet. I generally just use a spindle gouge, but I decided to remove some of the wood with a 2 1/8” for Forstner bit. Then I used gouges and scrapers to form the underside of the feet. By this point the flat parts with the arches were very thin at the bottom.
I made a little paper template of the arches so they would all be the same.
I used files to remove the wood from the arches. Then I wrapped sand paper around a 1” dowel to smooth the arches. I did a bit more turning under the feet, smoothed the bottoms, added some beads to the underside, sanded to 400 grit, and applied finish. It’s done.
Unfortunately, the perspective of my phone camera is off. The bottom is actually much wider than the top.
Thanks for looking.