Simple turned boxes

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Project by whiskeyturner posted 10-13-2010 03:19 PM 2616 views 4 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a favourite project of mine to turn at demonstrations, I call them simple because you can do them in a short period of time, everyone seems to like them, their easy but exciting to turn. You don’t need elaborate designs or finials and the blank only has to be a scrap of wood 2 and a half by 2 and a half by 3 inches or greater, although smaller can be fun as well, lastly the finished product is always well received by who ever you choose to hand it to but often sell fast as well.
I mount between centres, turn to a smooth cylinder and prep both ends for chucking, then part off the two sections (lid/base). The lid is put on the chuck and a lip is formed to fit the box, then hollowed and finished but leaving the outside for later. The bottom is then mounted and a recess is made to make a firm fit for the lip on the lid & then of course hollow out and finish as you please. Fit the lid to the base while still on the lathe and complete turning the out side and top as one piece. This will give the box an almost seamless fit after sanding and finishing. If the lid isn’t a firm enough fit you can bring the tail stock up to hold it, you may also be able to wet the joining sections to swell the wood to improve the fit or simply use some tissue paper. Lastly remove the lid & reverse the box and finish the bottom.
Both the top and body of the box can be straight, slightly convex or concave, let the timber guide you with the design. By keeping the design simple you can make the most of the colour, figure & grain, allowing the wood standout and be proud.

-- There is always an opportunity to learn. . . .Steve Mcgrady. . Sydney, Australia.

6 comments so far

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3291 days

#1 posted 10-13-2010 04:27 PM

Yes they are sure sweet.
Thank you for the walk guided tour.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4421 days

#2 posted 10-13-2010 04:29 PM

These are great, and you managed to give a good tutorial in a very few words. I have been meaning to try one of these, and I think this is the inspiration to spur me into action. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Maxx's profile


136 posts in 3508 days

#3 posted 10-13-2010 04:51 PM

I can’t wait to get home and crank up the lathe! Thanks!!

-- Where did all this sawdust come from?

View whiskeyturner's profile


95 posts in 3323 days

#4 posted 10-14-2010 04:18 AM

For anyone who hasn’t tryed these before just remeber a few ponts;

boxes are mostly done using using long grain, meaning the hollowing will be endgrain hollowing.

the tool i use is a detail gouge, but there is a lot of tools to ues like scrapers, hook tools, variouse hollowers ect…

cut with supported grain, with end grain this means cut from inside to out, opposite to bowls wich is outside to inside when hollowing.

drill or create some sort of hole to depth to start you off

do a little study first, i think youtube is brilliant for this as well as books and videos

-- There is always an opportunity to learn. . . .Steve Mcgrady. . Sydney, Australia.

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 3290 days

#5 posted 10-14-2010 11:34 AM

Well done, Whiskeyturner. I really like it and how you finish it. Waiting for the next!!

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 3801 days

#6 posted 10-28-2010 03:05 PM

Great looking boxes,

Thanks for sharing!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

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