Small turned Boxes

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Project by GeneR posted 09-04-2013 06:12 PM 1828 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are three turned boxes that I recently made out of a scrap piece of black walnut and a piece of Bradford pear limb. The Tallest is only about 2 3/4” – 3” tall to give you a size perspective. I have always looked at doing bigger bowls and boxes but neighbor asked if I can do small boxes with lids and I had never really tried to go small so here they are.

The first one is from a scrap piece of black walnut that was mostly checked and in the burn pile but turned out to be a great save and will make a nice ring or small jewelry box. This was sanded to 600 grit using a mixture of clear wax and mineral oil on the sandpaper of each grit to get this sheen.

The second is a take on a whiskey barrel and this one is made from Bradford Pear. I burned the outside to give it an aged look after using a soldering iron to burn plank lines into it. (I really need to get a pyrography kit for this stuff, Hint, Hint ;-)) I used the indexing on my lathe and a pencil marking jig to draw out the lines. This was wiped down with Watco Danish oil to give the rich color and sealed with 4 coats of lacquer. Not exactly happy with the burn result but concept is proven that it one will eventually look cool when I get the right tools.

The last one is my take on a beer can made out of Bradford Pear and is finished with the same wax and mineral oil sanding technique as the walnut box.

my technique for the lid and interior on all of them was to use a parting tool to make a slight cut the width of 2 or 3 of the parting tool then use calipers to get the diameter of a forstner bit and slightly increase that size on the caliper. I then used the parting tool to bring the diameter of the lid interior plug to the caliper measurement, then I parted the lid off. I used the forstner bit in a chuck on the tailstock of my lathe to drill out the box interior close to the depth I wanted. I then used an easy tool round scraper to clean up the interior an remove the tooling makes from the bit. I went back in and sanded the interior to 600 grit. At this point I went back to 180 grit and slowly opened the mouth of the box while continually testing the lid fit until it was snug then continued to sand back up to 600 grit. I then retested the lid for the fit and wiped with Danish oil and finished the interior with lacquer on the 2 Bradford pear boxes and the walnut I used the wax mixture. I then sanded any remaining parts like the lid interior and the box bottom after parting off, finished then signed all pieces. (Important: everyone Sign your Pieces especially if you are looking to sell as we have seen unsigned pieces not sell due to no signature or makers mark).

Hope you all like then.

-- Failure is always an option. :-)

7 comments so far

View FaTToaD's profile


394 posts in 3342 days

#1 posted 09-04-2013 07:53 PM

Very nice! I really llike the walnut one. Just got a lathe, after some practice I’m hoping to try my hand at little boxes like this.

-- David

View doubleDD's profile


7889 posts in 2243 days

#2 posted 09-04-2013 09:14 PM

Beautiful boxes GeneR. Your burned one is excellent.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Doe's profile


1418 posts in 3030 days

#3 posted 09-04-2013 09:21 PM

Normally, I prefer to have the wood speak for itself and I really like one and three. But wow, I really, really like two! Don’t know why—it’s just cool. Thanks for your technique; I’ll be trying it soon.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View GeneR's profile


151 posts in 2138 days

#4 posted 09-04-2013 10:47 PM

Thank you for the encouraging response.
@Doe I usually agree I also like the natural wood but this piece said I want to be a whiskey Barrel. LOL I guess the artist in me had a different Idea as I never actually plan a project since the wood will dictate to me what it wants to do. It seems as though when you plan art projects out they tend to be very repetitious and a little boring.

I usually turn the log or blank until it is balanced and round then I figure out what it wants to be by looking at the grain.

-- Failure is always an option. :-)

View JJones98042's profile


228 posts in 2453 days

#5 posted 09-06-2013 03:26 PM

Very nicely done!

-- "Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner

View ThemBones's profile


26 posts in 1957 days

#6 posted 09-07-2013 04:01 PM

Nice boxes. Very unique design and detail usng burnt effect for the whiskey barrel box.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2376 days

#7 posted 09-09-2013 02:45 PM

Beautiful little boxes! They have great shapes and wood colors. Like most the barrel box, has very nice textures and aged look. Excellent job!

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