Turned Storage Container

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Blog entry by terryR posted 08-31-2015 12:34 AM 1011 reads 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s a fun project; a storage container for my wife turned on the lathe.

I don’t have good hollowing tools, so digging out chips from wood deeper than 2” forces me to use my chisels in an unsupported way. That results in unexpected catches, and isn’t much fun at all. However, using segmented methods, I can potentially turn vessels as deep as 17”! (the realistic span on my midi-lathe)

The key points to this method are:
-using multiple layers to achieve vertical height of workpiece,
-attach first layer to lathe, hollow as desired, then flatten the ‘upmost edge’
-attach next layer to lathe, flatten respective edge, and glue to previous layer, hollow as desired,

By laminating successive layers, and hollowing as height (or depth) is increased, there is no need for deep hollowing.

hopefully this example will illustrate more clearly…

My plan was to turn a storage vessel approximately 4” deep with a lid, so I would use two pieces of stock for the base, then one piece for the lid.

To create the base of my vessel, I started with 2 rounds of Makore or African Cherry, each 8/4 thick.

Beginning with the ‘top’ section of the base, I rounded the stock and flattened the portion which I expected to laminate to the rest of my base. I also hollowed a very small amount of wood…no more since there were wood screws holding this to a face plate on the back side!

Next, the 2nd part of the base was turned round, and I placed a negative tenon on the final bottom of the vessel. This relived tenon is how I’ll hold the piece for further shaping.

Now, I hollowed the bottom of the base all the way to final shape…don’t want to do this later when the workpiece is deeper!

Above, you can see the two sections of the base ready for joining. A flat sanding jig is used to prep both surfaces.

And, glue and clamps…

Now we have a 4” thick piece of Makore. But, remember, we only have to hollow 2”...actually a bit less…

Now, for the lid. Another 8” round of thick African Cherry. turned round, and a positive tenon left on the ‘top’

Using that tenon, I could now shape the inside of the lid as such,

Note the negative tenon left on the inside of the lid!
That’s how we’ll finish the lid’s shape later…

Next, the outside of the lid is turned…close to the jaws…but not touching, please!

I left a bit extra around the jaws since I wasn’t sure of the exact final shape I wanted.

Here’s a shot of the lid being held in the reverse tenon in its underside, confused yet?

And the large knob I decided to leave on the top of the lid,

Whew! Thanks for staying with me through all that! just goes to show, the lathe may offer instant gratification, but sometimes you need a well thought out plan. being able to see where tenons can be left on the finished piece is also a help.

A few photos of the finished ‘box’.

The curly nature of the Makore is superb, but not really suited for this project. I had hoped it would blend a little better, but this was my first try with a vessel from 3 flat boards. I think it came out grand, but a more subtle grain will be preferred next time.

BTW, my wife loves it! She’ll use it to keep small sewing projects organized, like the wallet she’s sewing from our home made pig leather.

Questions and comments are always welcomed.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

17 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile


7923 posts in 1709 days

#1 posted 08-31-2015 12:46 AM

That looks sweet, love the figure

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2568 days

#2 posted 08-31-2015 12:59 AM

well that is beautiful Terry, great work, that wood is spectacular.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View ToddJB's profile


6768 posts in 1547 days

#3 posted 08-31-2015 01:02 AM

Looks awesome!

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View CL810's profile


3403 posts in 2405 days

#4 posted 08-31-2015 01:35 AM

As always, beautiful work Terry. Very creative approach!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View cajunpen's profile


14566 posts in 3483 days

#5 posted 08-31-2015 02:48 AM

Nice job Terry. I like that piece of wood! Clever solution to a challenging problem.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View ForestGrl's profile


445 posts in 503 days

#6 posted 08-31-2015 04:02 AM

It’s beautiful! Thanks for showing us the process, and your clever thinking behind it. So cool!

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

View bch's profile


287 posts in 2106 days

#7 posted 08-31-2015 04:29 AM

I am very impressed! Involving the spouse is fantastic!

-- --bch

View Tim's profile


3029 posts in 1378 days

#8 posted 08-31-2015 04:43 AM

That’s a really purdy piece there. I love the grain, don’t hide it.

And btw you wouldn’t happen to be buttering the wife up to get some more tools would you?

View Brit's profile


6566 posts in 2259 days

#9 posted 08-31-2015 06:11 AM

You never cease to amaze me Terry. What a great blog and a fantastic end result. I love how you clamped it up right on the lathe.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View CFrye's profile


8552 posts in 1256 days

#10 posted 08-31-2015 08:39 AM

That is gorgeous, Terry! Not sure what you mean by ‘blended better’. Thanks for sharing your process.

-- God bless, Candy

View Don W's profile

Don W

17868 posts in 1984 days

#11 posted 08-31-2015 10:23 AM

That looks great. Another very nice project Terry.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View JoeinGa's profile


7355 posts in 1424 days

#12 posted 08-31-2015 12:22 PM

This is freakin’ genius! And I LOVE the finished piece!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View terryR's profile


6227 posts in 1725 days

#13 posted 08-31-2015 01:27 PM

Thanks for the kind words, y’all.

I hope others with the lathe addiction can benefit from this technique.

My plan is to build a crosscut sled and try real segmented turning soon!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View AnthonyReed's profile


8567 posts in 1857 days

#14 posted 08-31-2015 02:27 PM

Gorgeous Terry.

Thanks for the lesson too.

-- ~Tony

View putty's profile


969 posts in 1023 days

#15 posted 08-31-2015 06:34 PM

Nice work Terry…You have many talents!

-- Putty

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