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...