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Turned Boxes

 
pollinator
Posts: 133
Location: acadian peninsula, New Brunswick, Canada
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Hello Permies People

I bought a Taig lathe many years ago. This Summer I decided to upgrade from a generic AC motor to a brushed DC motor with speed control. This motor is used on Sherline lathes but they fit on the Taig. It was an expensive upgrade! When I got that lathe I had metalworking in mind but this time I wanted to try my hand at wood turning. The perfect excuse to shop for more tools!



Here it is, my first turned project. I used beech and didn't have anything in mind I just went with the flow. I ended up with a nice little cup perfect for my ebony necklace.



Next I found a piece of spalted birch. This was a more difficult wood to turn because the log was a bit punky.
End grain would tear off and that means lots of sanding. Neverthelesss, the result is quite nice! There is a lot to learn.



I had a lot of fun and I knew I'd end up with a bunch of boxes. What to do with them... Yes! Seed boxes :)



Exploring sizes, shapes and lid designs. Another one made of beech.



Perfect for treasure. Unfortunately the angle on the lid tenon is too large. I like tight fitting lids to prevent spills.



Hope they please the eye. I'll add more when I get some time :)

 
pollinator
Posts: 3254
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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If your treasure is seeds, those might make excellent seed keepers, as you've already shown with your beans.

-CK
 
Francis Mallet
pollinator
Posts: 133
Location: acadian peninsula, New Brunswick, Canada
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Chris Kott wrote:those might make excellent seed keepers



Definitely! Better than the common plastic bag that's for sure. I still have a couple to make, maybe after those are out of the way you'd be interested in one?  I considered selling them but they take so long to make.  I'd rather use them for trade.

I wanted to see how large I could go. The Taig has a 4.5" capacity but anything close to that limit is difficult to handle. In this image the bottom is done and the lid is ready to parted off. There are many ways to go about making boxes and I'm still figuring out which path I prefer. At the time I only had a 4-jaw chuck.



The handle ended up much smaller than planned. The softer pith was almost centered in the lid and that would cause the wood to break off in chunks instead of being nicely cut. The top of the handle is also a bit rough because I got bored with the sanding. Ah well, good enough.



We don't have beech on the woodlot. My father got a load of firewood from a friend and it's mostly beech. Real heavy wood that burns forever. That wood was cut for firewood because of beech bark disease. Canker might ruin it for planks, for turning stock it's not bad at all.



The box in use. I was using a micro square nose cutter for hollowing until I broke the tool (a 20$ mistake, crap!). Now I use a normal size round nose scraper, much faster and also much more comfortable. Sometimes a box will become oval when It's brought inside the house. Sometimes a tight fit will loosen up. I still have much to learn.


 
Posts: 46
Location: Northern BC Zone 3
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Your boxes look very nice.
 
Posts: 22
Location: PNW zone 8b
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Thank you for sharing your journey of learning a new skill. It is very encouraging.
 
Francis Mallet
pollinator
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Location: acadian peninsula, New Brunswick, Canada
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Thank you! Approval is always nice.

For my next piece I wanted something a bit more curvy. I asked the Internet about how I could do this and that's what it came up with. This is a hollowing tool made from an old Allen key. While the tool is far from perfect it did the job. The next one will be better.


Not really a box, I might make a lid for it at some point.  For the first couple of pieces I used salad bowl wax for a finish, now I prefer walnut oil. What I like about turning is that there isn't much planning and measuring. Get some piece of firewood, take a deep breath and start working.



Too pretty to give away, I'm keeping that one! A soft curve that fits just right in the hand :) It's full of seeds now but I wonder how it would do as a planter for things like cacti or succulents.



 
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Beautiful work already. Can't wait to see how it progresses.
 
Posts: 57
Location: WNC 6b
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Beautiful!!! Love all the variance in the grains.
 
pollinator
Posts: 217
Location: OK High Plains Prairie, 23" rain avg
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The round piece without a lid speaks to me as it does to you. Perfect for the hand. Thank you for sharing.
 
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awesome work, now I'm inspired, not everyone has talent to create such beautiful work
I cut down a dead black walnut tree last week and pulled it to the woodshed and after cutting the smaller branches into firewood size pieces I realized just how nice the wood was and stashed it in a far corner of the shed and saved the rest of the tree for future projects
 
pollinator
Posts: 160
Location: SW Ohio
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Neato! The little round one looks especially cool.
I know it's not the most eco-friendly but you can use resin to stabilize punky wood... but takes some special equipment I think. I get a little frustrated because sometimes my desires to create art objects are not good for the environment.
 
Posts: 17
Location: USDA Zone 7a
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These are the sweetest little jars ever!  I can think of lots of little things to store in them.  Useful in every room of the house.  The wood is beautiful too!  It seems you can make the lids sit on the inside or outside but not sure how that's done.  How about making a heavy, solid rolling pin with turned handles?
 
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So cool! You don’t even have the correct lathe and still doing beautiful work! I love spalted birch. I’ve been milling it for years now, and experiment with how long I let the logs sit to ‘ferment’. Get some beautiful colors. The beech blight must be moving north with global warming. It killed all of them in the Adirondacks about 25 years ago.
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
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