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Turned Boxes (2006, 7)

My 2 year old daughter saw these and called them "cupcakes", an appropriate name I think.

These are my first successful turned boxes.  I tried a couple last year and I fudged them both while fitting the lid to the base.  Prior to these I went through Raffan's Turned Boxes book and video, and this time things turned out OK.

Boxes 1 & 2, unknown wood, finished with danish oil and wax:

Box #3 is cherry finished with danish oil:

So now that I've had some success with boxes I'm thoroughly hooked - I had a blast with these.  I spent more time fitting the lids than refining the shape for the first two, and the shapes are ok but are blatant rip-off's of Raffan's.  I tried a different form for the third, and it's ok but not quite what I was hoping for.  I'll be experimenting with other forms on my next attempts.

If anyone has a guess as to the wood species on the first two boxes let me know...

Update Nov 19, 2006:
Well, I mentioned I wanted to try some other shapes, and this one is certainly different.  I'm just not sure if it's different in a good way.  The shape evolved naturally from a large knot in the lid blank that forced me to remove a bit more material that I originally planned.  That led me to blend the top into the base for an egg-like form.  Add the dopey finial on top to make it easy to grab, and presto - a kinda wierd box.  My 2 year old loves it though, and that makes it a success!  The wood is cherry finished with danish oil.

Update 12/7/2006:

A couple more boxes in cherry.  Exteriors are finished with danish oil, interiors are finished with beeswax.

This first one is inspired by another Raffan form. It went pretty smoothly and I'm happy wih the results.  Roughly 5" tall.

The next one was one of those turnings that fought me every step of the way. Stuck with it thru catches, tearout, worm tracks, and chucking problems. Grain match from lid to base isn't great due to some of these issues. Twas worth the trouble in the end though.   2-3/4" tall.


Update 1/15/07:
I've had a branch from an ash tree I cut down due to the Emerald Ash Borer hanging around my shop for a few years.  I finally turned a section of it into a box.  Another Raffan-type form, but this one is my biggest box yet; around 8" tall.  This went smoothly until I was buffing the lid and it was grabbed from my hands and slammed against the wall of my shop.  Bad words were said!  I had to do a lot of hand sanding and finish repair to get it done, and there are still a few small dents remaining.  I'm happy to leave this as a matte finish and not a glossy buffed one.

Update 2/26/07:
A spalted maple turned box. About 5" tall, finished with danish oil. There was much less spalting remaining in the finished piece than I was hoping for, but I'm fairly happy with the shape.

Update 10/20/07:
Here are a couple boxes I turned from maple chunks that were leftover from bowl blanks. I wanted a fairly straightforward form on these boxes, and I'm quite happy with the outcome.  Both are finished outside with danish oil, and inside with beeswax.  I really enjoy making boxes, and I hope to find the time to make many more.

Update 11/23/07:
This is another maple box from more of the leftover chunks from bowl blanks.  This one ended up at about 4.5" diameter (about as big as will comfortably fit in the hand) and 4" tall, the inside if finished with beeswax, and the outside is finished with satin wipe on poly.  Although it doesn't show up well in these pics, the top of the lid is textured with a chatter tool.  These last three maple boxes look awful nice sitting together in a grouping.

© Copyright 2007 Chris Billman