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Thread: Mexican cocobolo beaded box....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Coastal plain of North Carolina
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    555

    Mexican cocobolo beaded box....

    Hello all! I joined this forum more than 8 months ago and completely forgot about it because I misplaced the link in the wrong folder. So I am a newbie!

    I have been visiting the site a lot frequently and have enjoyed what I have seen. I decided to throw something out for all my lathe compadres to comment upon.

    This box was turned from a piece of wood labeled as "Mexican cocobolo". What distinguishes it from any other cocobolo except where it was harvested is beyond me. This wood was extremely dense and hollowed beautifully requiring little in the way of sanding as it cut very cleanly. The box was sanded until it was smooth and finished with wax. This box finished up at
    1 7/8" tall and 2 1/2" in diameter.

    Comments appreciated....

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    29,079
    Ooh! Mike found us again. Good to see you back, and good to see pics of your work. That cocobolo box looks like another Stafford to me. You are the box guy.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Odessa, Tx
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    That's a Real BEAUTY, Mike. I love the wood AND the design. (and I'm not even much of a "Spinney" guy).

  4. #4
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    Goodland, Kansas
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    Hey Big Mike wondered where you went. Good to see you again. That is one beautiful box Mike. I miss looking at those cause I used them as a inspiration.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  5. #5
    Big Mike.....It's good to see you posting your beautiful turnings again! Missed you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    Wow, just another beautiful piece from Big Mike! Looks great.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2006
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Welcome Mike! That's a great looking box!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,582
    Welcome back Mike!

    Sure is a nice box, and nice wood!

    Thanks for taking the time!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Decatur, Illinois
    Posts
    177
    mike, love that wood and shape of the box as well.
    i'm new to turning so have a couple of questions. why is the tenon on the bottom of the box and not the lid...my dvd's instruct to do it this way and your box follows this rule.
    second question involves grain direction. again my dvd's say that lidded boxes are turned differently than bowls relative to grain direction. that would make lidded box grain running parallel with the lathe axis like a spindle. the explanation given was that wood growth is across the grain and therefore a lid and base will grow and shrink together and the fit will remain constant.

    thanks for the help
    Last edited by Clark O'Neill; 08-11-2007 at 04:26 AM. Reason: misspelling
    99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name...Steven Wright.

  10. #10
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    Clark, I will try to answer your questions the best way I can.

    I learned to turn boxes from Richard Raffan's book on "Turned Boxes" and in it he describes the process and shows the tenon on the body. However there is no rule written in stone that says it has to be there. There are certain boxes I turn, egg shaped boxes for instance, where the tenon is on the lid which for me is the small end of the egg. I happen to like the bottom of the egg, the large end, to overfit the small end therefore the small end will have the tenon.

    Some box turners I have talked to always put the tenon on the lid so that when the box is open the bottom continues to have smooth uninterrupted lines. So, Clark, I don't think it matters a whit which end you put the tenon on. The most important thing is the form of the box, the proportions between the lid and the body of the box and how well the lid fits on the box.

    The fit of the lid brings me to the answer to your second question. By turning boxes from end grain stock, i.e. the grain is running parallel to the lathe bed in spindle orientation you will minimize the shrinkage and expansion due to seasonal humidity variation. This is true only if you start out with very dry wood, and it is best to use dry wood for boxes, and it is true as long as the diameter of your box does not get too large. The larger the diameter the more apparent seasonal variations will be. If your box walls are too thick they will also be affected by changes in humidity more.

    I use Dave Smith's alcohol drying method on lots of pieces of wood that are too green to turn boxes from initially. I will rough hollow the box and soak it in alcohol and let it dry for quite a while usually placing my box blanks in the hot water heater closet to help them dry. After they are good and dry I can rechuck them and finish turning the box.

    You can turn boxes from wood turned in the face plate orientation where the grain is perpendicular to the ways of the bed and I do. The only thing you must remember is that the wood will contract and expand across the grain much more when it is oriented in this manner. In a four inch box in certain woods seasonal shrinkage can make your lid go slightly oval enough where it can lock on the box body or you can have a twist fit where in one direction the lid is loose and in the other it is snug or even locked on. I always make boxes turned in the faceplace orientation with a loose lid so they can be opened one handed.

    I am reminded of a story where an American woodworker is visiting the home of a master Japanese woodworker. He is admiring a beautifully joined and finished wooden box with a sliding lid that the master uses for storing sweaters. The American comments, "This box must swell shut during the Summer?" To which the Japanese master replies. "Yes, that is true but I don't need my sweaters in the Summer."

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