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Thread: Walnut box...

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

    Since Stu posted a turned box I decided it was time I posted another one myself.

    Here is one turned from walnut which is not the best box turning wood. I always find it to be a little splintery and it does not want to turn crisp details without some chip out. This box is 2 1/4" tall and 2 3/4" in diameter although it looks like it is as broad as it is tall.

    In the second picture where the box is open I have placed a dime to show the relative thinness of this box. It is pretty thin and this box is as light as a feather....
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    DSM, IA
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    Nicley done Mike

  3. #3
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    ozarks
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    thin is cool! pretty shape too.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    And that Mike is why you are known as the "Box Maestro"! I really like the lines of the box!

  5. #5
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    Dec 2006
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    Goodland, Kansas
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    Hey Mike that is a good looking box. Well done. Yep walnut is not really a box making wood but I sure do like turning it.
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Very nice Mike, thanks for the inspiration!

    What woods do you like for boxes?

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

  7. #7
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    Stu, hard, dry and dense wood turns best for boxes. Did I mention it should be dry, the drier the better. I do rough turn green wood and dry it with alcohol.

    You can turn a box from any piece of wood with varying degrees of success. I have turned boxes from more than 80 different species. But the wood determines how much detail you can have and how well everything fits together.

    My favorite box turning woods are any and all of the dense exotics (the rosewoods, cocobolo, etc.), bocote, verawood, Santos rosewood/pau ferro, hard maple, cherry, mesquite, bubinga, shedua, Masur birch, hackberry, to name a few.

    Some woods I don't like to turn for boxes include wenge (like turning a piece of coal), most oaks although I have had good success with English brown oak, most of the softwoods, most spalted woods (I hate dealing with the punky areas which always seem to be at their worst near the flange area) and any other wood that is just plain troublesome. Life is too short to turn troublesome, ugly, soft, uninteresting wood.

    There are two things to consider when choosing wood for a box. First is the side grain interesting and second is the end grain interesting? The top of the box is going to be end grain and just because a piece of wood has lots of curl it can be blah on the end grain. Curly maple is like this, beautiful side grain and nothing on the end grain. Sometimes the box is a winner just because of beautiful end grain. This walnut box has little in the way of interest in end grain or side grain.
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Thanks Mike.

    I had a turning buddy show up here today, he was in the area, so he stopped by. He is a really good turner, teaches and has recently built a school, but his main interest is in the more typical Japanese style of turnings, tops, and such, but he does good stuff. He thought my first box was good, he liked the fit of the lid, the pop it makes when you take it off was "Good" he said.

    We got to chatting and he suggested that I make a "Chazutsu" which is the Japanese tea container, stuff like this.......

    Attachment 12488 Attachment 12489 Attachment 12490 Attachment 12491

    ....... you get the idea. Just to be clear, I did NOT make any of these, they are only example of the type of thing I'd like to make.

    The inner and outer lid add another level of difficulty, but it should not be that hard to do.

    They have fairly strict sizing for the real thing, the size determines how much tea each will hold.

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

  9. #9
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    Stu, I did not know the name of the tea container "chazatsu" but I have seen one before. Richard Raffan turns them in several different variations and comments about how the challenge is to have both the inner and outer lids fit to the same level of precision.

    I would be curious to learn what woods are traditionally used for containers such as this. I may have to try and turn one of those. I know one thing for sure, they will be harder to do well than it looks.
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Hey Mike, they use all kinds of wood, the most common are Sakura (Ornamental Cherry) and Keyaki (Japanese Elm) mainly for their wonderful grain, but other are used too.

    I really understand that getting the fit for both lids will be a real challenge, but I figure that if they could do it 300 years ago, we should be able to do it now, with our much better machines, and tools (dunno about the skill bit......in my case).

    How to go about it, well I figure you would make a box in the same fashion, but with some alterations, for example the lid is supposed to fit down on to the box 2 cm (3/4" ?) so that will be a real challenge, and the fit is such that is should be almost no taper, yikes hard to do!

    From what I have seen the inner lid is a piece from the main piece the box is turned from, with the grain running the same way as either end of the box.

    To turn the inner lid, I'd part off the box, and then make a jam chuck for the box, finish the bottom of the box. Then I'd put the lid piece back in the chuck, and turn the bottom of the lid, checking for fit on the box, once done, I'd than make another jam chuck for the inner lid, and turn the top of the inner lid. making sure the handle in the middle of the lid is not too weak, as the inner lid is supposed to fit really tight, to keep the tea fresh.

    How does that sound?

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

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