Mystical Magic Box

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • BOWL GOUGE (FINGERNAIL PREFERRED)
  • SPINDLE GOUGE (FINGERNAIL PREFERRED)
  • BEDAN (SUGGESTED/OPTIONAL)
  • CURVED SCRAPER
  • SCROLL CHUCK
  • LIVE CENTER/DRIVE CENTER
  • SMALL SQUARE / TRYSQUARE / RULER / COMPASS
  • BANDSAW
  • LATHE

MATERIALS:

  • WOOD, AIR DRIED/KILN DRIED: STRONG GRAIN/BURL/FIGUERED, GOOD COLOR
  • 6”X6”X3” OR 8”X8”X3”
  • GLUE (TITEBOND II OR 5-MIN EPOXY)
  • MARBLE, BELL, COIN, POPCORN, BEANS…..?

 

OBJECTIVE:

Our goal is to turn a hollow form that not only incorporates a small opening at the top, but also includes a foreign object within.  This foreign object could be a coin, a bell, marbles….whatever your imagination can serve up!!  The key is to make the observer attempt to guess how this was done….and the answer is always MAGIC!!

  

PROCESS:

Make sure that your selected wood blank is square, with all sides parallel.  Locate and mark the exact center of each face.  Select one of the narrow (3-in) sides and mark 2 or 3 lines near to one of the corners USING THE SQUARE.  These lines will be alignment marks for use later on.  Using a ruler, carefully mark a line that is on the exact center of the 3-in face, running on the 6-in or 8-in axis.  We are going to cut this block in half, so that we end up with identical blocks measuring 6-inX6-inX1½-in ( or 8-inX8-inX11/2-in). (see drawing #1)

Insure that the band saw table and blade are square with each other and that the blade is sharp.

(NOTE: I will usually install a new blade for this step…it DOES make a difference). 

CAREFULLY AND SAFELY, insuring that the cut is straight, square and parallel, make the cut.  This was the scary part…now for the fun stuff.

We are going to take each of the blanks, in turn (don’t you just love a pun?), and make identical halves, each with a small (1/8thX2 ½-in) tenon located on the original flat face as earlier marked.  The tricky part is that we have to leave a square rim, about ¼-in thick, on the side opposite the tenon.  The shape should be of a curve running from the shoulder of the tenon to the shoulder of the square rim.  BE CAREFUL:  If you don’t pay attention to your shape, you will cut off the corners of the rim and lose your reference alignment marks. (see drawing #2)

Follow the same procedure for the other blank.

Mount one of the blanks into a scroll chuck.  Check and verify that the blank is running true.  Hollow out the interior, making sure that the inside shape is the same as the outside.  We are trying for a wall thickness of not less than 1/8th or more than ¼ inch.  Sand and finish the interior surface.

Follow the same procedure for the other blank.

Test fit the two halves, making sure that the alignment marks do indeed line up and that the two halves mate nicely.  We are going to use the lathe as a clamp. Apply glue to the joining surfaces of both blanks. Place your “foreign object” in one of the halves and then put the other half in place.  Bring the tail stock up close enough that you can crank the tailstock spindle/live center in to put pressure on the two blanks.  BE GENTLE…you don’t want to squeeze the glue out of the joint!!  Verify that the alignment marks are still aligned and take a break.  Allow sufficient time for the glue to set up.   

After the glue has set, mount the assembly once again to the scroll chuck.  Using the live center for safety, carefully following the original outside curve, turn away the rim, leaving a crisp edge. It is CRITICAL that the glue line is the exact center of the new turned edge.  Now turn away the tenon on the tailstock side.  Move the tailstock out of the way, and, using either a small spindle gouge or drill bit, open up the “access hole” in the top.  You can also add beads or chatter work around the hole at this time if you choose.

Sand and finish the exterior

If there are “chuck marks” on the remaining tenon, they can now be removed.  Your turning can be held in a vacuum chuck, a jam chuck or between centers.

Now, isn’t MAGIC fun?

- Capt. Jack Wayne

woodturning class

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