Sequence for Turning an Inlaid Box
Kip Christensen

This is from a hand-out given by Kip Christensen before the demonstration at Brigham Young University, 6 March 2001. That evening, Kip showed a dozen extremely fine boxes ranging from small fingernail- to fist-size and ornamented with great variety including horn and ivory. A finely-detailed ebony box the size of a thumb was passed around so perfect that one might have thought it out of a fine plastic mold. He demonstrated chatter techniques in which a light tool cantilevered out from holder "chattered" against the piece on the lathe leaving evenly-spaced checks in the inlay. Kip described his roughing techniques, the length of his storage time and how to store prepared billets.

In addition to the original hand-out information which I have copied here, I have added the comments I remember made during the demonstration. However, by no means are all useful comments made during the demonstration reported here.

Kip's box project was a fist-sized box out of myrtle with a dark wood inlay and simple rounding as decorations. He finished the inside of the box with a lemon oil-based wax and a different oil and wax finish on the outside. The difference being in his mind that the inside of the box—which will spend its life mostly closed—must smell inoffensive or even nice.

Preparing the Box Blank

Preparing the Inlay

Turning the Box