Sequence for Turning an Inlaid Box (Production)
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. He also discussed some
production-turning tips, gave these to us and then turned a box.
Turning the Box
- 1. Start with a dry blank approximately 3" x 3" x 4".
- 2. Mount wood between centers and turn to a cylinder.
- 3. Turn a spigot on each end for mounting in a scroll chuck.
- 4. Using a parting tool, separate the lid section from the base section.
- 5. Mount the top section in a scroll chuck, turn the outside and exposed
- 6. Turn a shoulder on the inside of the lid and shape the inside of the
lid. The should should be exactly parallel to the bed of the lathe.
- 7. Sand and apply finish (mineral oil) to the inside of the lid. Kip
in fact advised a good-smelling finish that won't leave a stench in
the box since it will spend most of its life with its lid on. Remove
the lid from the chuck.
- 8. Mount the base section in a scroll chuck, turn the outside and
exposed end clean.
- 9. Turn a spigot to fit the shoulder of the lid.
- 10. Using the spigot as a chuck, mount the lid on the base and shape the
outside of the base and lid. Leave about ¾" between the bottom
of the base and the jaws of the chuck.
- 11. Remove the lid and turn the inside of the base.
- 12. Sand and apply finish (mineral oil) to the inside of the base. (See
earlier comment on box odor.)
- 13. Remount the lid on the base, sand and apply finish (French polish)
to the outside of the box.
- 14. Using a parting tool, separate the box base from the wood.
- 15. On the remaining waste wood, turn a spigot to fit the inside of the
- 16. Mount the base on the spigot and turn the bottom of the box.
- 17. Sand and apply finish (French polish) to the bottom of the base.