Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Rock-A-Bye Box" - Mark St. Leger Class

Last week end my wood turning group had a two-day demo and class session with Mark St. Leger, a professional turner from Virginia, and an excellent teacher.  Click here to see his web site.


On Saturday around thirty of us watched as Mark demonstrated how to turn a toothpick (!); carve and decorate a holder for it; turn an egg; turn an oblong endgrain box (with a natural end); turn a spherical box with chased threads (with wood-burned baseball lacing); and turn a three-sided "Rock-a-Bye Box."  And, in this wonderfully packed day, he also showed us how to turn some jigs to assist in these projects.

On Sunday, seven of us returned for a hands-on class, in which we each turned a Rock-a-Bye Box, hollowed it, and turned a lid and a finial for it.  We did not have time to fully finish-sand and apply finishes to our boxes, so the photos below show the project in its unfinished state.  The box measures about 3" across and 1 1/2" high; the finial is 1" tall.  The box and finial are hard maple; the lid is wenge.

 The box is hollowed as far as I could reach with the tiny curved scrapers I brought along, but is still pretty hefty for its size.  The idea of the "rock-a-bye" box is that it has a completely rounded bottom, so that it will rock back and forth when tipped, and the lid (which is turned slightly undersized) will slide from side to side in the opening, making a tick-tock sort of sound.  The unusually shaped (golf club?) finial was turned on a jig that permits turning one end on two different centers, which allows the offset shown.

All in all it was a great couple of days!  

Tiny Top

A few weeks ago our niece, her husband and their two kids came up from Chicago to visit for a couple of days.  Since tops are always a favorite with kids at wood turning demonstrations, I thought I'd give one a try. (Amazingly this was something I'd never done before!) Six-year old Morgan and his dad came out to the garage with me to watch.  Morgan then added the colored lines with markers while the top was turning on the lathe.  Must have done it right, because it spins like the dickens! 

Napkin Rings

About a year ago my wife gave me a present of some quilting lessons with a local area quilter (Jean Henson - a very talented and patient lady).  Eventually I managed to turn out two quilted place mats, and more recently (much more recently!) to finish the set of six.  Plus some napkins to go with.  The napkins, in turn, naturally called for napkin rings, so back from the sewing machine to the lathe.  I turned a set for us (mystery wood), and then continued and made another (from redheart).