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!