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Turned Lidded Box Billings MT

Why hollow end grain when you can make a box from face grain? The answer is simple: an end-grain box is more stable. That means your lid will fit well all year long. Face-grain turnings change shape more dramatically with changes in humidity causing the lid to fit perfectly one day and fit too tight the next. If you want a loose fitting lid and a different grain look, then a face-grain box is acceptable.

A & H Turf & Specialties, Inc.
(406) 245-8466
468 South Moore Lane
Billings, MT

Data Provided by:
Kings Ace Hardware
(406) 245-0070
4170 State Ave
Billings, MT
 
Aldrich And Company
(406) 259-5531
2021 4th Ave North
Billings, MT
 
Western Tool Supply- Billings
406-652-4797
3088 Gabel Road Billings, MT, 59102
Billings, MT
 
Lowe's
(406) 655-9317
2717 King Avenue West
Billings, MT
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

The Home Depot
(406)655-9038
2784 King Ave West
Billings, MT
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-9:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Fastenal- Billings
406-252-9090
1518 1st Ave N Billings, MT, 59101
Billings, MT
 
West Park Plz
(406) 247-2700
1515 Grand Ave
Billings, MT
Store Hours
Sears Stores
Store Type
Sears Stores
Hours
Mon:10-20
Tue:10-20
Wed:10-20
Thu:10-20
Fri:10-20
Sat:10-19
Sun:11-18
Store Features
Mon:10-20
Tue:10-20
Wed:10-20
Thu:10-20
Fri:10-20
Sat:10-19
Sun:11-18

LOWE'S OF BILLINGS, MT.
406 655-9317
2717 KING AVENUE WEST BILLINGS, MT, 59102
Billings, MT
 
King's Ace Hardware
(406) 656-1445
2264 Central Ave
Billings, MT
 
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Turned Lidded Box

Turned Lidded Box

A Precision Fit Lid that Snaps Shut

by Alan Lacer

Of all the different forms of woodturning, I find the most delight in creating lidded boxes. The satisfying snap of a well fit lid as it closes, the beauty of the shape and the wood combined with the usefulness of a lidded container just do it for me. Turning a lidded box is a demanding project, but anyone with a few bowls and some spindle work under their belt can produce these wonderful objects. All it takes is a methodical approach and sound technique.   

A lidded box presents two unique challenges. One is creating the perfect fit between the lid and base. Think of it as a precise joint that’s designed to come apart.

The other challenge is hollowing end grain. End grain can be up to five times harder than side grain and is prone to tear out. Even experienced bowl turners are surprised when they first try hollowing end grain. Fortunately, these problems can be overcome by switching from a gouge to a scraper when hollowing end grain. If you fall in love with lidded boxes, you might consider purchasing a ring or a hook tool that’s designed specifically for cutting end grain. 

Why hollow end grain when you can make a box from face grain? The answer is simple: an end-grain box is more stable. That means your lid will fit well all year long. Face-grain turnings change shape more dramatically with changes in humidity causing the lid to fit perfectly one day and fit too tight the next. If you want a loose fitting lid and a different grain look, then a face-grain box is acceptable. 

For this story, I will take you through the entire process of making an end-grain box with a snug, friction-fit lid. We’ll cover chucking the parts in different manners, cutting end grain, tight tolerances, hollowing in a narrow space, creating the desired “perfect fit,” and dealing with a joint designed to come apart. 

What You'll Need


Choosing Your Wood 

If you are new to box making I suggest using walnut, soft maple or cherry.   These woods are easy to turn and make fine looking boxes. Select a piece that’s 3-in. square and 5 to 6-in. long. The wood needs to be dry throughout, as you can afford very little dimensional change as you turn these boxes.  Move up to exotic domestic or imported woods as you gain experience.

A perfect fitting lid is best achieved by roughing out the lid and base interiors first, then letting them sit for a few days or more before finishing the box. Almost all species of wood will change shape when extensively hollowed, no matter how well they are dried.  

Prepare The Blank For The Chuck

1. Mount your blank between centers as you would for spindle turning.  Create a cylinder with the spindle-roughing gouge.

2. Cut tenons on both ends of the cylinder (Photo 1).

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