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Turned Lidded Box Lenoir City TN

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.

The Home Depot
(865)986-6116
250 Abbie Drive
Lenoir City, TN
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(865)425-0493
175 Laboratory Rd
Oak Ridge, TN
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Woodcraft - Knoxville, TN
(865) 539-9330
8023 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN

Data Provided by:
Ace Hardware of Dixie Lee Jct
(865) 988-5285
19670 Highway 11 E, WATT ROAD
Dixie Lee Jct, TN
 
Co/Op Ace Hardware
(865) 458-2057
2084 W Lee Hwy
Loudon, TN
 
The Home Depot
(865)691-9500
9361 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(865)983-6200
943 Foot Hills Mall Dr
Maryville, TN
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(865)938-3574
2751 Schaad Road
Knoxville, TN
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Fastenal- Loudon
865-458-0404
155A Natalie Blvd Loudon, TN, 37774
Loudon, TN
 
UNITED RENTALS/Knoxville, TN
(865) 693-5761
10224 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN, 37922
Knoxville, TN
 
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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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