After I got here throughout two offcuts within the oddments field at a neighborhood mill, the wooden’s intriguing grain patterns caught my consideration. They had been figured maple, with lovely patterns on the sq. faces. It occurred to me they may very well be made into engaging small bowls. However again in my store, as I turned one piece round and over to determine which face would greatest be uppermost in a bowl, I modified my thoughts. Recalling that I had some cylindrical magnets left over from a earlier mission, I made a decision the block of wooden ought to change into a sq. field with a turned inside and a lid connected with a magnetic hinge at one nook. I’ve since made a number of bins on this type, utilizing the next strategies.
Flip a Sq. Field
You need to use any sort of wooden, however begin by dimensioning it to 2″ (5cm) thick and three″ (8cm) sq.. Determine the facet of the block with essentially the most engaging grain and lower off a 3/8″ (9.5mm) slab for the lid.
Subsequent, maintain the lid piece in place on what would be the field physique, and make a reference mark throughout the joint so that you’ll know later learn how to match them up once more.
Mount the physique block on the lathe and hole the field’s inside as you’d a small bowl, leaving 1/4″ (6mm) on the outer edges for the magnetic hinge.
I desire utilizing Cole jaws for this mounting, however you might additionally use common chuck jaws if they’re giant sufficient.
To stop jaw marks or bruising, wrap masking tape across the block a number of occasions. When you desire a straight-sided inside, use a small bedan or square-nose scraper. In any case, depart about 1/4″ thickness within the backside.
After you’ve gotten hollowed the field inside, the flat high floor ought to be scraped to take away any noticed marks and to make sure there’s a good interface between lid and physique. For this scraping, or skimming, I exploit the blade from a 2″ jackplane. The blade is huge sufficient to cowl the complete width of wooden being scraped, and I discover it provides a greater outcome than utilizing a gouge for a truing lower.
Test the floor for flatness with a straightedge — no gentle ought to be seen between the wooden floor and the metallic edge. The tape wrapping additionally helps stop tearout/chipping when turning the flat floor on the outdoors corners. Don’t use abrasives right here, as they’ll doubtless spherical over the perimeters.
The block ought to then be reverse-mounted so the underside could be scraped in an analogous method as the highest and checked for flatness.
Flip the Field Lid
Now mount the field lid in a similar way because the physique, besides a flat spacer ought to be positioned behind the lid so the lid’s floor will protrude above the jaw’s grips.
Either side of the lid ought to be given the identical floor scraping therapy; once more, I exploit a aircraft blade for this.
Upon completion of the scraping, match the physique to the lid to test that the surfaces adjoin properly. Scrape extra to flatten the lid as wanted.
A Magnetic Hinge
The field lid is connected to the physique utilizing two 1/4″-diameter × 1/4″-long cylindrical magnets set in holes at one nook. One is put in in a nook of the physique, countersunk 1/8″ (3mm) deep, and the opposite is put in within the matching nook of the lid and protrudes simply barely lower than 1/8″. To make sure the lid and physique will line up when assembled, clamp the components collectively previous to drilling. Drill a 1/4″-diameter gap on the corner-to-corner diagonal and centered between the nook and the field’s cavity. A chunk of tape positioned on the drill bit signifies the outlet’s depth, which ought to run by means of the lid and a bit greater than 3/8″ into the physique.
The magnets can be a “press match” within the holes, so as soon as the physique magnet is in, there isn’t a option to take away it. The lid magnet ought to be pushed in and adjusted as essential by tapping it additional in or down from the highest. Previous to putting in the magnets, take care to mark their matching faces with the right polarity to make sure they’ll face the proper method. As soon as the sleek operation of the lid is obtained, each magnets ought to be secured with a drop of on the spot glue.
The uncovered higher a part of the outlet within the lid ought to be plugged with an ornamental turned button, as proven within the opening picture. Flip the button with a 1/4″ shaft and 1/2″ hemispherical crown. An off-cut of a pen clean may very well be used.
A Magnetic Catch
The lid catch, which holds the field closed, can be magnetic, although I used smaller magnets for this objective — 1/8″-diameter × 1/8″-long cylindrical magnets put in within the corners reverse the hinge set. The catch magnets are put in flush with the wooden floor. To make sure the lid and physique line up correctly when put in, a template ought to be used to drill the ⅛”-diameter holes. I made a template from a chunk of skinny aluminum sheet, forming a 1″ (25mm) sq. with two edges lower so half could be folded up and the opposite half folded down. It will enable the template to suit snugly on the nook of each the lid and physique, finding the outlet in the identical place on every.
Drill a 1/8″ information gap by means of the template 3/8″ from the nook on the diagonal. Mark one face of the template “up,” so that you’ll be capable of place it one option to drill into the field and the alternative method (flipped) to drill into the lid. All of that is meant to make sure the 2 holes—and magnets—can be correctly aligned.
If all goes effectively, the lid ought to revolve fairly freely on its hinge and shut onto the catch magnet with a satisfying “click on” with none over-travel.
To complete the field, evenly sand and apply an oil or polish. To maintain the flat surfaces flat, sand them on a sheet of abrasive utilized to a flat floor. Apply gentle stress, alternating between round and side-to-side motions.
I like to make use of an oil/varnish combine: 25% pure tung oil, 25% boiled linseed oil, and 50% satin wipe-on polyurethane, along with odorless mineral spirits at 20% by total quantity. This combination brings out the grain properly, feels velvety to the contact, and affords a level of safety. I wipe on three coats, with gentle sanding between functions.
Michael Hamilton-Clark, a retired civil engineer, has been turning wooden for fourteen years. He lives within the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, and makes use of largely domestically obtainable woods from felled bushes, department trimmings, and mill offcuts to supply quite a lot of gadgets. He’s a member of the Fraser Valley Woodturners Guild, the AAW, and the Craft Council of British Columbia. For extra, go to alberystudiowoodturnings.com.