Grinder Sculpting #1: the box

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Blog entry by JoeyG posted 12-17-2011 05:57 AM 5113 reads 31 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Grinder Sculpting series Part 2: design and layout »

Hello again everyone. I had such a great time doing the last blogs, I just had to do another. This as the name states, will be about sculpting a box with a right angle grinder. I have began using this method after seeing Andy’s and Gary’s wonderful, sculptures that we like to call boxes. I saw it and just new it was something I wanted to get good at. Some people look at chip carving or the spirit in the tree, I saw how with just a little grinding on a straight grain board that it can come to life with waves, curves, and new colors. It not only changes the characteristics of the wood it self, but it can change the shape of the box.

This is going to be a learning experience for me just as all my projects are. If they do not challenge you in some way, are they really worth doing?

For the first time, I will attempt to start with a pattern. Up till this point all of my sculpted boxes have been free hand, meaning I just start grinding on the wood until the shape is exposed and adjust as I need to. With this project I will lay out a simple (hopefully) design on the box and try to “force the wood” to do as I want. I put it this way because I normally use a more organic approach by just letting what feels right happen.

Back Ground:

The other day my wife was at our local beauty salon/spa and began showing the owner pictures of my boxes and she showed interest in having a couple on consignment. I asked my wife what she felt would fit in best. She replied “something earthy” . Well I quickly decided that I would not do a inlay this time. After chewing it over a few times, I decided on a sculpted box. I have begun laying out my design on paper and you will see that next episode.

This is just a test to see what I can achieve with a plain mahogany box and a right angle grinder.

Here is the box. Lid attached and ready to become something more.

As you can see it is just a basic box. It has alternating maple/walnut miter keys. If you would like to see how I built this box it was part of the group I did with this blog It was made the same way and at the same time as these.

As we all know Christmas is just over a week away and will affect the time I have in my shop. I will keep these coming as often as possible, but family comes first and this is the season to spend as much time with them as possible.

The next episode should come pretty quickly since it involves no real shop time. I just have to finalize my designs and then transfer them to the box. Thanks for joining me on a journey of discovery once again.

Until next time,
Thanks for joining in

-- JoeyG ~~~

5 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3693 days

#1 posted 12-17-2011 01:26 PM

Cant wait to see what this beautiful box becomes.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4335 days

#2 posted 01-19-2012 04:53 PM

Looking forward to this blog series. Thanks for taking the time to do it!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3910 days

#3 posted 01-19-2012 05:37 PM

Thanks Jonathan, Welcome aboard. Any suggestions, questions, or ideas you may have are most welcome. I hope you enjoy the blog.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View rustynails's profile


957 posts in 3814 days

#4 posted 01-20-2012 01:56 AM

Looking forward to this blog series as well.

View davedarlene's profile


29 posts in 4581 days

#5 posted 01-20-2012 02:21 AM

Looking forward to the rest of the series!

-- David W./Central Florida

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