Magnetic Catch Salt Cellars

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Project by Izzy68 posted 08-25-2014 04:27 PM 1600 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are among my favorite boxes to use because of the top on the brass pin pivot and the magnetic catch. These were my first two attempts and I ran into some problems with both of them. The first is from Sycamore, which I love; but I once again had the problem of measuring once instead of twice and the lid is seated just a hair off from where it should be. The most critical part of these boxes is making sure the measurement for the magnetic catch lines up where it is supposed to on the top and bottom.

The second box is Persimmon with the sides stained “honey amber”, which came out as just plain Yellow. the top and bottom were not stained and look much nicer. The top has a brass medallion I also turned from a cylinder of brass (separate lathe… Sherline mini metal lathe). There is a chunk missing from the box on the bottom right at the catch. This was caused by my unfortunate initial choice to use a square magnet and cut a small mortise using Dockyard miniature chisels. The chisels are phenomenal, don’t get me wrong. But the execution was problematic as I wasn’t paying attention to where my left hand was hanging around. It was right under the catch area, steadying the box… which didn’t need steadying since it was firmly held down to the bench. Anyway, the mortise was a little too close to the edge and the wood split, causing the chisel to continue moving downward, past the bottom of the mortise and through my left index finger, pinning it to the bench. Although I was horrified at the mishap and really embarrassed about making such a stupid mistake, the chisels are made so well and are so very sharp that the actual penetration through the finger didn’t really hurt. It bled quite a bit, of course, but again due to the sharpness of the tool, I was able to stop the bleeding within a minute or so, patch up the wound, and it healed very quickly and cleanly, leaving no trace of the stupid mistake. Thankfully, that was the extent of the damage and I miraculously missed any bones, nerves or ligaments, passing straight through the finger. Lucky this time. I won’t be making that mistake again.

-- Jimmy

2 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5336 posts in 4733 days

#1 posted 08-25-2014 04:55 PM

Nice work. Love the brass center.

I know what you mean about lining up the magnets. I have done a bunch of salt boxes like this experienced the same problem. I finally made a template for drilling.

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Izzy68's profile


42 posts in 2959 days

#2 posted 08-26-2014 01:59 PM

That’s what I have to do… make a template. I’ve been too lazy to do it the easy and efficient way!

-- Jimmy

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