Turned box with a fun secret

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Project by stefang posted 10-16-2019 01:02 PM 660 views 3 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Turned box with a fun secret
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This isn’t a great example of Kolrosing. It’s my first serious attempt, and I expect to get a lot better at it with practice providing I stick with it. Of course not being skilled has ever discouraged me in the past, so this is no exception. I think the greatest challenge will be finding/creating good designs. Anyone with good drawing skills should be able to excel at this and I know there are many of you out there.

After drawing the design with a lead pencil I put on a thin coat of shellac to seal the pencil lines to avoid smearing with my fingers during the cutting. This worked really well. The groves on the top and bottom were done with a skew chisel on the lathe. I used fine purpleheart sawdust mixed with Danish oil to fill the cut lines and then applied 3 coats of beeswax/carnuba wax mix. The wood is Sycamore.

Most of the kolrosing done today has been on knife handles and carved wooden spoons. I see very little done on bowls or boxes. Doing this work on round objects introduces another level of difficulty making the pattern segments consistent and making ends match properly. The cutting is also a bit more difficult since you have to hold it while cutting. None of this is overly difficult though, although you wouldn’t believe that if you saw my first attempts.

I found the idea of the lid doubling as a top on Youtube. I am gloating a little here since none of the ones I saw there actually worked on completion while mine does.

I posted a blog back in 2009 about Kolrosing traditions here in Norway. Not many knew about this art form at the time, so I was pleasantly surprised to see so many recent videos on Youtube about it. It seems that Kolrosing is on it’s way to being popular among some woodworkers. Most of the ones I’ve seen so far look really well done.

As for myself, I’m not able to spend so much time in the shop these days, but I can manage to do some turning projects and it occurred to me that I could decorate those turned items with kolrosing while sitting in my easy chair and there would be no mess with shavings since kolrosing designs require only a vertical knife cut without the removal of any wood. I could also keep the workpiece and a knife next to my chair and I could work on it whenever it suited me. This is a big advantage since repetitive patterns like the one on this box require a lot of cutting and can be a bit boring and take a lot of time.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

29 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117743 posts in 4112 days

#1 posted 10-16-2019 01:11 PM

Hi Mike
Always glad to see your post this is an interesting turning I’m glad you are able to get to the shop long enough to enjoy some turning. Thanks for sharing a most unique project.

View hunter71's profile


3459 posts in 3722 days

#2 posted 10-16-2019 01:14 PM

very cool.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View swirt's profile


4313 posts in 3507 days

#3 posted 10-16-2019 01:17 PM

Attractive and fun. It is a win-win.

-- Galootish log blog,

View doubleDD's profile


8728 posts in 2578 days

#4 posted 10-16-2019 01:17 PM

Mike no matter what you say it shows a lot of skills. Working on it when you feel like it may be the ticket to better results. My carving skills are next to none but it looks interesting enough to give it a try some day. I like the idea of the lid doubling as a top. Tops are on my list this winter.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View stefang's profile


16803 posts in 3869 days

#5 posted 10-16-2019 01:20 PM

Thanks guys. This was a fun project and I am renewing my joy in woodturning. I added some more text to this post. It somehow got posted before I was finished.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Ivan's profile


15192 posts in 3403 days

#6 posted 10-16-2019 01:20 PM

Nice decoration and that additional feature.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View tyvekboy's profile


1930 posts in 3548 days

#7 posted 10-16-2019 01:22 PM

That is beautifully turned in more ways than one.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View justoneofme's profile


809 posts in 3015 days

#8 posted 10-16-2019 01:56 PM

Hi Mike … that is really beautiful! I love your delicate design, and that you’ve found a way to enjoy an element of woodworking in the comfort of your lounge chair. Better yet Lillian doesn’t have to clean up after you!! :)

Thanks for bringing this art form to our attention. I will check out your blog, and kolrosing on YouTube. Oh ya … sweet ‘spinning top’ lid too!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View stefang's profile


16803 posts in 3869 days

#9 posted 10-16-2019 02:07 PM

Thanks Ivan,Tyveboy and Elaine.

Elaine That old blog post is about at the bottom of my 237 blogs. Unfortunately the pictures have been blurred by Photobucket since I no longer use them anymore.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View sras's profile


5229 posts in 3665 days

#10 posted 10-16-2019 02:13 PM

Good thing you told us that was your first attempt! Looks like it was made by an expert!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View madts's profile


1908 posts in 2875 days

#11 posted 10-16-2019 02:28 PM

Very beautiful and interesting. I had never heard of Kolrosing before which is sad because I thought I knew everything. :)

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View shipwright's profile


8397 posts in 3333 days

#12 posted 10-16-2019 02:38 PM

I love it Mike.
Good to see you getting some woodworking time in, especially the easy chair part.
I like that idea!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3700 days

#13 posted 10-16-2019 03:10 PM

Looks good Mike. Glad you have found something you can do sitting down. Woodworking includes a very large segment of artistic work, much of which we miss due to lack of knowledge, and not much else.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


429 posts in 83 days

#14 posted 10-16-2019 03:20 PM

I like the kolrosing technique very much, it is rare to see it in denmark or sweden. Gonna have to try it someday!

The pattern you chose looks real good.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View splintergroup's profile


2988 posts in 1758 days

#15 posted 10-16-2019 03:25 PM

Nice work Mike!

As I was reading your description, I though that that would be a nice project to decorate while relaxing in a chair. Looks like you are still creative as ever!

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