Turned box with a fun secret

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Project by stefang posted 10-16-2019 01:02 PM 1236 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


118258 posts in 4821 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


3558 posts in 4430 days

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

very cool.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View swirt's profile


6635 posts in 4216 days

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

Attractive and fun. It is a win-win.

-- Galootish log blog,

View doubleDD's profile


10705 posts in 3287 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


17040 posts in 4578 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


17012 posts in 4111 days

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

Nice decoration and that additional feature.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View tyvekboy's profile


2132 posts in 4257 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


862 posts in 3724 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


17040 posts in 4578 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


6346 posts in 4373 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


1959 posts in 3584 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


8751 posts in 4042 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

4275 posts in 4408 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


2843 posts in 791 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.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View splintergroup's profile


5864 posts in 2466 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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