Turned Storage Container

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by terryR posted 08-31-2015 12:34 AM 1769 reads 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s a fun project; a storage container for my wife turned on the lathe.

I don’t have good hollowing tools, so digging out chips from wood deeper than 2” forces me to use my chisels in an unsupported way. That results in unexpected catches, and isn’t much fun at all. However, using segmented methods, I can potentially turn vessels as deep as 17”! (the realistic span on my midi-lathe)

The key points to this method are:
-using multiple layers to achieve vertical height of workpiece,
-attach first layer to lathe, hollow as desired, then flatten the ‘upmost edge’
-attach next layer to lathe, flatten respective edge, and glue to previous layer, hollow as desired,

By laminating successive layers, and hollowing as height (or depth) is increased, there is no need for deep hollowing.

hopefully this example will illustrate more clearly…

My plan was to turn a storage vessel approximately 4” deep with a lid, so I would use two pieces of stock for the base, then one piece for the lid.

To create the base of my vessel, I started with 2 rounds of Makore or African Cherry, each 8/4 thick.

Beginning with the ‘top’ section of the base, I rounded the stock and flattened the portion which I expected to laminate to the rest of my base. I also hollowed a very small amount of wood…no more since there were wood screws holding this to a face plate on the back side!

Next, the 2nd part of the base was turned round, and I placed a negative tenon on the final bottom of the vessel. This relived tenon is how I’ll hold the piece for further shaping.

Now, I hollowed the bottom of the base all the way to final shape…don’t want to do this later when the workpiece is deeper!

Above, you can see the two sections of the base ready for joining. A flat sanding jig is used to prep both surfaces.

And, glue and clamps…

Now we have a 4” thick piece of Makore. But, remember, we only have to hollow 2”...actually a bit less…

Now, for the lid. Another 8” round of thick African Cherry. turned round, and a positive tenon left on the ‘top’

Using that tenon, I could now shape the inside of the lid as such,

Note the negative tenon left on the inside of the lid!
That’s how we’ll finish the lid’s shape later…

Next, the outside of the lid is turned…close to the jaws…but not touching, please!

I left a bit extra around the jaws since I wasn’t sure of the exact final shape I wanted.

Here’s a shot of the lid being held in the reverse tenon in its underside, confused yet?

And the large knob I decided to leave on the top of the lid,

Whew! Thanks for staying with me through all that! just goes to show, the lathe may offer instant gratification, but sometimes you need a well thought out plan. being able to see where tenons can be left on the finished piece is also a help.

A few photos of the finished ‘box’.

The curly nature of the Makore is superb, but not really suited for this project. I had hoped it would blend a little better, but this was my first try with a vessel from 3 flat boards. I think it came out grand, but a more subtle grain will be preferred next time.

BTW, my wife loves it! She’ll use it to keep small sewing projects organized, like the wallet she’s sewing from our home made pig leather.

Questions and comments are always welcomed.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

17 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile


11193 posts in 3404 days

#1 posted 08-31-2015 12:46 AM

That looks sweet, love the figure

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Mauricio's profile


7166 posts in 4263 days

#2 posted 08-31-2015 12:59 AM

well that is beautiful Terry, great work, that wood is spectacular.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View ToddJB's profile


8772 posts in 3242 days

#3 posted 08-31-2015 01:02 AM

Looks awesome!

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View CL810's profile (online now)


4134 posts in 4100 days

#4 posted 08-31-2015 01:35 AM

As always, beautiful work Terry. Very creative approach!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5178 days

#5 posted 08-31-2015 02:48 AM

Nice job Terry. I like that piece of wood! Clever solution to a challenging problem.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View ForestGrl's profile


450 posts in 2198 days

#6 posted 08-31-2015 04:02 AM

It’s beautiful! Thanks for showing us the process, and your clever thinking behind it. So cool!

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

View bch's profile


303 posts in 3801 days

#7 posted 08-31-2015 04:29 AM

I am very impressed! Involving the spouse is fantastic!

-- --bch

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3073 days

#8 posted 08-31-2015 04:43 AM

That’s a really purdy piece there. I love the grain, don’t hide it.

And btw you wouldn’t happen to be buttering the wife up to get some more tools would you?

View Brit's profile


8329 posts in 3955 days

#9 posted 08-31-2015 06:11 AM

You never cease to amaze me Terry. What a great blog and a fantastic end result. I love how you clamped it up right on the lathe.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View CFrye's profile


11267 posts in 2952 days

#10 posted 08-31-2015 08:39 AM

That is gorgeous, Terry! Not sure what you mean by ‘blended better’. Thanks for sharing your process.

-- God bless, Candy

View Don W's profile

Don W

20088 posts in 3679 days

#11 posted 08-31-2015 10:23 AM

That looks great. Another very nice project Terry.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3119 days

#12 posted 08-31-2015 12:22 PM

This is freakin’ genius! And I LOVE the finished piece!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View terryR's profile


7646 posts in 3420 days

#13 posted 08-31-2015 01:27 PM

Thanks for the kind words, y’all.

I hope others with the lathe addiction can benefit from this technique.

My plan is to build a crosscut sled and try real segmented turning soon!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View AnthonyReed's profile


10173 posts in 3552 days

#14 posted 08-31-2015 02:27 PM

Gorgeous Terry.

Thanks for the lesson too.

-- ~Tony

View putty's profile


1301 posts in 2718 days

#15 posted 08-31-2015 06:34 PM

Nice work Terry…You have many talents!

-- Putty

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics