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Let’s Build a Jewelry Box…Part 5…Woodturning

Woodturning a Handle for a Jewelry Box

This woodworking online episode is part of the Let’s Build Series

Woodworking Tips and Techniques:

1.) Using cyanoacrylate glue for a quick glue-up…along with a spray accelerator.
2.) Turning wood using a spindle gouge with a fingernail grind.

Koa Jewelry Box - Woodturning the KnobIn this episode we continue with our woodturning project, a Koa wood veneer jewelry box. If you recall we started out this woodworking project with a small amount of Koa and our goal from the beginning was to test our woodworking skills to see how far we can maximize the amount of wood we have available to us. Our focus throughout has been on accuracy.

“Continuous effort- not strength or intelligence- is the key to unlocking our potential.
Sir Winston Churchill
1874-1965, Former British Prime Minister

The wooden veneered box is already made. The lid is beveled and trimmed to size to fit on the box so now we need a handle for the lid. At this point we have a decision to make about the design of the handle. Should it be long and arched? Should it be of Japanese influence? We are going to do something different. Why? One of the goals with this project is to exercise various learned woodworking skills. So far we have covered slicing wood veneer on the band saw and using the vacuum press as a clamp for laminating the veneer packets. We have also demonstrated the use of a number of table saw sleds which include the dedicated miter sled, the flat board miter sled, and the cross cut sled. Also we have made use of the sacrificial fence for the table saw when we used the dado blades to cut the rabbets. On top of that we have also beveled the lid with the aid of a shopmade tenoning jig. So, we are going to move forward and head over to the woodworking lathe to woodturn a handle out of Koa wood for the jewelry box lid.

Versatility is key when building fine woodworking projects and many times it helps to know how to get results using different methods. We have a small amount of Koa remaining so we are going to use glue to laminate pieces of wood into a turning blank. Typically, we will use yellow glue and let the glue-up cure overnight. However, in this case we are moving full speed ahead. Since it is about 103 degrees in the desert today we are going to use cyanoacrylate glue to laminate the Koa for the woodturning blank. Along with the glue we are using a spray accelerator for a faster cure. (Obviously, be very care when using a super glue like this. Do not let it get on your skin or in your eyes!)

Laminating three wood blocks for a Koa Jewelry Box Knob - WoodturningAfter we cut three pieces of 5/8″ thick Koa we head to the woodworking bench where we bond the woodturning blank together. When cured we then put fresh cuts on the end of the blank. We then find the centers of the blank and set the drive spur. From here it is just a matter of setting up the blank on the wood lathe between the drive spur and the live center. Now it is time for wood turning.

The woodturning tools used for this wood project are the roughing gouge, the diamond parting tool, and a spindle gouge that has a fingernail grind. Note: (You will notice in the woodworking video that the fingernail grind has a unique angle. The reason for this angle is to allow for a wider range of cutting action.On the other hand a typical spindle gouge has a conventional grind. If a woodturner is going to use a spindle gouge with a fingernail grind then it is commonsense that the wood turner will need to know how to recreate this angle at the grinding wheel at the bench grinder when the tool dulls. Some manufacturers of lathe gouges market expensive signature gouges that come with a fingernail grind. Chances are you will need to sharpen the tool before you start turning on the lathe so keep this in mind when purchasing. One way or the other you will need to know how to grind the tool. You can get the same cutting results by just learning how to produce a fingernail grind on a spindle gouge that came with a conventional grind. Chances are you will save some money as well.)

Koa Jewelry Box with Knob - Woodturning  on wood latheThe woodturning video pretty well speaks for itself. You will see how a tenon is made and you will notice how the tenon held in the lathe chuck for the turning of the handle. Once the handle is shaped we begin sanding as the lathe is turning. We move up in sandpaper grits as we go and then finally we burnish the Koa handle with the wood shavings. So, now that we have learned how to woodturn a handle for the koa wood jewelry box, we will focus on joinery in the next posting.


More Woodturning Videos:

Segmented Woodturning a 9″ x 12″  Vase

Segmented Woodturning a Fruit Bowl – Part 1

Segmented Woodturning a Fruit Bowl – Part 2


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