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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


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Segmented Woodturning…Fruit Bowl…part 2

Segmented Woodturning…Fruit Bowl

This is segmented woodturning episode – part 2.
Be sure to watch the how to woodturning video: Wood Turning…a Segmented Fruit Bowl…part 1.

Segmented woodturning - Fruit bowl This sequel continues our study to learn of one of the great woodworking crafts, segmented woodturning. In this woodworking video our focus shifts to learn how to woodturn the segmented fruit bowl. We will also be sanding and finishing the fruit bowl that contains 24 segments of which there are 12 staves of light walnut and 12 vertical spacers of dark walnut. Beautiful ribboned mahogany wood is used for the base.


Segmented woodturning - Fruit bowl - Taping and gluing the jointsAfter the yellow glue has set-up it is time to remove the masking tape and packing tape from the segmented bowl. (In a fine woodworking project like this it is imperative that all of the wood joints are tight and free of gaps.) It is now time to start turning wood. We begin by mounting the bowl and leveling the bottom of the wall section . Taking the diamond parting tool we will create an interior mortise that will accept the tenon of the mahogany base.


Segmented woodturning - Fruit bowl - Mortising the baseNext we will determine the base size.To do this we will measure the outside diameter and the mortise diameter of the bowls sidewalls. From here we will rough cut the base at the band saw allowing for a slightly larger diameter.

After the base is cut on the bandsaw we will mount the base on the wood lathe so that we can turn the tenon to fit the mortise. Again, the diamond parting tool is used to cut the tenon and a dial caliper will gauge the tenon length needed.

Segmented Woodturning - Clamping the Fruit bowlWith the base mounted on the woodturning lathe we will take the segmented assembly and fit the mortise and tenon together. When we have a good fit we will then proceed with the glue-up of the two parts of our segmented woodturning.

After the glue-up dries and the bowl structure is complete it is time for turning wood and shaping the bowl. The segmented woodturning video reveals a spindle gouge with a fingernail grind for much of the interior and exterior wood turning. Other lathe gouges used for this sequence of wood turning include the following: A roughing gouge is used to remove the waste from the base exterior. Also, you will notice round and straight scraper gouges used on occasions as well.

Segmented Woodturning - Fruit bowl on the wood latheAfter the wood turner is finished turning the fruit bowl he will then switch to sandpaper to remove any marks left by the gouge. The wood turner changes to a finer sandpaper grit as he proceeds. Typically, he will take sandpaper sheets and tear then into quarters. He will then tri-fold a quarter sheet and sand with that as the wooden bowl spins on the lathe. This fruit bowl was sanded to 220 grit sandpaper and then burnished with the wood shavings. To prepare the wood project for finishing the bowl was then wiped with a micro-fiber towel to remove any remaining dust. Our segmented woodturning is now ready for applying the protective finish.

The wood finish for the segmented fruit bowl started with an application of SealCoat and finished with three coats of satin Arm-R-Seal. This produced a nice and natural wood finish for the segmented woodturning.

Recommendations for beginning woodworkers: View the segmented woodturning video a multiple times to get a better feel for the procedures. Pay close attention to the different lathe chucks being used at various times to hold the wood. Notice the gouges being used and how they are being used. Be patient and take your time. Always practice safety around the wood lathe. Consider taking a wood turning class to become familiar with this woodcraft.

Enjoy more woodturning videos and woodturning projects!

Wood Lathe Accessories

Oneway Talon Chuck System

Oneway Live Center

Wolverine Vari-Grind Attachment

Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig

Mini Jumbo Jaws for ONEWAY Talon Chuck

Sorby Standard Turning Tool Set, 6 Pieces

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University


Wood Turning Tools used for the Salt and Pepper Mills

Wood Turning Tools


This is in response to a viewer with a mini lathe who had questions concerning what wood turning tools were used during the video of turning the Salt and Pepper Mills.

Thoughts of wood turning tools used:
1. Turning salt and pepper mills is essentially spindle turning.
2. Due to the length of your wood lathe you may need to bore out on your larger lathe, the drill press, or carefully by hand. However, you may be very well able to bore out on your Jet mini lathe.
3. You can start out with this wood project and you will do fine. Suggestion…practice on scrap before you select your best wood. Work out any bugs. Do your best for accuracy. When you get dialed in then commit to your selected wood for turning and go for it.
4. Check to see what size your spindle is on your Jet lathe. My guess is that it is 1″. Check the specs to make sure. You will need to know this info if you need to purchase.
5. Check the necessary morse taper for your specific wood turning lathe. (you should be able to look that info up on the web.)
6. My grinder is 8″ at 1725 rpm.
7. Tried and True oil varnish is a food safe finish that was used for the salt and pepper mills.
8. Books or Magazines…check out your local library.

Wood turning tools for a wood lathe woodworking project

These are the basic turning tools used in the wood turning of the Salt and Pepper Mills. These wood tools are…Spindle gouge…parting tool…roughing gouge…smaller spindle gouge. Note: The spindle gouges both have fingernail grinds.

Wood turning tools for a wood lathe woodworking project 1

Pictured above are the mechanisms for the Salt and Pepper Mills. These were purchased through Craft Supply. Included with the set is a diagram with necessary dimensions for height and also dimensions for the wood boring.

Wood turning tools for a wood lathe woodworking project 2

This is a sketch that was used for the layout when when the walnut blanks were turned to cylinders. (When laying out remember to include 1″ in length for the top’s tenon. Also, pay attention to the tenon’s diameter.)

Wood turning tools for a wood lathe woodworking project 3

Pictured above are an assortment of the lathe tools used for the Salt and Pepper Mills. Notice the “cone” of the “live center.” Make sure when purchasing that you match your specific lathe specs.

Hopefully, this posting has answered some of your concerns. Good luck with your turnings!

Wood Turning Tools and Accessories

Oneway Talon Chuck System

Oneway Live Center

Wolverine Vari-Grind Attachment

Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig

Mini Jumbo Jaws for ONEWAY Talon Chuck

Sorby Standard Turning Tool Set, 6 Pieces

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The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Segmented Woodturning – Vase of Mahogany, Maple, Cherry, & Walnut

Segmented Woodturning – a Vase

Segmented woodturning - Segmented woodturning Vases

This segmented woodturning is a polychromatic vase that has 18 rings and 432 segments. In this case, the selected woods are mahogany, maple, cherry, and walnut. As you can see in the photo, the vase bottom is secured by means of a tightened lathe chuck while the tailstock holds a live center that is inserted into the mouth of the vase. Notice how the vertically aligned spacers of each segmented ring offer an eye catching effect to the overall design of the vase. Also, take a look at how the choice of wood tones contrast one another to highlight and accentuate the piece.

Segmented Woodturning - a Vase with a polychromatic wood design

The segmented woodturning pictured to the left looks pretty rough. When we start out in segmented woodturning and we see the wood project in this rough stage, we have to scratch our heads a bit and ask “Is this worth it?” However, once the turning tools are applied to the spinning vase, the beauty of the wood design starts to reveal itself to the woodturner. This when our previous question is answered with a “Yes.”

A well chosen wood lathe and a few lathe tools go a long way for the enjoyment of wood turning. Segmented woodturning offers a great way of utilizing scrap wood left over in the woodworking workshop while creating wonderful designs in this woodcraft. The wood chosen for my woodworking projects are all hardwoods and the wood finish chosen is often of a satin finish or a soft natural finish.

Watch these Woodturning Videos:

Let’s Turn Salt and Pepper Mills – How to Woodturn

Segmented Wood Turning – Fruit Bowl…part 1

Segmented Woodturning – Fruit Bowl – part 2

Segmented Woodturning – 9″ x 12″ Vase

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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