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Boxes with straight walls

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Peter Roan, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Peter Roan

    Peter Roan

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    I was at a flea market recently and saw this lidded box for sale. I was amazed at how vertical the walls were and how the walls met the base at just 90%. I don't think the base was glued on. how does one produce such vertical walls and right angle junctions? Straight walled bowl.jpg
     
  2. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    It can certainly be done with a lathe intended for metalworking that uses a screw feed compound. It's also possible to do by hand with an accurately ground tool. Just curious if you looked at the other boxes to see if they were similarly as clean with 90˚ bottom junctions or if this box is just a happy accident with this one. Drilling the cylinder and gluing on the bottom is certainly an option but I don't see any interruption in the grain on the sides of the other boxes below the open one.
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Here is my favorite tool for this task. It has an 85° angle at the end so that it won't be scraping both the bottom and side at the same time. Sorby has another box scraper for making boxes with a rounded corner.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    I use a skew, making shallow cuts, plunging it straight down the inside box walls. The skew can also be used to make a perfect 90 degree turn for a flat bottom, like is shown in the OP's photo.
    [​IMG]
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  5. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    Forstner bit with the point ground off? Or, more likely, CNC router.
     
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    As pointed out several tools can shape a square inside corner.
    A few that come to mind : Square nosed scrapers, 85 degree scrapers, skews, steep beveled gouge,

    drill bit, router bit,
     
  7. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I used to make my small boxes with a square corner at the bottom using a skew. However for the user it is more difficult to remove an item from a box with a square bottom corner, so now I make mine with a radius in the corner.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  8. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

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    It was probably made using a sharpened tire iron in a Cambodian jungle by some bare footed guy. Those guys can do amazing work.
     
  9. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    With a treadle lathe, no less.
     
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  10. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    A number of tools can do it. If you use a square nosed scraper that is tapered on the left side, and on the bottom it is simple, but if you use one that is, a 90/90 grind, you will have trouble at the bottom because both cutting edges will be hitting at the same time. Fairly simple to go straight down the wall. Generally you need your tool rest above center so only the top corner edge of the scraper will contact the wood, where if you are on dead center, both the side edges of the scraper will be contacting the wood and you will drift to the middle as you go down. I had problems making square edges for a while until I discovered NRSs (negative rake scrapers), and a skew is a NRS, or the other way around. You can have a bunch of them with 90/85 nose profiles, or 90/85 with a radius, or rounded corner and gentle sweep for the bottom, or even more round nosed, depending on how you want the bottom...

    robo hippy
     
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  11. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    What Reed said.

    Cindy Drozda's side/end cutting negative rake scraper is another option, which will leave a smoother wall surface. I generally use a square end scraper with an 89 degree corner, ground as Reed describes, but the side cutting scraper Bill shows would be slick. A Hunter tool makes a nice, flat, smooth bottom to mate with the straight side wall.

    Either Ray Key or Richard Raffan once said that the outside shape of a box doesn't have to match the inside shape. Freed up by such a ruling from the Supreme Court, boxes with straight sides outside don't HAVE to have 90 degree corners inside. A sweeping rounded bottom, or a radius corner, or a square corner are all OK.
     
  12. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    ...... or even preferred! :)
     
  13. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    A sharp skew is more then capable of cutting boxes on a lathe with that design. Once you get the wall at 90 degrees you work your way into the box using the back edge of the skew to align to the side of the box. The bottom can be squared up by creating a flat in the center of the bottom and then working the cutting edge of the skew outward in several passes until you reach the flat bottom across the entire bottom of the box. Meeting the bottom and the side with a clean cut takes practice for that 90 degree corner..
     
  14. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    While I use my skew for a whole lot of tasks, this is one where I would not. In my hands, the skew has a tendency to drift towards the long point when used flat, and I would have an easier time getting a truly straight side with a scraper. YMMV.
     
  15. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    Straight side boxes are the primary ones I have done so far. Easy to do if doing end grain turning. I mount the stock in a chuck with the bottom of the box in the chuck. I drill a hole with 1.5 inch forstner bit, not quite as deep as I want to bottom of the interior. I then use a skew that was ground to a 90 degree angle across end. (Still uses the bevel cutting edge but straight across.) I use it like a scraper and start taking 1/8 inch cuts off the side of the interior. (You can even use a regular skew for reducing the side walls if you keep the point toward the outside and the heel toward the center. ) the 90 degree end of my special skew works ok to scrape the interior bottom corners square. I use a regular scraper to clean the sides and bottom. So far I have only used this method on yellow poplar, bass, walnut and cherry. Even when side grain turning, I can use the straight skew to clean the inside bottom corners. to a crisp 90 degrees but lightly. I use nearly the same method to hollow out the tops and bottoms of end grain egg shaped boxes I make, But to get the curved interiors after I have the straight sides, I use a regular round head scraper to widen from straight sides to curved sides.
     
  16. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Perry, photo of the modified skew, please.
     
  17. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Oh, you youngsters. A skew that is straight across is a chisel. It's one of the tools we had available back in Mr. Higus' Jr high shop class in 1962. Our high school shop has several as they get donations and never throw anything out.
     
  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    As Dean pointed out it's just a chisel if it is square across the end. If the end is skewed to one side or the other then it is a skewed chisel or in today's terminology, a skew.
     
  19. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    When I first started the cutters used on a wood lathe were called knives, not chisels, unless they were scrapers. .
     
  20. Peter Roan

    Peter Roan

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    Thank you all for your excellent suggestions. Now, out to the shop!
     
  21. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I knew this was something that you could answer. Plunging in with a straight skew is how I used to do it. Unbeknown to me at the time, it is an acceptable technique for cutting end grain.
     
  22. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Glad you were a good student and didn't get thrown out.;)
    Edit- I'm doing a shape that is similar to a footed beer glass. An article in the December issue of the AAW magazine was turning a beehive decoration. Used a spindle gouge as Walt Wager used but was not comfortable with it. Wondering if he had a different grind on his. Will experiment with a bowl gouge.
    BTW, Walt was prompt in answering a question I sent. Recommend his website for the gallery and videos. Thanks, Walt!
     

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