New & with a lid question?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Regis Galbach, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Regis Galbach

    Regis Galbach

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    I'm pretty new to modern wood turning. Had a lathe and did a little work about 35-40 years ago but never anything sophisticated. Last year bought small lathe and began turning pens. Fun but, I want to do other small things like boxes.
    I'm looking for tips on getting a relatively snug fit for lids on boxes. With lots of patient cutting/checking I can not seem to get a "fit". Would like to be able to get a fit sufficient to be able to invert without lid falling off. Is that realistic? Or,?

    Thanks for any help or tips.
    Regis
     
  2. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Not only is it realistic it is fairly easily done. Several things to consider with a primary being the wood must be dry. Keep in mind that even after finishing the wood can move and cause the lid to stick making it hard to remove or loosen to the point of falling off when turned over. Best fit will be with an end grain lid as movement will be balanced and therefore easier to address.

    When you fit your lid remember that the finish , if you finish the inside of lid, will affect the fit. If you plan to sell these boxes then the ladies prefer a lift off top, that is not a top that requires 2 hands to remove. I prefer to mahe adjustments to fit on the box instead of the lid, it is just easier . However you will find some box designs do not lend themselves to this. If you make the box and leave it mounted(tenon or faceplate) then make the top you will then be able to make "fine " adjustments to the box for fit.

    Beyond that it just takes practice and time. Also think of your wood choice and beware of woods that move a lot like oak.
     
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  3. Regis Galbach

    Regis Galbach

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    I appreciate the tips as I really wasn't sure that it was realistic without substantial time investment or the use of some cork or rosin. I don't sell anything but, like to see the things I make and give as gifts. I do like more and more challenging projects but, need to master things like this.

    Thank you,
    Regis
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I second Gerald's advice. End grain (spindle) orientation is less likely to have problems with movement while side grain may go slightly oval even if the wood has been dry for years.

    Like most woodturners, I like to aim for a fit that produces a slight "pop" when pulling off the lid, but only woodturners really care for that. Wood never ceases to move with changes in the weather so a snug fit today could be a permanently stuck lid tomorrow.

    The rule that I follow (most of rhe time) is that I should be able to lift the lid without lifting the whole box.
     
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  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I learned a trick that helps a lot

    Turn the lid that fits over first with straight walls.
    Measure and turn the inside part a bit proud
    Then taper the inside a bit and test the fit.
    What you want is for the inside part to just fit into the outside part a tiny bit - 1/16"
    With the lathe running lightly fit the lid on to make a mark on the inside part.
    Now cut a sort of vee at the base of the inside part but don't cut just to the mark.
    This makes a sort of hill in the middle of the inside part.
    The lid should fit on tightly. If it doesn't go cut the tiniest bit more toward the mark.

    The fit compresses the top of that little hill.
    I use this fit to finish turn the lid and box and then make it looser unless you want to impress with the pop.

    Never sand the lid matching parts. Sanding take away a lot of wood.

    Have fun
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  6. Regis Galbach

    Regis Galbach

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    Thank you all

    Regis
     
  7. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I find the best way to get a good fit is #1 don't sand the fit. Cut it. Sanding almost always produces a slight taper or rounded edges. 2nd. A straight sided male and female fit with a fairly long lip will usually stay on due to the air pressure. With a proper fit and both top and bottom parallel the lid will slide off very slowly. It's already been mentioned but I only make snug fitting lids on small boxes because you need 2 hands to open them. On larger boxes people seem to prefer being able to pick up the lid with one hand. Also if you sell boxes either make the lid a snug fit requiring 2 hands or a loose fit. I used to make boxes with a sort of air friction fit. You could pick up the box by the lid and the bottom would slowly come off. However people would pick them up by the lid not knowing how they work and then drop the bottom when it slides off. Not good. Richard Raffen and Chris Stott both sell excellent books on creating boxes and both talk about the fit. You can with practice make a lid that has a snap fit. On my pill boxes which are more like cigar cases I make a tenon that is about 1/2" long. I can pick these up by the lid and the bottom won't fall off. The bottom is fairly lite and the long tenon lets the air out so slowly it simply won't fall off. That does require having both parts perfectly parallel.
     
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  8. Michael Mills

    Michael Mills

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    If you look on youtube for "ray keys box" there are three or four different styles which Ray presents. About an hour long each.
     
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  9. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Hmmmm. Need to try a round lidded box for my next project.
     
  10. Regis Galbach

    Regis Galbach

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    Thank you. I did buy the Raffen book.
    Regis
     
  11. Regis Galbach

    Regis Galbach

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    What an excellent series. Thank you
    Regis
     
  12. Regis Galbach

    Regis Galbach

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    Just a follow-up on my questions about making a box with lid that actually fits.
    I see a couple rough spots in the photo BUT, the lid fits snug and pops when I remove it.
    It is roughly 4" X 2.75"

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the tips on this and other threads.
    Regis
     
  13. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Nice job. A box to be proud of for sure...

    One small Suggestion: put the tenon part of the fit on the bottom.
    That way the top closes over the bottom part instead of pressing into it.
    This enables a full box work.
    People will fill the bottom part with stuff and not leave room for the tenon to fit inside.

    Al
     
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  14. RichColvin

    RichColvin

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    Al,

    Thank you! Never thought about that, but it makes great sense.

    Kind regards,
    Rich
     
  15. Clifton C

    Clifton C

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    Nicely done, but watch out, boxes can be addicting:).
    One thing I like about turning boxes is that you use a lot of different techniques per box.
    Planning, as in sequence of events, spindle work, hollowing and fitting of parts to name few.
    I can't help but think the skills learned in box making spill over into other areas of woodturning...

    c
     

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