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Boxes You May Have Never Seen Before POLL

Which Box Do You Like?

  • No. 1 Ringed Gidgee Round Bottom Box

    Votes: 3 7.0%
  • No.2 Beeswing Narra Elegant Box

    Votes: 32 74.4%
  • No. 3 Figured Bocote Round Bottom Box

    Votes: 8 18.6%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Feb 28, 2021
Roulette, PA
I am more in the Ellsworth camp. I recently put a log on in spindle orientation between centers. Turned it down a bit intending to make a hollow form. After looking at the grain and checks I decided this piece needed to be something else. I cut off one side with the chainsaw, changed the axis of rotation between the centers and ended up making a box. That is how it goes with much of what I do.
Ditto here. Sometimes no matter how much advance planning you do, you'll come across a piece of wood that just seems to want to be something else.
Apr 30, 2022
Beavercreek, OH
Ditto here. Sometimes no matter how much advance planning you do, you'll come across a piece of wood that just seems to want to be something else.
Yes, I agree with you guys, I find myself seeing the wood and saying, if there is more figure maybe a simpler shape to extenuate the figure, but with a plainer piece maybe a more complex form so your eye draws to the shape more than the wood. But sometimes it is both a good shape and great wood that makes a beautiful piece. I just study the wood before and let the lathe and tools dictate.


Forum MVP
Beta Tester
Apr 27, 2004
Lakeland, Florida
I recall an Ellsworth video where he claims he puts a piece of wood in the lathe and lets the wood determine the turning's design. To me that's totally silly. I want to control the design. Design your piece before the wood gets onto the lathe. Pick a piece of wood that has your design in it.
I had a class with David in the 90s and have hosted him for several classes in my shop.
David starts most of his pieces between centers. He has a design goal when he mounts a piece. But on occasion some feature revealed in the roughing process will invite a change in design.

Our first class project was to mount a log section between centers and turn a ball. We then cut the ball in half. Parted it in half with the straight hollowing tool. Turned a bowl from one half and then a hollow form from the other. A planned transition.

When I turn a natural edge piece the bark contour is given by the wood.
I can vary the bark contour by choosing the opening, shifting the centers, and choosing a diameter.
A straight grain cylindrical log is quite predictable.
A convoluted contour is imanagible but my imagination gets some fine tuning with the turning.
these two pieces I oriented grooves in the log contour to define the rims. Took some fine tuning to get the openings
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