A tricky turned box for baubles by Steve Blenk
We woodturners are a tricky lot, and this little ring box is a great puzzler you can add to your list of lathe-turned "riddles." It's really a sort of "box within a box," and it can be a lot of fun to watch someone who hasn't got the secret try to open one!
These boxes aren't difficult to make; you can easily turn out several in an afternoon. The ring boxes shown here arc pockct-sized—about -V4 in. thick and 1-V4 in. dia. But you can make your own versions just about any size.
I like to use a self-centering chuck for a project like this because it makes the turning work much faster and easier. (For a review of self-centering chucks, see AW #43.) If you don't have one of these accessories» you can still turn out a box using shop-made jam chucks. To drill the two holes in the box body, you'll need a -V8-in.-dia. wist bit and a 1 l/4-in.-dia. Forstncr bit.
Start with a blank 2 in. square and about 5 in. long. Choose a very hard, dense, dry wood. I especially like to use cocobolo, rosewood and other exotics. Find a piece with straight grain so you'll be able to align the grain in the two pieces.
With the blank mounted between centers, turn as large a cylinder as you can. Then part it in two, about in the center, and mark the two parted ends. You'll turn the box bodv from the end j of one blank; the ring carrier will come from the other blank's end.
Pretty safe. Rings and other tiny valuables stay hidden in this turned, two-part box until you learn the secret to getting it open. The author made this box from cocobolo.
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