Ring Carrier


Mount the first end in your chuck— this will become the box body, or outside part. Using a parting tool, face the end grain off square to the axis. The next step is to bore two holes in the box body. I do this on the lathe, chucking my bits in a Jacobs-type chuck that's mounted in the tailstock. If you don't have a Jacobs chuck, you can bore the holes on the drill press. The important thing is to make the holes concentric.

I bore the 1 V4-in.-dia. hole first, using the lathe's slowest speed and boring to a depth of 1/2 in. Then, without releasing the tailstock from the bed (to avoid an off-center bore), I replace the Forstner bit with a 3/8-in.-dia. twist bit and bore the hole for the tenon. Bore at least 1 in. beyond the depth of the larger hole. Exccpt for final sanding, this completes the chamber that will hold the ring carrier. Now part off the box body about 1 in. from the end. (See top photos, next page.)

Turning the ring carrier is a bit trickier. (See middle photos, next page.) Mount the other blank in the chuck, with the parted end facing out. Turn down a tenon with a diameter just slightly (1/64 in.) greater rhan 3/8 ¡n., and with a length of about '/2 in. Make sure the tenon's sides are parallel, not tapered. Round over the tenon s end. Now turn down the outside diameter of the blank to a little bit ('/64 in.) more than 11/4 in. Make this section of the turning about 3/4 in. long.

Here's where the careful fitting starts. Carefully bring the tenon down to fit snugly in the -Vft-in.-dia. hole in the box body. Aim for a fairly tight friction fit;

you'll be able to loosen it up later, after the finish has been applied. Once the tenon is sized, turn the larger diameter of the ring carrier to fit snugly in the box body's 1 '/4-in.-dia. hole. The box body should now slip snugly over both diameters of the ring carrier. Trim the tenon so that it shows as a rounded, '/8-in.-high button when both pieces of the box are together.

The fussv work is done. Now it's time

to decorate the box and create the deceptions that will make it difficult to open. (See bottom photos, next page.) Finish turning the ring carrier first. I like to embellish the outside diameter of this piece with a pair of tiny beads. Then I use a small round-nose scraper or bowl gouge to hollow out the ring carrier to a depth of about in. lake care not to let the end grain grab your gouge as you hollow. Keep your cut light, and maintain good contact with the bevel of the gouge. Avoid making the ring carrier's walls too thin. (See drawing, above.) The tenon diameter inside the compartment isn't critical, since this section doesn't have to fit the hole in the box body.

Now part off the ring carrier. Be sure to leave its bottom at least '/4 in. thick— '/8 in. for the false tenon, which you'll make next, plus at least VS in. for the finished wall thickness. Assemble the box and mount it in your chuck with the large diameter of the ring carrier facing outward. Work this face of the box flush, except for the false tenon, which is '/8 in. high and in. dia. Shape this part to match the protruding tenon on the opposite end of the box. Finish up the

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