Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Another number of firsts

Well, Christmas has come and gone and another decade is upon us. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and even better New Year's party. We got to spend the week before Christmas with my mum in Halifax and Boxing day with my wife's parents. It was all good. New Year's Eve was spent quietly at home which while not a party, was a fine way to wrap up a hectic year in my opinion.

Not going to go into great detail on this build as it was pretty straight forward. I made a jewelry box for my special lady. One made of Ash and Walnut with Maple inlay. The box making process was taken from Fine Woodworking Magazine's web article by Matt Kenney. You will need to be a subscriber to see the whole series. The inlay process was taken from The Wood Whisperer episode on router based inlay.

It was my first box other than the one made with my bandsaw previously, but still a first. It was also my first attempt at router inlay. I chose a Calla Lilly as the focal point of my lid, and with that I chose a nice straight grained piece of walnut so as not to detract from the inlay.


The other thing was I have taken the plunge into turning. I have picked up a Delta 46-455 midi lathe and have tried my hand at some pen turning and want to take a stab at other things like bowls, furniture legs, lamps ... the list goes on and on and on. Taking a look around the web, there are some fantastic creations.

Oh, if anyone has some tips on skew chisel sharpening, please let me know. It's one tool that's been frustrating me so far. Sharpened very carefully, I'm only getting dust in my attempts to get peeling cuts.

What about the ever so infamous year in review and plans for the coming year? I think I'd like to go into that, but that's for another post.


  1. These are some BIG firsts man.

    Congrats on these milestones and now you can look back with all this new found confidence as you take on bigger and better.

    So, tomorrow is a hand made Highboy, right?

  2. Thanks Adam, the highboy may have to wait unless you're wanting one? :-D but one never knows eh?

  3. Mike,
    Well done. That's a beautiful first box. Your Special Lady must love it.

  4. Nice job on both the box and inlay. What's next for the special lady?

  5. Thanks Dyami, she does indeed!

    Thanks RJB, there's a pretty big list of stuff we want for the house. We'll just have to see :).

  6. How much time did it take you to make the box?

  7. Hi Paul. I guess maybe 7 or 8 hours total spread over 3 or 4 weeks. Not entirely sure though as I didn't keep too close track.

  8. Time flies when we're having fun. Something tells me you may have had a lot more fun making that box than you realize. My rough guesstimate would be closer to 3 times your low figure totaling approximately 21 hours. But actually it took just what you said 3 to 4 weeks. Now that you've made one it'd take you less subconscious gymnastics to make another so you should be able to double your rate, to say maybe a week and a half to 2 weeks. But I bet at some point the time couldn't be reduced to much less than maybe 2 to 3 days to do a one off. To beat that time one would have to use mass production methods. At the high end of the scale the determining factor would be how long it took the glue and finish to dry. Why should I care about any of this you might ask? Now that depends on how many people your wife shows the box to ... So if anyone asks from now on tell them it took you a solid month to make. That should stop them from asking you to make them one!

  9. That's definite possibility Paul on your time comment. I wouldn't mind making more if I'm getting paid for it. But the Calla Lilly is special to the family and so the customer would have to settle for something else unless ridiculous amounts of money were offered LOL.

  10. Looks great Mike.

    It's nice that you've 'turned' to the dark side. Pens, bowls, plates, xmas ornaments, candle stick holders, goblets, chop sticks, toothpicks...it never ends and every 'scrap' will look like a pen blank from now on. :-)


  11. Okay, that was a little corny but that's okay, I like corny :)

  12. Lovely work. I'd be happy to get this for Christmas, if I were a lady. Any thoughts on doing a blokes version, maybe with a decorative cigar inlaid in the top?!


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