Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Box and New Lathe

Progress on the Japanese box has been, by my standards anyway, stellar.

The two new pieces of Monterey cypress for the bottom are trimmed and dimensioned close to final size. I am letting them sit a few days again just to work out any last tension before I take them to final thickness and glue them up. So far I have not cut these pieces too short!

The caps which go over the end pieces and handles are ready. These will be fastened by floating tenons that are fox wedged into the ends and handles, and wedged into the cap itself. The mortices will be 1/4" thick, but they need to be cut into the tops of the ends and handle which are only 1/2" thick and not visible with the cap in place. Seems like a ton of room, but there is a lot to lose here if not done right. So I have measured about 17 times, even cut a spare cap and drilled some holes in it to verify my alignment. If this project never gets mentioned again you will know why!

 Cap top, test cap centre, end bottom

Meanwhile, I somehow decided it would be a good idea to buy a metal lathe. So I picked up this rare (or more correctly, obscure) Standard Modern 9" Utilathe which was made in Canada maybe in the 50's, I am not sure on the date. Similar to a South Bend but a bit nicer machine. Obviously the first order of business will be some cleanup. Then I need to learn how to use it so I can make up missing round pieces on the tools I restore!

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