A Zebrawood ring box

Jillian asked me to make her a ring box a few weeks back, and I finally got around to it over the new year holiday. Aesthetically, its pretty simple, little more than a hollowed out cylinder with a dome lid made from Zebrawood. Executing the design I had in my mind turned out to be more difficult that I expected. Since this and end-grain piece, I couldn’t use my chuck in the expanding mode like I normally do. Thus this piece became my first forte into jam chucks.

The two jam chucks worked fine, but I was a little apprehensive at first, as mental images of the work launching across the shop ran through my head. By far, the biggest difficulty I had, was due to the scale of the work. My carbide turning tools have fairly thick tips, and while hollowing I ran into some issue with the heel rubbing the work, and thus preventing the cutting edge from engaging the work. To remedy this problem I had to raise the tool rest well above center. This gave the cutting edge the clearance it needed to work, but essentially turned it into a negative rake scrapper, and thus required me to take light cuts.

It was finished with two thin coats of de-waxed shellac, followed by a quick buffing with wax. It was quick and easy to apply, and resulted in a mild sheen that emphasized the unique grain structure of the wood. Jillian was very happy with the finished result, so I must have done something right.

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