I've been meaning to attempt a cube in a box for some time, but have never gotten around to it, to busy making carousels!
So I thought I would finally have a go, but instead of just a cube in box I would make a Christmas ornament for our tree. I think it turned out quite good - please leave comments - let me know if you like it.
Thanks for looking
And if you like this then please take the time to check out my other Christmas decorations and please vote in the the hand made gift and the wood competitions
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Step 1: Prepare the Wood
The wood MUST be a cube, if not then when you start to make the cube it will be off centered only having a little support on one of the faces.
This is important as the supports at the corners help to stop the piece breaking up during turning.
The material used was the leg from an old table, first I cut the end square on a band-saw then used the off-cut to set the size for the cube I needed by holding it at eh end of the leg and pushing it so that the side of the off-cut was against the saw blade. I then cut the cube.
I used a sled on the band saw to keep the cut square.
Once I had the cube I made a mark on the center of each face.
Step 2: Start to Form the Cube at the Center
To cut the holes I used a kitchen door hole bit (short / wide fostner bit) and a pillar drill. I made a hole at the center mark on each of the faces. The depth was estimated at around the thickness of the main part of the cutter. When you do this try to keep each hole the same depth so as to the the cube in centered in the main block. Don't drill too deep either or the comer joints will be too small to provide the extra support during turning. If you look at the picture you can see corner joints on the center cube and the holes at teh side of the cube.
Step 3: Turning the Bauble
With all the holes drilled - I made a rough tenon on the lathe approximately the same size as the holes in the block. The block needs to be tight on the tenon when turning so don't remove too much.
Push the cube onto the tenon all the way up to the center cubes face then bring the tail stock up to the opposite side of the center cube and start turning your bauble (only remove a very small amount at a time or you run the risk of the sides breaking.
Once you have turned as much as you can remove the piece and start again by mounting another face on the tenon. repeat for the three planes of the cube.
With all of the turning done - carefully sand the bauble while it turns (watch out for your fingers).
Step 4: Set the Cube Free
Remove the bauble and use a sharp knife to gently remove the wood holding the cube fixed in the center, then sand the all of the interior surfaces of the bauble and also the faces of the cube. and finally apply a finish - (I just used a sand and sealer)
Step 5: Decorating the Decoration
When you drill the holes in the original block the bit leaves a dimple the the face of the center cube, useful for lining up the tail stock during turning but not need to the seen in the finished piece. So I recycled some links from a charity shop bracelet and glued these over the holes and finally attached a steel bead so that I could hang the bauble on the tree, but also allow me to suspend the center cube in the middle of the final decoration.