Turning a Clewes Style Box

A pictorial article by Bob Hamilton

    The well known woodturning instructor and demonstrator Jimmy Clewes has made popular a style of box that is turned from a rectangular length of stock as opposed to a square or round blank.  They are quite attractive and tend to attract attention.  The technique is really not much different from turning a "Suspended Bowl".  The main difference is that you start with a rectangle instead of a square.

    Here I have a piece of ailanthus that I have dressed to a rectangular block.  It is about 9 1/2" long, 3" wide and 2" thick.  I found the middle of one face and center punched to bore a hole to suit the woodworm screw that came with my chuck.  I bored the hole and mounted the piece on my chuck.  The face of the blank that is against the chuck will become the top of the box.


Photo #1:  Blank for box                                                            Photo#2:  Mounted on woodworm screw


With the piece turning at about 1200 rpm. I made a light cut across the face to ensure it was true and then removed a bit of material from the middle of the blank to allow me to form a tenon.  With the tenon cut I turned the piece around on my chuck to allow me to work on the top face of the block.


Photo #3:  Tenon cut on bottom                                                  Photo #4:  Reversed for turning top


Next Page

Return to Article Index