Staved Box

A Pictorial Article by Bob Hamilton

I made the first one of these simply to be a crush proof mailing tube for a goblet I was sending to my trading partner in the Woodturner’s Resource Challenge & Trade Goblet Challenge.  I got very lucky when turning my goblet and managed to complete one that was a significant improvement on anything I had done previously, so I wanted to be sure it arrived safely at its destination.  When I posted a picture of the completed box it seemed to generate some interest in the process I used to make it. 


Photo 1:  The original goblet                                  Photo 2:  The original case

             I made the original one in a bit of a hurry as a utility box with a specific purpose and it did not occur to me to take any pictures of the process.   Here I am attempting to re-create the process in order to get step-by-step pictures.  I wound up making two boxes in order to get pictures of all the steps and I am using the picture that best illustrates each step so you might notice some switching back and forth between the two boxes.  

The first step is to decide on an internal diameter.  It will need to be slightly oversized in relation to the intended contents since the process of ripping and jointing the cylinder after it is glued up will render the interior shape slightly elliptical.   The original one was intended to house a goblet with a diameter of 1 ¾” so I decided on 2” for the internal diameter.  I also decided that I would use 8 staves.  The circumference of a 2” circle is just a hair over 6 ¼” so dividing by 8 means that the narrow face of the staves would be about .78”, or 25/32”.  In practice it is better to be slightly under rather than over so I aimed for a finished width of ¾” on the narrow face of the staves.

I started out by milling some stock for the staves.  I used 4/4 white ash because I had some on hand and I like the contrast between the ash body and walnut end caps.   I rough cut a piece about 3 ½” wide and 48” long and then jointed and planed it straight and square.  I used my Veritas Poly Gauge to set the tilt on my table saw and the tilt of my jointer fence to the correct bevel angle (22.5°) for the staves. 


Photo 3:  Using the Poly Gauge

I set the rip fence so that the blade was tilted away from the fence.  I have a left tilting saw so the fence was on the right of the blade.  If you have a right tilting saw you should move the fence to the left of the blade.  I set the fence so that the bevel did not extend quite all the way to the top face of the stock, leaving a slight flat of 1/16” or so rather than a knife edge to the long point of the bevel.  That let me rip both long edges of the piece without adjusting the rip fence between cuts and the flat provides a better reference edge against the rip fence than a feather edge would.   

Photo 4:  Flat on bevel

I then adjusted the rip fence so the narrow face of the stave would be about 13/16” and made two more cuts, swinging the piece end for end between cuts to give me two long staves.  Jointing the bevelled edges of these two staves brought the width of the narrow face down to my intended ¾”.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Photo 5:  Stave stock

I then used my mitre saw set up with a stop block to cut the two long staves into 8 equal length short staves.

Photo 6:  Staves cut

Next Page

Return to Index Page