Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mason Jar Topper by Tom Usher

Wood turned mason jar lid.
My husband made this cute mason jar lid from
some scrap wood that he had in the garage.

I'll let him do a guest post below.

I glued up a piece of hard maple and a scrap of poplar that was laying around the shop. Having never done this before I didn't want to waste any expensive lumber. There is a dowel rod in the center holding the pieces together. A joint made with end grain up against long grain is inherently weak so it has to be reinforced.

The lathe is set up and ready to turn the top. I used a set of long nosed jaws on the chuck for the additional gripping power on the maple block that would become the handle. It will take a considerable amount of abuse during turning and I wouldn't want it to break off. The drill is a 2 7/8" Forstner bit.

The bit is held in the tailstock and it does not revolve. The wood spins in the chuck and the bit is slowly pushed into it with a crank on the rear of the tailstock. 

               After the hole is drilled I roughed the material to shape with a

 fingernail bowl gouge.

I continued shaping with the gouge until I got the shape that seemed right. Is it? Who knows?! That's what I really like about turning. Unlike most of the insanely persnickety trim work I usually do in my day job it's fun to just kick back and let the material sort of dictate the final product.

After I sanded the top I flipped it round on the chuck and supported it from the inside.  I slid the tailstock with the live center in it up to the maple block that had been in the chuck up to this point. This way the work was completely supported as I roughed out the top with a roughing gouge. Supporting the work with the chuck from the inside is not as secure as when it's clamped between the jaws.

It gets a little tricky where the two pieces of wood meet because the grains run perpendicular to each other. That can cause the gouges to catch and ruin the job. I used a little finesse, a scraper and a skew to finish off the connected area and a small spindle gouge to shape the top.

I sanded it down and just put a simple finish on it. Then I took a mason jar ring and glued it into the top on the small ledge that I left in it for that purpose. I used the normal tacky glue that you find in most craft stores.

And there you have it. That's the first time I've made one of these tops and now I have at least a small feel for it. I'm going to make good use of a whole lot of scraps around here making more. I've got plenty of walnut, maple, oak and all kinds of exotics that are too small for most things but ought to glue up just fine for this.


Powell River Books said...

Beautiful! - Margy

Harry Flashman said...

Looks like a lot of work but it sure came out nice!