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3.8 out of 5 stars
Turning Boxes with Friction-Fitted Lids (Schiffer Book for Woodturners)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been turning pens for a couple of years and I'm now starting to get into turning other items. This book has been a big help. It shows in detail how to make several different styles of wood boxes that you can turn on a wood lathe. It shows the different techniques needed and the different tools that you need and how to use them. It's one of the better books on wood turning that I've got and I would recommend it for any one that wants to get into turning boxes. Even if you already turn boxes this book might help you better your methods. But I definitely recommend it for any beginner that wants to get into box turning.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
First, the good. The pictures are lovely(except the particularly ugly and slightly suggestive pagoda box which looks more like something found in the seedier regions of the internet), and I quite like the shapes of the acorn and finial topped boxes. Bowers uses exotic woods in all of the projects and the results are beautiful. The shapes are interesting, and the book progresses from simple to complex. There is good detail at the beginning on how to turn a simple cylinder box, and there is a discussion on friction fitting the lids and the impact humidity has on the fit.

In terms of technique, I would have liked more hints on how to hold the tools and how to move them when hollowing and shaping. I found Michael O'Donnel's books on technique and on turning green wood to be much much more detailed and useful than this one.

This book is written in a strange verbose fussiness which reads as if the author always had a thesaurus at hand. It also has an odd mix of detail and vagueness. For example, the author describes the golden mean as 1.6180339887, a completely useless level of detail, since the tools wood turners use to measure and turn wood are nowhere near capable of that sort of accuracy, and then proceeds to go on about how fractions such as 3/5 and 2/3 are ratios that are off by 0.014 and 0.059. Is this helpful? Not at all, and leaves off the other 7 digits of accuracy the author seems to think important. In order to get down to that last digit of accuracy, for a box where the diameter is 5.0000000000 inches, you would need to measure the height to be 8.0901699435 inches. Good luck. Think this entire paragraph is wasted space on Amazon? Well it's free and it cost you 30 seconds to read. The book, on the other hand cost you $11 and should be better written than its reviews. With all that detail you would expect specific instructions on the angles to hold tools, what difficulties you might encounter and how to avoid them, and how to make the modified tools that are used. More vagueness comes in the form of finishing. There are references to diluted lacquer, but no suggestions on what kind of lacquer or how to dilute it.

Then there's the odd assumptions. Here is a quote from the first page of Chapter 1, The Cylinder Box: "After measuring the 1-1/2 inch opening of the O'Donnell jaws, mark the measurement on both ends of the stock." I'm not sure why the author assumes we all use O'Donnell jaws on our lathes. I think they are mostly used on Axminster chucks and I don't think I've ever seen an Axminster lathe or even an Axminster chuck. (Yes, I know they can be bought in the US.) In fact, it seems that the author assumes we all use Axminster lathes. In any case, it's not like the book starts with a list of recommended equipment and special tools. As another reviewer points out, there are some references to modified tools, but no discussion of what the modifications are. One exception to this is a picture of a "square-nozed scraper with the corner rounded." The picture looks as if the actual cutting edge is actually rounded (as opposed to the sides as I've seen in other books) and I'm not sure how that is used. It looks like it is just used to rub the bottom and sides of the inside of the box but there are no instructions. The author also assumes, that we all know what the Ray Key hollowing tool is, and for some reason thinks it's important that we use a Oneway live center and a 1-1/4 inch Ashley Iles roughing gouge, but doesn't mention the maker of other tools. He also refers to a "modified hollowing tool" and there is no discussion of what the modifications are. Could it be the modified spindle gouge, the Ray Key hollowing tool he mentions in the first chapter? It's not clear.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
this book is inspirational in that it has some awsome galleries and demonstrates a good variety of boxes. However, the projects demonstrated in this book "which is the majority of the book" often lack sufficient detail in the steps and after reading through all of them there are still some grey areas of technique and tools. maybe these are covered in another book, i dont know. i would say this book is a decent buy if you are experianced and looking for inspiration but for a begginer who has never turned a box i would say that one of the genaric introductory turning books would be a better buy as most of them have a basic box in the projects section.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I wasn't entirely fond of the instructions and I quickly started doing this my own way but his ideas are great. I was inspired
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is almost as good as watching a video, there are so many pictures. In fact, this book is MOSTLY pictures. There are 11 projects, each with between 3 and 8 pages, and each page has usually 6 photos. That's a lot of pics. And they are good, close pics. Very clear. A good book to get you started on turning boxes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I got this as a gift for my dad for Christmas. He has been a hobby woodworker for the past 25+ years and has recently gotten into lathe projects. He loves this book and said the pictures and step by step instructions are expecially helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
A very interesting and informative book. It shows one the many ways boxes can be made, from very simple to the more exotic ones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Good book and well worth the cost. Nice photos provide good inspiration for turning projects. Like some others have noted, the language can be a bit lofty and some of the measurements a bit over-precise but if you look past that and get into the meat of the project then you should have some really good outcomes. I would recommend other books to the beginning turner prior to getting this book since it makes some assumptions on the readers skill level that may not be there yet. As a woodturner for several years, I drew inspiration and ideas from this book that I had not previously considered so in that regard it was well worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The book does not really show how to create tight fitting lidded boxes. It says slowly do the fitting. No real skill or methods presented. The book is a show case of the boxes the author designed. They are very good and should give turners some design ideas. It wasn't what I expected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I read the book carefully and there are many pictures and ideas but not enough details on tools and how to use them..
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