project, top tip, woodturning

Fixing old mistakes

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about making a spinner box, and sticking with it even after making a pretty bad mistake. The final item may not be what I intended, but it worked out ok. Inspired by this I turned back to a project that I screwed up a year or so back. I was making a little lidded box in spalted beech. All was going well enough but as I came to hollow the lid I managed a nasty catch which sent it flying and damaged the finished exterior. I was then unable to get it mounted true again, and wound up finding that the exterior of the lid and the box were no longer quite lined up. I gave up in frustration at having gotten so far and then irrecoverably screwed up.

Or so I thought at the time, it was certainly true of my skill level and experience at the time that I could see no way to fix what I had done. However I came back to it with fresh eyes and new experience and realised that I could at least try to recover the piece.

I gripped the lid in my long jaws, and trued the the section that inserts into main body, making it a little longer to give a reasonable join to the base. I also hollowed the top and finished it, leaving just the outside to deal with.

This meant that I could now grip the base in the jaws and using kitchen roll form a tight join holding the lid in place. Wit the piece rejoined fairly tightly I could true up the outside again. I had left it pretty thin in the first instance, so I was concerned that too far out and I might make one spot far too thin, but as it happens it was not so far out as all that. I was able to get the lid and body to join nicely and taper the top of the lid differently to remove the dents left by the original catch and the chuck jaws. finishing the lid at this stage I was then able to remove that and focus on finishing the body. This basically just involved expanding the long jaws into the inside of the body, with some kitchen roll to minimise damage from the jaws themselves. I was conscious of the thin walls and careful not to expand too much. This allowed me again to clean up the bottom of the base, and match the profile to the new shape of the lid. Again there was a risk that I had gone too thin originally and left not much room for this kind of alteration, however it turned out to be fine.

And so it was that I was able to rescue another mistake and one again prove that short of complete destruction, there is always hope!

Next job is to fix a spalted beech bowl that I went through the bottom of.. I'm thinking that I can neaten up the hole and then turn a contrasting plug to fill it and make a feature of it.