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As a woodworker it is always nice to be able to give something you made as a present, whether for a birthday, Christmas, or just for staying at someone’s house. However, unless it is a very special occassion, you don’t want to spend weeks or months on a project. I find that turned bowls always go down well and can be made in less than a day. Small boxes are a bit more time consuming but also have the benefit of being light and portable for air trips. So what gifts do you find get the most ooghs for the least amount of effort, or to put it another way, the most aaghs per hour?
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Mark I like to make a box to give to friends and family. The candle box(tall one) that Lonnie Bird featured in curly maple is a simple project that lends itself to multiples. All of the parts are small so there's a good possibility to use scrap wood for a good project. With the exception of the detailed cutting on top, the box is all butt joined. I have made six boxes in a day and come back to touch up the finish at my leisure. I've not had one come back.
Oh my goodness...boxes or bowls? Of course Doug would pick boxes to give, he must make a ton of them all beautiful for sure. If the gift is for family or close friend I like boxes too. But for a gift that isn't for as special an occacion I like to turn a bowl. Pick a nice piece of wood and knock that baby out in just a couple of hours, the oohs and aahs are just as good as the time spent on a box.
I'd go with boxes. And they aren't quite as time consuming if you make them in small batches. They are a great way to use some of the more interesting scraps that accumulate from larger projects, and a person can always find something around the house that would fit perfectly in a box.
In fact, giving boxes year after year would be a good idea. You can start your loved ones collecting. And yes, they travel well if you are going to fly home or away for the holidays.
The secret to getting the most oohs and ahhs per hour is in the illusion of effort. In other words - if you make something that took you two hours but it looks like it may have taken days. The reverse is always a heart break for me. Something that took a long time that I inadvertently made look easy.
Pens seem to get the most ooohs for the effort, although they aren't the most appropriate gift for everybody. In my experience men tend to appreciate the pens most, while the women tend to like lidded boxes or bowls. I like the look of the yellow pine bowl on the table there. I have turned a lot of bowls from similar wood. That wood family with its "stripey" appearance it is a striking accent for any table.
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In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
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