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Shaker barn inspires a turned box

comments (3) May 29th, 2014 in blogs

MKenney Matthew Kenney, senior editor
thumbs up 8 users recommend

Round barn box. These turned boxes were inspired by the round barn at Hancock Shaker Village, and by the key design elements of other boxes that I make.
The round barn. This is it. I love the proportions, how the yellow level steps back, and the round cupola up top.
Something borrowed. Ive been making this box for several years now, and I used the raised side, sunken top, and play of wood colors in the round boxes.
Round barn box. These turned boxes were inspired by the round barn at Hancock Shaker Village, and by the key design elements of other boxes that I make. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Round barn box. These turned boxes were inspired by the round barn at Hancock Shaker Village, and by the key design elements of other boxes that I make.

Photo: Matt Kenney

I'm very luck to live less than two hours from Hancock Shaker Village, which is just outside Pittsfield, Mass. I've been several times, and I always leave with an inspired heart and a head full of ideas. Perhaps the most notable building at the village is the big round barn. It's beautiful, and I love it. (There's a picture of it above.) I suppose it was always sitting quietly in my brain, waiting for the right moment to jump up and inspire me. That moment came recently when I was thinking about Shaker oval boxes. I was wondering how I could put my own spin on this classic Shaker design. And the round barn creeped into my thoughts, and it hit me: Turn a box on the lathe that looks like the round barn at Hancock Shaker Village.

 

As I wondered how I would do that, I begin to think about some other boxes I've made, and realized that I could combine a round box inspired by the barn with the key elements of those other boxes (you can see a photo of them above, too). They were a very good match for one another.

 

Here's what I took from the barn: the basic proportions of the round box, and the separtion into bottom, lid, and lift. From the previous boxes I took rabbet at the bottom that raises the sides of the table (and creates a shadow line), the lid that sits in a rabbet, and the combination of three different woods. Taken a further cue from the Shakers, I painted the box's body with milk paint to create the third wood's color. The two round boxes pictured here have different diameters and aren't the same height (and I'm now making them in three different sizes).


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Comments (3)

MKenney MKenney writes: DanM: I've been making the boxes in three sizes. 3 in. dia. by 1 3/4 in. tall, 4 in. dia. by 2 in. tall, and 5 in. dia. by 2 1/4 in. tall. That walls sides are 1/4 in. thick, and the rabbet for the top is 1/16 in. wide by 1/4 in. deep.

mainerustic: You're correct, I turned them on my lathe, using a very simple hollowing tool for the inside

Matt
Posted: 9:06 am on June 2nd

mainerustic mainerustic writes: Very cool boxes, did you hollow out them on a lathe, if not how did you make them?
Posted: 2:16 pm on May 31st

DanM DanM writes: Very nice. What are the exact sizes of the boxes? Or rather the ratio of width to height?
Posted: 6:37 am on May 31st

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