Turn a Lidded Canister
With a few basic turning tools, you can create beautiful storage for the kitchen
Synopsis: Make a wooden canister to hold flour, sugar, spices, or coffee. It’s not difficult, and you don’t need special turning tools. All it takes is a roughing gouge, bowl gouge, spindle gouge, skew, parting tool, and round-nose scraper. Follow along as turner Mike Mahoney guides you through the steps.
Perhaps I’m biased, but I think every kitchen should have at least one wooden canister. In my own kitchen, there are wooden canisters that hold sugar, spices, flour, and even spaghetti. I prefer these canisters over store-bought ones because they have more character, and it’s nice to have the kitchen counter decorated with beautiful and useful storage containers that I made.
Lidded canisters aren’t difficult to make, and you don’t need special turning tools. I’ll show you how to make one with just a roughing gouge, bowl gouge, spindle gouge, skew, parting tool, and round-nose scraper. At my wife’s request, this canister is sized for coffee grounds. It’s made from highly figured cottonwood with a walnut pull. However, you can use any hardwood species you’d like.
Rough out the body and lid
You need a fairly large blank, 6 in. square by 9 in. long, for this canister. The best source for blanks this size is a log still in the round, but working with green wood requires that you allow the body and lid of the canister to dry for a while after roughing them out, so it doesn’t warp out of shape.
To rough them out, mount the blank between centers (I use a 4-prong spur drive in the headstock), and turn the blank round with a 1-in. roughing gouge. Next, use a skew to turn a tenon on each end of the blank. are complete, use a narrow…