How To Make A Wooden Box By Using Wood Lathe

Once you have had your wood lathe (< class="id10"a href="">like this model) for a while and you have mastered turning some simpler projects, you might be ready for something a little more challenging.

A wooden box is a useful item that is worth being able to learn to do well. By using a wood lathe, you can successfully make a beautiful wooden box and in this blog, you are going to learn how to make one.

Before you begin, here is advice from just to make sure you have everything you might need:

1. Sharp tools
2. Your chunk of wood -obviously
3. A drill
4. Your lathe and its parts
5. Sanding paper
6. Finishing oil or wax
7. Safety equipment – goggles, face mask

At first, you have to prepare your wood. Start by picking out one that you like. For a squared box, you will need to make sure it’s dry or else it’ll change shape slightly afterward, once it has dried.

Find the center on each side of the wood and mount it on the lathe between centers ready for spindle turning.

Using a roughing gouge, turn the wood into a cylinder shape and turn a ½ inch long tenon on each side. Then draw a pencil line about ⅓ from the top to divide the lid from the box.

Then Using a 1/16 inch wide parting tool or saw, cut the wood for the lid of the box. You have to cut it very carefully.

Now you can remove the drive center and mount a chuck on the lathe headstock.
Mount the lid onto the chuck making sure the jaws securely grip the tenon.

Measure about ½ inch down, depending on your design, from the top of your lid and mark it. Use a depth measuring tool to help keep you from hollowing out the lid too much.

You can now use a scraper or a hollowing tool to remove the excess wood from inside the lid. Making the sides of the lid about ½ inch thick, cut a ¼ inch thick ledge into the rim of your lid. This rim will sit nicely into the top of your box.


Sand the inside of the lid well and apply the oil or wax finish.

You can now remove the lid from the lathe and attach the body of the box to the chuck. Use a pencil to mark ½ up from the bottom. Set your depth measurer to this line.
Now hollow the box the same way you hollowed the lid, leaving a thickness of about 5/8 inch for the box walls.

Shave off a little bit of wood at a time until the lid can easily be slid on and off the box.

Remove the box from the lathe and sand this well too. You should remove the box form lathe very carefully.

Finally, rub the inside and outside of the box with your wax or oil to finish and voila! And your masterpiece is ready now!

There are many other ways to make a wooden box using a lathe. Whichever method you choose will require a fair bit of practice before you can get the hang of it. I think this is one of the easiest ways to make a wooden box by using a wood lathe.

You can adapt the steps or tools you use to suit your preferences.
Given enough time (and wood) you will soon be a wooden box wiz!