Turning Archive 2007

Curly koa box.... *PIC*

Mike Stafford
>Here is my first box ever in curly koa. This wood for this box obviously originated in Hawaii and came to via Kentucky by way of a trade with Jamie Donaldson. The box is going back to Hawaii as a result of a trade with David Chung.

I was afraid as I began to round up this box because it started chipping out during that process. I had always heard how prone to chipping figured koa is. I decided to increase my speed and sharpen my tools. Sure enough that helped me get through the rounding up and parting process.

Hollowing the inside of the lid was not a problem as I made sure my tools were sharp and only made clean up cuts with the Hunter Tool. I sanded and finished the inside just fine.

When I began work on the body of the box was when I really became afraid. Some chipping was occurring as I roughed out the interior. I was not taking particular care at this point as I was just hogging out the bulk of the wood on in the inside. I knew the real test would be when I started shaping the undercut of the body.

Let me tell you, the pucker factor was really high as I put the Hunter 3/8" swan neck to the wood for the first time. And just like in all the other woods I had tried the tool on it started peeling shavings out of the inside just as pretty as you please. I cut from the bottom to the middle of the inside and from the top lip to the middle of the inside without one single chipout. Shavings were coming off just as pretty as you please. You ever seen curly koa onion skin?

Anyway, I managed to get this box done and it is a magnificent piece of wood. David said he had a dream of a box in curly koa. I will let David tell you if I fulfilled his dream.

This box is 2 1/8" tall and 3 1/4" in diameter.

By the way David sent me as part of the exchange two more nice chunks of curly koa from which I should be able to get at least 3 and maybe 4 boxes.

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