Having accidently stumbled on a balancing winged cup that could be spun
I decided to work on a more stabile spinning method - and to make it a lidded box with finial - transformer. Here's the idea. It'll probably change as it evolves.
Here's where I'm at, The "box" will be sanded and finished on the lathe. The wings, which ae just rough turned, will get "carved" using a small angle grinder (Proxxon) with a sanding disk and small sanding disks on a mandrel in a handpiece for a Foredom. Things will get hand sanded with MicroMesh to 12,000 grit as the final finish.
The box is Santos Mahogany
Here's just the finial - with the 3/8" outside diameter. Had one in a router bit set. Coincidence?
Still have the lid of the box to turn, insetting the finial into that lid and turning to blend them together. Oh, and I'll need something to sit on top of the finial for when it's in Finial Mode. So far so good, (Oh - it spins nicely.. Vid of it spinning in the works)
Inlaying the finial into the box lid makes it possible to blend it with the lid - having their curves flow uninterrupted into each other. Getting the recess in the lid turned to precisely match the finial's bottom diameter requires a lot of Turn A Tiny BIt - Test The Fit - always with the risk of overshooting - and having to make another lid. But if you're patient - and careful - inlaying a finial into a box lid isn't that difficult.
Still have to turn something for the top of the finial - and finish the winged box a bit more - but here's what I've got at this point. The lid is claro walnut.
Turned a removable top for the finial. Probably will turn another one that looks less like an Add On. Here's the finished piece.
A YouTube video of this piece in action is Click Here
I've posted the progress from idea to finished piece on the turning forum of Wood Central and asked for comments and suggestions. It was noted that the round tenon on the bottom of the box was a bit distracting and not very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It was also noted that the finial wasn't as elegant as it could be - due to having to hide a bearing in the top of it - and capping the bearing to make it not obvious. Now one of the many benefits to putting photos of a piece on a turning forum and soliciting comments and suggestions is - that you often get suggestions for improving the piece. And one of the suggestions to improve the piece - or the next version of this idea - is to put the bearing in the bottom of the box - and the tenon to fit into it - on the finial - a Two Birds With One Stone suggestion. This eliminates the visually detracting tenon from the bottom of the box AND allows for a much more elegant finial. Another idea was to put a small round pearl on the bottom of the boxes tenon, allowing the whole lidded box with finial to act - like a top!
Now I've got two more versions of a Spinning Winged Lidded Box With Finial on my To Try List.