One soon learns a few dodges when working with green wood. I recently turned a lidded box out of a green boxelder limb. It soon became apparent that the lid was shrinking more than the body.
Because I am not as green as the boxelder, I was prepared. The lid fits into the box on a taper. Once the wood stopped moving, all I needed to do was cut off a little from the end of the box. This allowed the lid to reach into the box further where the inside diameter was smaller, creating a nice snug fit.
If you are looking to construct a box with a lid that slowly settles into place on a cushion of air, don’t cut the lid/box joint to a tapered fit. You will need to leave the lid oversize and cut to fit once the wood is thoroughly cured. If you are using the tapered fit, have the lid make contact with the box before the shoulders contact. The final pressure on the lid forces the two tapered surfaces together and holds the lid in place.
While I am chattering on about this box, I will call attention to the chatter work on the lid. This is my first successful attempt. No, I don’t have a dedicated chatter tool. This was done with a modified Sawzall hacksaw blade held in a pair of vise grip pliers. I sanded the chatter work back to leave just a suggestion of the pattern. Then I colored it in with some red rouge.
The box is finished with beeswax and Tried and True linseed oil.
Ellis Hein, author of The Woodturner’s Project Book