Circular Wall Shadow Boxes

I’ve just finished another neat circular wall shadow box. Made from American Oak, 600m diameter and 82mm deep with three shelves it looks great. I love the way the application of shellac brings out the colour and grain of the wood. With a coat of Black Wax rubbed in it has a beautiful lustre.

The machine I used to bend the hoop is one that came from Sweden in 1887 but which was constructed much earlier than that, probably 1850 or thereabouts. It is a great machine with one drive belt and two bending heads, one each side of the drive belt. The mould used to create the hoops has no screw pressure device on the end of the ironwork which allows the timber to be bent around the mould more than one revolution. By bending through say 540 degrees when the timber is taken off it can be opened up to creat a full 360 degree circle with no stresses.

To make joining of the hoop neat it is best to taper the ends of the straight timber strip (on alternative sides). as the hoop is opened up these tapered faces can be glued together easily and neatly thus creating a very neat join and giving a seamless looking finish.

I make them from a selection of different woods. Originally I made them from Blackwood until I developed an allergy to this (although I still have a few hoops left). Currently I am using American Oak but American/English Ash and Rock Maple make a whiter unit. Tasmanian Celery-top makes for a more yellow display and bends beautifully.

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