For some time now, my project to do list has included a Roman canteen since I like multi-axis turning. Still, I like to be practical. A Roman canteen is not practical compared to any modern canteen. However, a Roman canteen does present a multi-axis challenge.

As I considered these issues, I thought to convert the Roman canteen to a vase. It can be useful and still challenging. Then as I planned how to turn it, I realized I could, very simply, remove the most challenging features by having a separate base and neck. This is the best of both worlds plus omitting the significant sanding task required by a Roman canteen.

So, here’s my process for the canteen.
1. Mount the wood and round off the perimeter.
2. Cut a mounting mortise on the face.
3. Mark the exact center top for the neck plus a center line across the face.
4. Use the center line to align the wood to the drilling path of the drill press and drill for the neck.
5. Remount using the mortise and cut a mortise opposide to the first.
6. Drill out the center from both sides leaving a small flat inside the mortise for insurance when hollowing.
7. Hollow the body. Having access from both sides was a significant advantage.
8. Sand and finish the body.
9. Turn decorative medallions to cover both mortise holes. I used the Infinite Axis chuck to turn unique medallions.
10. Turn a neck. I used hazelnut – same as the medallions.
11. Add a base. I used the edge of a hazelnut branch, preserving the bark edge.

Much easier than a Roman canteen but is useful as a vase, has unique medallions and different wood for accent.


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Music: Traumerei by Shumann performed by Becky Schlappi. Used with permission.

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