Monday, February 1, 2016

Beads of Courage Boxes

Here is a message from Steve Mellott who is spearheading the efforts of Georgia woodturning clubs to make Beads of Courage boxes,
"Wow – the Beads of Courage initiative has really taken off!  To date, I’ve had 18 clubs request 482 beads.  And it is not just in the southeastern United States – woodturners throughout the nation have begun to support this program.  
In response to this overwhelming support, the Beads of Courage program has released the following new guidelines regarding boxes.  If you have already made boxes that don’t comply with the guidelines, don’t worry – they will still take the boxes.  Just try to ensure that all new boxes fit within the guidelines. "
·         Beads of Courage members may receive thousands of beads.  It is desirable for your boxes to hold all of them.  As a result, turned or rectangular boxes need to be large.  Large is better!  Recommended interior dimensions for turned boxes are 6” diameter (5” minimum), 5” height (4” minimum).  Recommended interior dimensions for flatwork boxes are 4” x 6” x 4.”
·         Box bases should be wide enough so the box is stable and does not tip over easily.  Lids should be easy for small or ill children to remove or lift.  Any finials should be easy for a small child to grasp and not too elaborate so they don’t break.  Avoid excessively elaborate designs that may easily break or be damaged.
·         Finishing of boxes is extremely important!   Beads of Courage members who receive these boxes are susceptible to germs/infections/molds.  Bowls that have not been properly sealed can harbor mold.  Please take the time to ensure you are using a safe finishing process that does not contain toxic materials.  Also, do not use finishes like linseed oil that take a long time to off gas.
·         All kinds of wood are beautiful!  Please refrain from painting Beads of Courage boxes.  Instead, highlight the beauty of the wood with clear varnish or stain, and/or burning.
·         Embed the Beads of Courage logo bead in the design of the box.  If this is not possible, burn or letter Beads of Courage onto the lid or side of the box.  Complete a Beads of Courage artist card and place it in the completed box.
·         It is nice if you can personalize your donation.  Marking your name or initials, type(s) of wood, and date on the box bottom is one way.  It is also nice to enclose a personal note of encouragement, business, card, etc. inside the box. 
Here is a link to a Part 1 of 3 of a a full length demonstration I did in January of this year for the Middle Georgia Woodturners on how to turn a Beads of Courage box starting with a green bowl blank.

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