Watch Box #7: OOPS!!

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Blog entry by Andy posted 02-02-2012 05:26 PM 4978 reads 4 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Handle replaced, shaping started Part 7 of Watch Box series Part 8: Finished »

This is why its been awhile since my last post.

One of the problems with shaping wood to this extent is any flaws show up.

Figured Bigleaf Maple, aka Western Maple, Oregon Maple, Acer macrophyllum, can have pits, bark inclusions, etc… Well, I found a few during the final shaping.

I knew I was getting pretty close to maximum depth in one corner, but I couldnt leave that little black spot glaring at me.

Then I was all the way through and exposing the bloodwood below, nothing to do but add some putty. NOT!! I am joking. Putty was not an option, anything I did to hide this flaw would have been obvious.

So I set up a jig and milled out the medallion and made another.

THE SAME THING HAPPENED AGAIN!!! Aarrghh. I didnt bother to take any pictures this time, I was so disappointed and under a time constraint that I just started fixing it it.
My customer was probably very frustrated too since he has been waiting for a long time to get this box. But he has been very patient with me. I told him that I cant in good conscience send him a box patched together just to get it off my back.
So I made another jig because each time I mill out the medallion I need to go a little wider to clean up the edges, and its about impossible to line it all up exactly anyway.
The problem I now had was that I no longer had a piece of that maple wide enough with any nice figure. So I decided to do a triptych inset panel like I did on this box named Storm.

I taped a mock-up of the panel and sent a picture for the customer to approve.( Another advantage of doing it this way was I wouldnt need to use any black epoxy as a border to fill out the gap. On the previous panels the medallion was to narrow, since its all I had. I had to mill the recess wider because it chipped out in a few spots. )
I split one piece and mirrored it on each side of a piece with more quilting than ripples. I edged it with wenge and bordered the center panel with bloodwood edged with wenge.

It is just setting over the recess, the corners are still square.

He liked the look, so I went ahead and fitted it in. This is slow and tedious. I fit the panel by hand using a sanding block, testing every few strokes. This went in nicely with no gaps.
Here it is glued in and before wiping away the squeeze out.

And here it is after carefully sanding it to blend with the previous shaping. This was a bit of a trial to not go too deep again in the thin areas and not mess up the waves too much either.

Next and last post will be the finished box.
Stay tuned.
Thanks for looking,

-- If I can do it, so can you.

22 comments so far

View nadabula's profile


165 posts in 1568 days

#1 posted 02-02-2012 05:30 PM

View Roger's profile


17851 posts in 1896 days

#2 posted 02-02-2012 05:30 PM

it’s character Andy. burn your initials or something there if ya wanna cover it.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3310 days

#3 posted 02-02-2012 05:38 PM

Looks incredible, Andy. I can’t wait to see it finished.

When I look at your work, it always makes me want to extend beyond my comfort zone and reach for the next level.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View DocSavage45's profile


6707 posts in 1935 days

#4 posted 02-02-2012 05:41 PM

Sometimes great things happen by accident? and we can say we planned it? LOL On the other hand The character of the piece is in your eyes? If I were the customer I’d be patient, cause damn look what you do!

I know you hate to hear it. LOL Great work!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View a1Jim's profile


113839 posts in 2669 days

#5 posted 02-02-2012 05:53 PM

I know you have the know how to cure this little mishap .Even if it had a 16penny nail sticking out of it it would still be beautiful.

-- Custom furniture

View patron's profile


13422 posts in 2433 days

#6 posted 02-02-2012 05:53 PM

what can i say andy

except you are the master
in this

your work is very appealing
(even when the wood gives it’s own response)

your subtle designs and feelings
always come thru

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View grizzman's profile


7633 posts in 2395 days

#7 posted 02-02-2012 06:27 PM

always fun to see the process, seeing the good, the bad, the ugly, then seeing it all come together and getting it right…....and we all know you would get it right..glad the customer approved of the new top, i actually like it better then the first…thanks any for taking the time to show all of this…......grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View gbear's profile


469 posts in 3191 days

#8 posted 02-02-2012 06:31 PM

The sign of a great craftsman is the ability to turn tragedy into beauty.
You da man! Although, I do like Roger’s suggestion!!!!

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View majeagle1's profile


1423 posts in 2588 days

#9 posted 02-02-2012 07:09 PM

Oh how I know your frustration!!!! I can’t tell you the number of times I have done the same kind of thing and then didn’t have another piece “quite big enough” ........ However, gbear is right, you are the person that can turn in back into the work of art it is going to be…. Can’t wait to see the grand finale !

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 2170 days

#10 posted 02-02-2012 07:23 PM

It’s great the way you cured the problem, and now it is better than the original! Great work
Andy. your boxes are always so touchable, maybe even caressable!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

409 posts in 2222 days

#11 posted 02-02-2012 09:05 PM

Very nice Andy and nice repair job. Can’t wait to see the finished piece.

-- Dale, Ohio

View cajunpen's profile


14538 posts in 3158 days

#12 posted 02-02-2012 09:08 PM

Outstanding project Andy. I really like your fix for this one. I guess we will have to call you “Mr. Fixit”.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View jaykaypur's profile


3756 posts in 1500 days

#13 posted 02-03-2012 12:09 AM

Beautiful fix! Love the way the 3 sections of maple compliment each other and make that top “glow.”

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Karson's profile


34994 posts in 3493 days

#14 posted 02-03-2012 01:05 AM

Sometimes the character can look like a goof. A great recovery.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1546 posts in 2197 days

#15 posted 02-03-2012 02:25 AM

This shows me why so may of us are building for a different client base. Our flaws are charming, but no one is paying me what you command and deserve. I can be dissatisfied with a small imperfection that my wife says no one else will ever notice. As I get better with the inspiration here, I either make less mistakes or fix them. Knowing how Big Leaf Burl can be, I would have left such a small thing. Maybe in a few years, with more experience, I will be striving for such perfection. As I get better, my price goes up! I’m glad you have a good customer who appreciates your fine work. I certainly enjoy seeing it.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

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