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"Art Box" Tutorial #2: Wood selection

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Blog entry by Andy posted 1847 days ago 15506 reads 51 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Intro Part 2 of "Art Box" Tutorial series Part 3: Making the box »

Updated 1/15/12

The “Art Box” concept came about when I was looking for a way to use small pieces of some figured Myrtlewood I had leftover, not large enough for a box, but not something I could not throw away either. I decided to feature it in the lid of a box, like a picture in a frame. Keep that picture frame in mind when selecting the small piece for the medallion. You might select that picture piece first and then find a less figured wood to use for the lid and body, one that sets it off.

Consider

A) What YOU find appealing, which is totally subjective.
B) How you want to do the top, e.g., medallion or not, and type of hinges.
C) What material you either have on hand or have access to.
Here are two different approaches.
A) Contrasting the color or grain, or both between the body and the medallion is very eye catching.
B) Alternately, a tone on tone approach can evoke a calming effect, or in the right combination, it might even feel masculine.
Some suggestions
• A light colored wood such as maple for the sides and top and a figured piece of myrtle for the medallion is stunning.
• On the other hand, a darker body out of wenge works well with ziricote for the medallion.
• For a tone on tone effect, try using plain walnut for the body and figured walnut for the medallion.
Tip
To see how two woods look together, wet them with mineral spirits and lay one over the other, this brings out the color and does not raise the grain like water. Just lay one on the other to see if you like the effect.

Grain Matching
The body and top should to be out of the same board if at all possible so the color and grain match closely.
If you are using a figured wood and want the grain to appear to run contiguous from the face and up over the top, then you will need a wider board of about 11’’. (That’s how I did the Bad Moon secret box)
This isn’t always necessary, as when using straight grained lumber, or when a lot of shaping is done, the shaping grinds away the top layer of matching grain anyway.
Parts

A. Body – For a contiguous look, matching the grain of the body with the top,
you will need a board about ¾ × 11×40.
B. Body – To grain match the body only, select a board about ¾ x 4 × 40
and a separate piece for the top about ¾ x 7 × 11
C.
Medallion- ¾ × 5×8
D.
Corner splines – I often rip these out of the same board as the medallion. You may wish to go for a stronger contrast. Play around and see what works best with your woods.

E. Handle – This will often come from the same board as the medallion or a scrap of wild figured wood.

F. Dividers – After I have completed the box, I work on the design for the dividers. I prefer to make a visual statement by matching them to the medallion or contrasting them with the body color.

Note.
There will not be a typical cut list for this box. You will cut parts for the body and size the bottom from that, and after you assemble the body, you will cut and fit the lid, and so on…
A sacrificial box
Depending on your skill level, and how clear my instructions are, I recommend making a second box out of an inexpensive wood, such as poplar or clear pine. This will give you a test subject for each set up. There are several steps where you may feel more comfortable practicing on wood that is less dear to you.
The first thing I do is mark out each part, showing its relationship to the others. This insures that each one gets cut in the proper sequence and is reassembled in order.

Note:
You may skip this part if you are using an even grained/colored wood or making a test box. However, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of paying attention to grain orientation.
I will be using this piece of bubinga for the body and lid of my box.

-- If I can do it, so can you. www.artboxesbyandy.com



11 comments so far

View Ossian's profile

Ossian

25 posts in 1856 days


#1 posted 1847 days ago

Excellent! I’ve most of the materials I need already on hand.

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/Ossian

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2653 posts in 2110 days


#2 posted 1847 days ago

...gett’n ready!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View degoose's profile

degoose

6958 posts in 1938 days


#3 posted 1847 days ago

So far so good. Well written and well thought out, I just wish I could write as well as you make boxes or make boxes as well as you write.

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View Andy's profile

Andy

1535 posts in 2492 days


#4 posted 1847 days ago

Thanks for the support everyone!
@Degoose-thats a nice compliment.It doesnt come naturally,believe me,but I just stay with it until it looks about right.ha

-- If I can do it, so can you. www.artboxesbyandy.com

View cabinetmaster's profile

cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 2142 days


#5 posted 1847 days ago

Getting my supplies ready. getting hot in here though.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4973 posts in 2296 days


#6 posted 1845 days ago

A really well laid out plan, thanks for putting this together. I’ve got to go find some wood…..!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Andy's profile

Andy

1535 posts in 2492 days


#7 posted 1844 days ago

Here is the next part.
http://lumberjocks.com/Argyllshire/blog/9773

-- If I can do it, so can you. www.artboxesbyandy.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34842 posts in 2984 days


#8 posted 1844 days ago

Thanks for the tutorial.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View ratchet's profile

ratchet

1281 posts in 2371 days


#9 posted 1820 days ago

I’m still late, but still in. I’m looking for wood now.

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 1411 days


#10 posted 1210 days ago

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14818 posts in 1773 days


#11 posted 847 days ago

Very well written, I like it.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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