At this point we have a box body with corner splines.
Our lid is still oversized, so we can stop here and just use it to make a traditional box,one where the lid sets on top.
DO NOT CUT THE LID TO SIZE UNTIL YOU ARE SURE OF THE STYLE OF BOX YOU WANT TO MAKE!
For some, this may be the best option. They may not have all the required tools or may feel their skills need a little more honing.
Or, you could leapfrog over the next few stages and pick up the project again when we do the medallion.
Then you could continue on to the shaping if desired.
For now, just follow along with the tutorial, and continue at your own pace.
I strongly recommend making a test box. Are you listening to me at all or are you still texting little Sheba?
You will feel more comfortable when trying out some of the following procedures on a lesser grade of wood.
We want the top edge of the box sanded flat in case you havent already done that.
What we are going to do is route a recess on the inside top edge of the box to recieve the lid.
We will invert the box over a router fixed in a table. Any bumps at the corner joints on the top of the box will transfer to the lip we are routing down inside. Its much easier to sand the top edge than to sand inside.
Once the top edge of the box is smooth, remove any sawdust, etc from the inside of the box and the router table so we have a clean surface.
We are going to route a rabbet, a lip, inside the box, all the way around. It will finish at 3/8’’ wide x 1/2’’ deep.
Keep in mind that any chipping is a real issue with this style of box. Any variations along the gap, which is called the reveal, between box and lid, will really jump out. We do need a gap between the lid and box for the lid to open, but it needs to be small and very even. Capiche?
NO? OK, OK, then look at it this way,, if you sand out a chip, or deep router burn on the inside lip of the box it makes a divot, meaning it becomes wider at that point, a wavy line. The lid cannot be shaped to fit into those “wide spots”. Its like trying to parallel park a Winnebago.
I route the lip using several shallow passes for the depth and the width. This will minimize chipping and burning.
I use a rabbet bit with interchangeable guide bearings and start with one that gives me a cut just under 3/8” wide. I go fairly slow on the first shallow pass, not worrying about the burn marks. I cut down to just shy of the full 1/2’’ depth, leaving about 1/16’’. I then clean this up with a bearing that gives me the full 3/8’’ width and also I reset the router to take the full 1/2’’ depth.
Be sure and let the bit stop spinning before lifting the box off, clean away all the chips after each pass, and be sure you move around the bit in the correct direction. This of course will depend on which side of the equator you live on.” Here in Oregon, thats clockwise.
Wet the wood with a damp cloth prior to routing to minimize tearout.
If you dont have a set of bearing, just use a pattern bit and make multiple passes. Depends a lot on the wood.
with the edge of the cutter about 1/8 above the table. Use a high speed setting if you have that option and lower the center of the box over the bit and move it in a clockwise direction, (moving into the bit). After a complete pass around the bit,c enter the box over the bit and turn off the router. Clean away all the chips and raise the bit to about 1/4” – 3/8” and repeat. Leave the bit about 1/16 shy of the total 1/2” depth. Last of all, change your guide bearing and raise the bit to exactly 1/2’’ deep and make your final pass, moving at a little faster pace to prevent new burns.
Your final results will depend on the wood you are cutting and the sharpness of your bit, and how tight you crossed your fingers.
Here is the bit set and the router. Also, you can see the bent wrenches for the router I made. I massaged them to fit down into the well by heating them in the woodstove and tempering in oil. But thats another story.
A close up of the bit.
The first pass just under our 3/8” width.
Done @ 3/8” wide x 1/2” deep
Carefully and lightly sand the rabbet just enough to smooth it out.Then sand a very small radius on the inside edge of the lip to ease fitting in the lid. This will prevent denting it as you test fit the lid… over and over.
-- If I can do it, so can you.