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"Art Box" Tutorial

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Blog series by Andy updated 08-22-2009 03:12 PM 14 parts 216290 reads 440 comments total

Part 1: Intro

06-16-2009 03:49 PM by Andy | 37 comments »

Updated 1/15/12 How to make an Art Box by Andy Campbell Safety Be safe! Guards, etc…may not be visible in the pictures. This is written for woodworkers of all skill levels.But, please keep in mind that this is not woodworking #101. I am writing this in a step by step manner that should be easy for a beginner to follow, but some basic understanding of tools and terminology is required.I ask that the more advanced woodworkers be patient and not be offended. I don’t wish to test your...

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Part 2: Wood selection

06-19-2009 04:07 PM by Andy | 11 comments »

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...

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Part 3: Making the box

06-22-2009 09:19 PM by Andy | 25 comments »

Part 3updated 1/15/12 Regarding size:Size and proportions are important…to a point. We will be building a box that will start out at 11 1/8 W x 7 D x 4 1/2 H. (After shaping it will finish out at about 10 3/4’’ x 6 3/4’’ x 3 1/8 h depending on how much shaping is done.) I like the proportions of this box, they just look good to my eye. They are loosely based on the Golden Ratio which is a ratio of 1.618. There is much more to it than that, but simply put, here is how it works in rela...

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Part 4: Corner Splines

06-23-2009 08:18 PM by Andy | 26 comments »

Updated 1/15/12 We now have our box assembled and glued up. Depending on the temperature, let it dry for a couple of hours, or overnight to be safe.Take the tape off and clean up any dried glue. This is a good time to smooth up the bottom to get rid of any rocking.You can double stick sandpaper onto a very flat and firm surface and slide the bottom across that. The problem with this approach is that sheet sandpaper is way too small. You can stick down several sheets and if you go very s...

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Part 5: Cut the lip for the lid

06-27-2009 07:23 PM by Andy | 11 comments »

Updated 1/15/12 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 d...

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Part 6: The Lid

06-30-2009 04:42 PM by Andy | 11 comments »

Updated 1/15/12 Regarding wood movement:Depending on the wood you use, where you live, and your own personal experience,y ou may want to allow more clearance.This is what works for me. I really dont allow for any movement at this stage. I know this sounds like trouble waiting to happen, but it works just fine for me. Even if we start off with a snug fit, we will still end up with a small gap around the perimeter. This is due to the final sanding and easing of the edges between lid and l...

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Part 7: The Medallion

07-01-2009 06:32 PM by Andy | 23 comments »

Updated 1/15/12 Now we need to cut a recess in the lid for the medallion to set down into.DONT cut your medallion until you have routed out the home for it.I typically make the medallion about 1” to 1.5” smaller on all sides than the lid depending on the box size and the piece of wood I have for the medallion. We are now going to make a simple jig for a router to set on and run back and forth making several passes of incrementally deeper cuts. There are a several ways to do ...

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Part 8: The Handle

07-16-2009 04:28 AM by Andy | 8 comments »

Updated 1/15/12 At this point we should have an assembled box, with corner splines, a recess cut into the body for the lid to set down into 3/8”, and a recess for the medallion cut into the lid that is also 3/8” deep, and the medallion cut to fit.DO NOT glue in the medallion yet! Next thing is to make the handle.I like to attach the handle by cutting a mortise in both the handle and the edge of the lid and slipping in a thin strip of wood, aka a spline. The spline is a scrap...

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Part 9: It all hinges on this.

07-17-2009 03:53 PM by Andy | 8 comments »

Updated 1/16/12 This is where you need to decide how you want to open your box. I mentioned at the outset about some of the different boxes I have made and how they hinge differently from one another. All are good, but you may have a preference in style or it may be your ability that decides for you. The pin hinge is what we will mainly be focusing on and was used on this box. Chapter 10 will discuss this style. The Deco box uses a standard brass butt hinge with a stop stra...

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Part 10: Pin Hinges

07-22-2009 03:56 PM by Andy | 17 comments »

Updated 1/16/12 I spent a lot of time developing a way to let the lid swing down into the box, yet still maintaining a fairly tight reveal on all four sidesThe difficulty is the lip itself. It doesnt allow the back of the lid to drop into the box, so thats where we need to cut it away a little deeper at the back. I call these pockets.The other difficulty is in getting the hinge placement spot on or it wont open at all or not far enough to stay open. Here is how its done: Use the same pa...

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Part 11: Butt or Barrel Hinges

08-01-2009 03:38 PM by Andy | 17 comments »

Under construction.

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Part 12: Shaping

08-11-2009 01:55 PM by Andy | 28 comments »

Updated 1/16/12 This is the fun part! Its scary too! The idea of taking a nice crisp box, one you have spent countless hours making, and attacking it with a tool designed for slag removal is…well…its a little disturbing. Maybe I was influenced by old Hitchcock movies more than I know. Seriously, what I enjoy is the freedom this gives me. Everything up to this point has been tied to measurements and careful setups. This is where we can cut loose a little. But slow down Hot...

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Part 13: Finishing

05-25-2009 10:23 PM by Andy | 178 comments »

The tutorial is under construction.

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Part 14: Dividers

08-22-2009 03:12 PM by Andy | 40 comments »

Updated 1/15/12

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