So for my company you can only buy a present that has a value less then $25.
One day I was watching the wood whisper. He was talking about “it is that time of year – too cheap to buy xmas presents”. Well, I was sitting in my lazy boy chair twiddling my thumbs wondering what to buy. And my wife was chatting in the back ground. She was asking me about the box I made for my mom. Well I spent a lot of time on that one. (Boy let me tell yeah cutting fingers by hand take some time.) My moms present is almost done and I had already built my kids presents and my wife still has not told me what she wants. Hence, I have some time to kill waiting for my moms present to cure, seal and wax.
My wife made mention (since I am grounded from buying most stuff, since I went a little over buying new toys, :-)) I should see what I can make out of scrap. And I do have some but really not a lot and I have plans for what I have. Yeah yeah thats it.
My wife with a little hesitation mention we could go out and get a limited amount. Now limited to my wife and limited to me does not always match up. But, since I am in the dog house for buying a porter cable jig for dovetails and such and a router table for my router. (We will not even mention the new router bits and other tiny items :-)). And I knew I could only get away spending less then $50 in materials I took my wife’s suggestion to go to the Habitate for Humanity. You need to understand in my office most folks really push the dollar limit (we are all type A). Size of the gift matters too. Okay I think I have set this up pretty good.Right?
Our local HFH is a one story building with a basement. The top floor has stuff like cabinets, washers, tables, lighting and even lots of light features. But, the good stuff is downstairs…. like marble, and trim, tile and a lot of flooring material. As I walked around and thought of what I could do with everything I finally made my way to the flooring material. Some of it is low quality but the most of it is really some nice material. I came across a box of oak (i think) flooring with a coffee bean finish. It was marked $37.50. I looked again and decided to get the guy to make sure. I bought the whole box. Once I got it home I laid out all the pieces and wondered what I can do with it.
Okay sure something for work. mmm. Ah box, sure why not. So since all the pieces are various length I decided on a 12”X8”X4”. Facing the coffee bean stain on the outside and felt cover the inside. With a oak top? Sure but … I need to do something for the top. Well I have some purple heart I could use it for a border inlay. And I could do some type of inlay for the top. mmm need something for the four sides. Well one thing at a time…
I needed to cut off the tongues on the side pieces, and cut a dado into them. I repurposed my first attempts to make finger joints and now they are used to hold down a piece.
The glue up of the base went pretty well. Having the pieces interlocked helped. Unfortunately my corners were not lining up and I did not noticed until after I pulled the clamps off. By this time the glue was cured. I decided to use my hand sander to fix this little problem. :-) and well you can guess what happened. Thinking back I probably should have used a hand plane or maybe hand sanding would not have messed up the stained sides. My
wife said it was character enhancement. (She is so great).
I decided to use the table saw to take off a 1/64 to ensure it was even and flat.
And this is why the box does not have a nice coffee bean stain on the outside.
I am now at the point to work on the top. I am going to insert a small design on the top. Hence the covering of the blue tape on the top. Getting myself in the dog house I ordered a inlay bit. (Learning from my first box). So now I am waiting on it to arrive. I figure since it is going to some ones home as a present. I would want them not to throw it out or for it to end up in a closet, attic, garage, etc. Back to the waiting game.
Well the inlay bit came but unfortunately the piece made with the bit it does not fit my router base (Bosch) . I tell yeah I can not win… Well since I am in the dog house I decided to for forth with out it. And try use the bit by itself.
Well not too bad for basically free hand, right? Since the fit is not exact I decided to route the inside of the inserts to call them out instead of hiding the fact they are not exact.
I went to a local store and picked up a piano hinge (got the idea from Big Al). Well the top ended a 1/16 off, my wife said just more character… At this point I sanded (120,150,320) and I have the box stained with black cherry (just one coat) and have the inserts glued.
Tomorrow I will will get the coats of sealant on and call it done.
Thanks to all who spent their time reading my rant.
-- BD, where bad wood finds a home. Va