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Black and White Dots inc. Basic Mitred Box

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 1563 days ago 2703 reads 14 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an earlier project of mine that also neatly shows one of the simpler box making techniques I use, that of the mitred box with drop-on lid. First we see the basic components:

On the left are the four sides, each with a 3mm slot routed in near the bottom to hold the base. The base is bottom right and is two layers of 1.5mm birch aeroply. The top is the last piece, top right. This particular one is a three layer sandwich; 3mm design, 3mm ply and 3mm maple (this bottom 3mm will locate the lid on the box.

First you mitre the corners of the box sides. Sand the insides of the box and apply sanding sealer to all but the top 6mm of each side. Lay them out, in order, above a 50mm strip of masking tape (sticky side up), below which is a straight edge to line the bottom edges up on. Lay them onto the tape.

Place the top and bottom (this one in the slot) on one side and wrap the sides around them. Check for size/ gaps and adjust top or sides accordingly.

Apply PVA glue to the mitred edges and the top 6mm only of the sides. Close the box up again using the tab left over (to the right, Step 3) to hold the box closed. I used to just use this to hold the box whilst the glue dried but found that the last joint was never as tight as the other three. So I put together a windlass clamp.

This is four identical pieces of softwood with a right angled notch in one end and a hole for some string to hold them together with. Oh and a pencil or stick to tighten it up with. So

Tightening the pencil provides even inward pressure on each corner of the box whilst the glue dries. When its has remove it and all the tape and sand the top down flat (theres always a slivver of something out of line).

Next we need to cut the top off.

This is done on a router table with a 3mm slot cutter bit. Cutting through the last 1/2mm with an xacto knife until you have a seperate top and box.

Sand the top of the box and all outside faces to finished.

Apply sanding sealer and polish.

The wax polish I’ve been using for many years now is by Organoil, an Australian company. Beautiful finish and nice spicy citrus smell (my customers enjoy smelling the boxes as welll!). Next line the bottom. I use a foam called Funky Foam. Comes in various colours and easy to cut with a knife.

So here we have it the completed Black and White dots box.

The overall box dimensions are 96×96 x 50mm. The materials are Purpleheart, Ebony and Maple. No dividers in a box this size as there doesn’t seem much point. Oh and no slipfeaters in the corners. If it can’t stand my 76Kg (160lbs odd) of weight standing on it, and this did, only then does it need them.

Simples!

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com



23 comments so far

View JamesVavra's profile

JamesVavra

284 posts in 1902 days


#1 posted 1563 days ago

Great tutorial.

James

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 2154 days


#2 posted 1563 days ago

Nice tutorial – thanks!

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1701 days


#3 posted 1563 days ago

great tutorial
that´s is something
everyone can understand

Dennis

View Cozmo35's profile

Cozmo35

2198 posts in 1622 days


#4 posted 1563 days ago

VERY WELL explained! Thank you!!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2372 posts in 1627 days


#5 posted 1563 days ago

Cool show – how to !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4328 posts in 1622 days


#6 posted 1563 days ago

Thanks guys.

Martyn

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Fireguy's profile

Fireguy

132 posts in 1822 days


#7 posted 1563 days ago

nice clamp, I have not seen that one before.

-- Alex

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4328 posts in 1622 days


#8 posted 1563 days ago

Cheap too Alex, pennies if that!

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View patron's profile

patron

12947 posts in 1927 days


#9 posted 1563 days ago

well done martyn ,
free pass to the next
geometry expo for you !

nice design and execution .

so if you stand on a finished box ,
and i breaks ,
you have to make another one ,
to put splines in (LOL) ?

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

View rons's profile

rons

72 posts in 1937 days


#10 posted 1563 days ago

Hi Martyn Ive been enjoying your tutorials alot… That clamp was a good idea. Can’t wait to see more from you. Your boxes are great. Thanks Ron

-- Ron, Michigan

View jm82435's profile

jm82435

1227 posts in 2328 days


#11 posted 1563 days ago

Great tutorial, thanks. I really like your work – your boxes are fantastic.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4328 posts in 1622 days


#12 posted 1563 days ago

Yep. If I stand on it and it fails I make another one. First however I look carefully over the old one to learn of any failures, in glue line etc. If there are none I put splines in the second one. I would spline a mitred box over 200mm anyway or one with very thin wallls.

I know all the technical stuff, about end grain to end grain being the weakest joint and along the grain being stronger. I use common PVA glue, nothing special. Apart from actually throwing the things, corner first, at a concrete floor I don’t get many failures. The concrete floor experiment was spectacular by the way but only two joints failed.

So what do you guys in the US do to these things, over and above standing on them, that makes splines a necessity?!!! lol

Martyn

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4328 posts in 1622 days


#13 posted 1563 days ago

I’m not prejudiced against the use of splines, by the way. They are a technically elegant solution. I just prefer a plain corner.

Martyn

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View patron's profile

patron

12947 posts in 1927 days


#14 posted 1563 days ago

i give a lifetime guaranty on my boxes ,

my life ,
your life ,
or
the life
of the box .

which ever comes first (LOL) !

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4328 posts in 1622 days


#15 posted 1563 days ago

lol

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

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