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Project SC #1: Tightrope walking for beginners

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 08-08-2010 04:07 PM 3762 reads 26 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Project SC series Part 2: Got to get it together,now »

In my last blog I showed a pattern which I am determined to try.

It is made of rectangles from 1mm to 12mm in size. Due to a shortage of materials (Ebony) I am making the pattern from 1mm to 10mm. This is because my aim is to make a box using this pattern (or parts thereof) on all visible faces. This is the tallest order I have placed on myself to date. ImpossibleII now seems a fond memory. Machining wood down to 1mm square is a nightmare. A bit like I imagine tightrope walking to be and I look rediculous in a Leotard. There are many things that could go wrong and so I have fallback positions in the design. You’ll know when this happens, I’ll tell you.

Here goes. I don’t have a personal God so I ask politely if I may borrow Wonder Woman (autumn)’s table saw gods for the duration.

First thing to do is cut strips of both woods (Maple and Ebony used here) in sizes from 1mm to 10mm in 1mm steps, 20 in all. The length I calculated for my pattern was 500mm, which leaves me some spare.

From this I intend to make one full pattern (for the top of the box) and four half patterns (for the sides). They are seen here layed out in order ready for the initial glue-up. I then cut 1/3rd off one end in order to introduce sacrificial strips of walnut to the pattern that is going to make what I will call the left and right sides of the box. These are put in at the height (up the box side) that the seperating cut will take place (when the box is complete) when the box top is seperated from the bottom. At this stage masking tape is placed between the two 10mm strips to keep this 1/3rd of the pattern as two halves, after glue-up. The reason for this will be revealed later.


The ‘back’ and ‘front’ side sacrificial pieces can be put in when this glue-up has been cross-cut to make the chess board like pattern. Lost yet? I am. After glue-up, tidying up to uniform thickness on the drum sander and chopping up this is what we have.

Normally when cutting narrow strips on the table saw I use a re-usable zero clearence piece of MDF. This time in order to keep the patterns perpendicular to the fence (as they are cut into strips) and to give me some chance of retrieving 1mm slices from the blade I’m going to double-sided tape all of the patterns to a sacrificial 6mm sheet of MDF.


Then trim off both sides

And cover the whole top in masking tape in a vain attempt to keep it all together

The next bit was where the tightrope walking came in. I had to cut 1mm, 2mm, ........10mm slices off both sides until I got all these strips

Shown here on their sides and marked from 1 to 10 (mm). Whilst I did put another waste strip at both ends of the assembly there were failures and I lost some of the 1mm pieces from the ends. There was however a spare 6mm strip at the end of cutting and I hope to be able to make these up from this, later. When the strips were suitable placed together they formed this

Which I hope you can see through the masking tape shows the beginnings of two full patterns. Dont worry about the end pieces I’ll sort that out before glue-up. I am now physically and mentally exhausted and thats it for today

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



21 comments so far

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

1123 posts in 2540 days


#1 posted 08-08-2010 04:13 PM

Fantastic!

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7902 posts in 1675 days


#2 posted 08-08-2010 04:17 PM

Holy, Moley, Martyn!! How can you even see straight – let alone think straight after doing this? Exhausting must be an understatement.

Thank you for taking the time to show us. It is fascinating to watch the process you came up with. Just when we all think you hit your peak, you climb to another level. My hat off to you, my friend! So far it looks wonderful!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

3474 posts in 2282 days


#3 posted 08-08-2010 04:21 PM

You’re really doing it! Looks great, so far!

Thanks for the blog. Helps the confused brain, trying to figure that out. WOW!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2434 posts in 2840 days


#4 posted 08-08-2010 04:30 PM

Your pre-planniing skill is amazing… altering the pattern to compensate for the lid separation cut, adding in tape for some unknown to us reason. Thanks for the blog and allowing us to follow along. Good thing I’m so tall, and can look over all the other peoples’ shoulders hunched over your work bench.

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1057 posts in 1963 days


#5 posted 08-08-2010 04:40 PM

I think this would be an incredibly difficult challenge in a table top size. But to take it down to millimeters!! You amaze me. Thank you so much for the blog; I am still waiting for my mind to click on the cutting and recutting required for even a simple pattern.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1870 days


#6 posted 08-08-2010 04:45 PM

BOO….....UUUH
at this stage of the weekend isnĀ“t the best time to start in your classroom again proffessor
too many hours at work and not enoff sleep
but at least it looks confusing to look at as usual even with only one half eye open and the brain shot off
I will return tommorow with the brain in learning mode
before you start svinging your shity-stick

looking forward to your next installment Martyn
Dennis

View Flemming's profile

Flemming

417 posts in 1651 days


#7 posted 08-08-2010 05:21 PM

wow, you move quick :) looks excellent! i’m following with interest!

-- Flemming. It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View Kate's profile

Kate

400 posts in 2629 days


#8 posted 08-08-2010 05:42 PM

Incredible. I’m exhausted just watching you.

-- Kate, http://www.wooden-box-maker.com

View Randy63's profile

Randy63

234 posts in 1647 days


#9 posted 08-08-2010 05:44 PM

Thanks for sharing your steps on how you acheived this pattern. Tremendous amount of tedious work and effort was involved. It would be interesting to know your method of ripping the ultra thin strips of material for the pattern. 1mm is scary small. Look forward to the rest of your blog.

-- Randy, Oakdale, Ca.

View Ross's profile

Ross

30 posts in 1605 days


#10 posted 08-08-2010 06:55 PM

going gr8 chap, keep it up!

-- after hours of labour, i've broken it more....but at least it's colourful!!!

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4448 posts in 1791 days


#11 posted 08-08-2010 07:04 PM

WW – I think your scrap pile must have caught a glimpse of one of my patterns, over your shoulder. It contacted me! LOL

Barbs – All will be revealed

All – Thanks for the encouragement

Randy – I refer you to my Little Bess Box, personal challenge blog, here Third pic,I used a 12mm piece of MDF as a zero clearence jig.

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

View mafe's profile

mafe

9693 posts in 1844 days


#12 posted 08-08-2010 07:24 PM

It’s going to be fantastic. I cant’wait to see the result.
It’s talking to this architects mind, I have to try something like that once.
Thank you for sharing this.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4448 posts in 1791 days


#13 posted 08-08-2010 07:25 PM

Thanks, Mads. I’d have loved to have been an Architect but I never had the self-confidence.

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

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 2080 days


#14 posted 08-08-2010 07:29 PM

I’m seeing the optical illusion. Really crafty work.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4941 posts in 2637 days


#15 posted 08-08-2010 07:50 PM

Hey Prof, Looking good. You are really good in working in small. I am jealous.
I don’t understand why you need 2 full patterns, but I am sure all will be revealed.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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