Multi-layered box #1: And so it begins

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 10-11-2014 07:05 PM 1905 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This is a real time blog of a project that I am presently making. If you wish to copy it please wait until I have posted the finished project before doing so. Thank you.

After being sucessful building my last project, The Cage, it occurred to me to attempt something with a few more layers. A theme in my projects before is a rainbow like progression; white, yellow, orange, red, purple and black.
There are woods that closely represent these colours; Sycamore (English), Pau Amarello, Yew (English), Padauk, Purpleheart and Ebony. I thought at first to use these but the pattern I’d come up with would mean that this would be a waste as the bulk of these exotic (and expensive) woods would be obscured by subsequent layers. What to do?

Well English Sycamore is relatively cheap, is a light cream colour and takes dye easily. Result! The box I’m making is to be about 135 mm square x 90 mm high. It’s an EZ Mitre, Shell box so the board I’m making is in the form of a ‘net’. The layers are 1.5 mm thick and all Sycamore. So here are some of the stages of the construction.

Layer 1, Yellow

The parts are all laid out on the sticky side of some clear library film. With a full sized outline drawing below as a guide.

Layer 2, Orange

These two layers are laid ot top of each other, PVA glue between, and clamped in a veneer press.

The result

Registration of the top and bottom patterns can be a problem but with such a relatively large surface area there was little or no slippage duirng glue-up. I think you can see that I’m only dying the areas of the pattern that are not subsequently covered by the next layer.

Layer 3, Red. Seen here overlaid on the other two.

A close inspection showed that whilst the centre of the pattern was well registered

That by the time the pattern edge was reached it was out, by some 1.5mm.

What to do? Well it appeared that the wide strips were oversized, by about 0.5mm. I trimmed them down and remade that layer and all was well. Next.

Layer 4, Purple

Laid on and glued, here is the result, so far

Shown in close up only. Nearly there, Only the black layer to go. I’ve cut, laid and dyed it up but that’s enough for me today. I’ll attack it fresh, tomorrow.

Be seeing you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

7 comments so far

View RogerBean's profile


1598 posts in 2376 days

#1 posted 10-11-2014 07:33 PM

Looks like this one is going to be special. Can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View SteveMI's profile


946 posts in 2717 days

#2 posted 10-12-2014 01:38 AM

I had to go over the pictures several times and am fascinated. My experience is with US sliced veneer that is 0.56 mm. I agree with Roger, this is going to be special.

View jbschutz's profile


498 posts in 2114 days

#3 posted 10-12-2014 02:56 AM

Ah, another example of your fiendish alchemy that drives us over the edge…..looking forward to seeing the result of this trip into the abyss. You always amaze!

-- jbschutz

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1850 days

#4 posted 10-12-2014 04:21 AM


-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4607 posts in 2459 days

#5 posted 10-12-2014 01:27 PM

You are right, Steve, commercially available veneer is in the 0.6 mm thick range. This stock was sawn at 2 mm off of a 75 mm square, Sycamore turning blank and drum sanded down to 1.5 mm.

I had thought to make another, separate, blog entry with my progress but the only thing I’ve done so far is stick on the back and white (backing) layers

back (to be the inside of the box)

backing layer ( this is commercial 0.6 mm veneer)

and finished pattern from the front

This needs to be trimmed to size for mitring. The next time you see this (if I don’t screw it up) should be in the project section as a completed box.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Mip's profile


446 posts in 1501 days

#6 posted 10-12-2014 01:54 PM

Can’t wait to see this one finished. It looks phenominal as it sits.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4607 posts in 2459 days

#7 posted 10-18-2014 06:43 PM

Now finished and posted here.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

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