Project - Lever-Action Boxes #4: Starting the Finishing

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Blog entry by Dekker posted 10-25-2007 01:03 PM 1542 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Since I don’t have one of those fancy japanese saw blades with no set, I sanded the keys off with 100 grit (being careful to stop before touching the box), then taking the rest off with 150 grit and finishing the entire box with 220. Of course, I decided to take it one step further, and I went over it again very gently with 320 grit. I then did a quick vacuuming of my work area, and got things prepared.

The end of this pair of boxes is now in sight. Here you can see the two boxes laid out on my tablesaw ready to be finished.
Waiting to be finished

For a variety of reasons, I am going to finish the boxes with pure Tung oil, and then topcoated with a few coats of shellac. This first application is a VERY THIN coat of Tung, probably 3/4 spirits and 1/4 pure tung oil.
Finishing has begun! Thinned tung oil

You can really see the difference in colour between the bare/raw lacewood (left) and the lacewood with the tung oil on it.
Compare bare wood with wet lacewood

I just love the pattern that is visible on this lacewood. I won’t be able to see these boxes in the daylight until the weekend, so I’m anxious to get the finish applied so I can see the full effect this weekend.
Lacewood box

What can I say… I really love the look of “wet” wood!
Wet lacewood boxes

Though it looks exactly like the last photo, this one is after 5 minutes of soaking in, and after I wiped off the surface excess.
After removing the excess

These next two shots are of the same box top, but from different angles. I was trying to capture that chatroyance that shows itself in lacewood (kinda like those “dunescape” boxes someone else posted). Unfortunately, being in an unfinished state and way too many fluorescent lights being used, the effect is very minimal at this time… I’ll have to see after I’m all finished!
Looking left
Looking right

I had some “issues” with my mitered joints, namely my forgetting the technique of taping the joint prior to glueup… but after adding the keys, I think things came out pretty good.
Mitered corner with keys

And here is a quick demo of the lever action box top. Douglas Bordner and CajunPen were curious to see it in action, so here it is!
Lever action

I think there will only be one more entry for this pair of boxes: final pure tung coats then shellacing. Then they’ll be off to the Projects page!

I know, most woodworkers would have gotten to this step in a day, but it’s the best I can do with family life and a new baby :) And who knows, in 10 years, I may have a “helper” who’ll want to make a birdhouse, dollhouse, doghouse…

-- Dekker -

8 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


13776 posts in 4275 days

#1 posted 10-25-2007 01:18 PM

They are looking great and I doubt that most folks could get there in a day….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4060 days

#2 posted 10-25-2007 02:41 PM

Nice. Dang, that is some pretty wood. I like the lever action.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View mot's profile


4918 posts in 4214 days

#3 posted 10-25-2007 03:34 PM

Nice. Thanks for the demo of the lever action. Great blog, Dek!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Dekker's profile


147 posts in 4058 days

#4 posted 10-25-2007 03:47 PM

Thanks for the encouragement everyone.

I’m actually having fun documenting my process. I guess that’s the point of the blogs ;)

-- Dekker -

View Jon3's profile


497 posts in 4283 days

#5 posted 10-25-2007 05:49 PM

Those are great. You should be able to pick up an inexpensive flush cut dozuki at woodcraft really cheap.

View woodchips's profile


238 posts in 4142 days

#6 posted 10-25-2007 09:05 PM

that lacewood is excellent! very beautiful. great pair of boxes too. i haven’t tried my hand at any boxes yet but i have a nice piece of lacewood that i’m not sure what it will be yet. so perhaps a box is in my future, although i think i’ll just use it for accents as i want to stretch it out a bit so as not to use it up so fast. probably be awhile till i’m able to buy any more.
thanks for posting the boxes they are really great examples of those “small wooden boxes” that Don just loves.

-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

View Dekker's profile


147 posts in 4058 days

#7 posted 10-25-2007 09:08 PM

Actually, this box design stretches the material a long way… I split a 3/4 board in half, to give me bookmatched 1/4” thick box sides and top. Gives a big box for 1/2 the material!

-- Dekker -

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4277 days

#8 posted 10-26-2007 05:02 AM

Man those are HOT!

I am really jealous seeing all those photos posted in the blog.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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