MY “WHAT IF” PROTOTYPE BOX.
THE FINISHED BOX.
If you are interested, I’m posting a blog on this box including the steps Murphy guided me through. LOL!
What I’ve learned on Lumberjock’s says that a box is not a box. I’ve seen many wonderful and varied ”Art Boxes” on Lumberjock’s. My original excitement for this art form came from Andy who posted blogs on how to build his type of Art Box. The next inspirational artist is ”thesoutherner,” Greg, who is an exceptional sculptor and innovator. He has been supportive and is provided personal guidance. A lot of credit for this box goes to ”Big Al the Box Guy.” Al has provided an extensive blog for those of us who are building a box for the first time. I also want to give thanks to my Lumberjock’s Buddy Randy, whose avatar is “Blackie.” And Klaus Kiefer’s the innovative use of the table saw in developing boxes
This box prototype is in preparation for a hardwood box to be built formy friend Mark Hillard who wanted a “box for my treasures,” and gave me some parameters to work from. It is to be square and the size a record album. It is also to have a piano hinge rather than a butt hinge which he feels are too flimsy.
I several concepts in mind, but it requires practice to gain knowledge through experience regarding techniques and practices in building a box.
The box that you see is the result of Murphy’s mentoring as well as my imagination and adding different techniques I have observed demonstrated by master craftsman/woodworkers such as Charles Neil.
I’m using construction materials that I have acquired over many years for use “Someday!” And this is that Some Day! I culled some, one x eight pine that can be at least 10 years old or more.
I use my tablesaw Sled with a stop to cut the board into 12 inch sections and then set the saw to 45° to miter the ends.
I used my grizzly bandsaw to cut and arch into the bottom of the sides of the box before assembly to add some interest as well as practice. I probably could’ve used a router but the table that I have for my router would not accommodate a large box.
Cutting slots to the thickness of approximately quarter-inch for the top and the bottom. It required two passes on this one 8 inch saw blade.
Laying out the sides at the miter joints with blue painter’s tape which is supposed to be that easy way to glue the box together. LOL! There is a problem though that Murphy did not tell me about. Even though I kept the mitered boards enclosed in a plastic bag and together, I experienced what Charles Neil had demonstrated regarding tension release in cut wood. The result of the tension release caused distortion in my previous straight wood!
It’s a good thing I bought a lot of F clamps. Some of them were still in the package. When I see a box built on YouTube all that is needed is painters tape! No one-including Murphy told me that “if your wood is not straight, your mitered corners will be flush! I’m glad I bought a lot of extra clamps when Harbor Freight had a sale.
My last project posted was a “BOX SPLINE JIG” which is shown in this picture and I built to facilitate putting splines in the mitered corners with Walnut harvested from my chainsaw milling. ( THERE IS NO WATER OR COFFEE IN THE CUP ON THE SAW…lolo)
:Using my back saw to flush cut the Walnut splines.
This is my ”what if I did that?” Learning experience. I’ve seen Charles Neil plow out wood with his tablesaw before shaping a seat. A board is clamped at an angle across the bed of the tablesaw so that the blade is plowing out wood at the height set, which in this situation is about half the thickness of the board. It Worked!!
Using big Al’s blog, I proceeded to use the tablesaw to cut off the lid of the box. Due to Al’s suggestion about tear out I was successful and will continue to use his technique. I also used Al’s blog to determine the depth of cut and how to apply the piano hinge.
After looking at my planned/imagined top made of Walnut, I decided to go with quarter-inch mahogany that provided a less busy box overall. As you can see the knots and the pattern of the wood as well as the curved shape of the box with feet do not need more visual movement.
Before attempting to make a box I built a 2’ x 4’ Downdraft Table, which I have yet to post. It was necessary for dust control in enclosed environment here in Southern Minnesota in the wintertime. After I figured out how to use it, by reducing the work area, I was able to use my oscillating sander to clean up the box prior to putting a finish on it.
Putting the finish on the old aged pine. I used a sealer and then a couple of coats of waterborne polyurethane.
Thanks for checking this out and if you have yet to build your own box. I’m hoping that my misadventure with Murphy gives you encouragement to create your own Art Box. As always, your comments, criticisms and humor are invited and welcomed.
-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher