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My Woodworking Projects #1: A last minute gift - dovetail box

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Blog entry by Jordash posted 02-01-2016 01:41 PM 594 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My Woodworking Projects series Part 2: My first plywood carcass project - a painted bookcase »

I realised my last couple of posts were actually woodwork projects rather than workshop projects so I’ve started a new series.

Anyway onto the actual post.

In the run up to Christmas 2015 I realised I didn’t have much for my dad (a print out of a voucher wasn’t very interesting!). My dad has always had an interest in woodwork, so I decided to have a go at a quick project.

I decided to try a dovetail box because I hadn’t done dovetails before and wanted an excuse to try them. I used some of the oak reclaimed from church pews, so everything was 3/4” stock.

First up I planed the original varnish off then I used my table saw to cut the four sides to length. Then it came to the dovetails, after watching a couple of videos I decided to make a marking gauge out of a small scrap (sorry I forgot to take a photo, but it’s just a small scrap with a 1:7 angle chiselled off each face to leave a shoulder). Then I went about cutting the dovetails.

I finally had an excuse to use my Veritas Dovetail saw, which was superb through the oak. I then chose to remove most of the waste with a coping saw, before cleaning it up with a chisel. Then a couple of check fits and ‘finessing’ with a chisel to get a good tight fit.

For the base I just planed a chamfer onto a rectangle slightly larger than the box and glued it down. This may fail at a later date depending on any moisture absorption, but if it does I’ll think of a better way of doing it!

I was going to do the same with the lid, but decided to add a very shallow chamfer onto the lid, which added a lot more interest to the piece:

Then I founfd another small scrap and planed it into a trapezoid shape for a handle. I did chisel out a shallow pocket for this to locate on the lid to avoid a visible glue line, I just clamped it in place whilst the glue went off.

Then I added a couple of small hinges and a small cord to stop it opening too far and tearing the hinges off. Finally I wiped on 3 layers of Danish oil.

It was still drying as I wrapped it on Christmas eve! But it was dry by the time it was opened and my Dad appreciated the effort, so mission accomplished.

Here’s a couple of shots I managed to get:

I filled it with oak shavings and hid a couple of chocolate bars in there.



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