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Saddle / Tack Caddy #2: Prototype of the Tote Box

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Blog entry by RandyMorter posted 04-04-2011 01:12 AM 2120 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Saddle / Tack Caddy Design Part 2 of Saddle / Tack Caddy series Part 3: Some lessons learned, 4/9/2011 »

Progress as of 4/3/2011

I got a Woodhaven 4555 Box Joint Jig a 2 days ago. I got it set up yesterday to where it makes good 3/8” fingers on a box joint. Today I got to work on the prototype of the tote box – the separate box on the lower left of the original drawing.

First I created a copy of the SketchUp for just the tote box and printed it out. Note that my drawing does NOT incude the finger joints. In the original drawing the length is 20-1/2”. I decided to keep that same length and added a bit to the width for the finger joints. The original drawing has the 13” end pieces drawn inside the side pieces. I needed to add the 1-1/2” but the scrap piece I had was too short so I ended up only increasing the end pieces to 13-1/2”.

I’m making the prototype mainly out of pine 3/4” wood from Home Depot. The box measures 20-1/2” L x 13-1/2” W x 5-1/2” H. It uses box joint construction with a 3/8” D dado up 1/4” from the bottom to hold a 1/4” plywood bottom. I think this bottom will be okay – my wife said it will just be used to hold horse brushes or similar light-weight items. I may go to a 3/8” thick bottom on the “real” version.

On this prototype I only jointed one edge of the material to use for the reference for routing the dado. The stock piece did have some minor twisting / cupping in it and the width isn’t perfect but I thought all I needed was the bottom square in order to get the dado for the bottom to line up.

The other reason I didn’t rip the pieces to a uniform width was because I already had the table saw set up with the dado for making the box joint and I didn’t want to have to set it up again.

Unfortunately I found out I should have had the pieces fully milled because I wanted to reference the box joint from the top of the pieces and that ended up not making the end of the joint perfect at the bottom which was actuall the reference. I should have just referenced the beginning of the box joint from the bottom edge.

The other problem the cupping causes, of course, is that there are slight gaps in the joint. None of them are much more than 1/32” though (by eyesight) and I’m all right with that for this prototype.

I learned another lesson too – the dado for the ply bottom needed to be a blind / stop cut instead of just running it the full length of the pieces. I ended up with notches exposed in the joint itself.

I’m glad I’m going through this prototype phase – on the first step I’ve learned a few lessons!

I haven’t cut the ply for the bottom yet because of the table saw being set up for the box joints.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ



7 comments so far

View Dave's profile

Dave

11205 posts in 1591 days


#1 posted 04-04-2011 04:12 AM

Looking very nice Randy. You will never notice a 32nd after glue up and finish. A quick way to check your dado’s is with a mortising marking gauge.
How many horses do you have? We have 3 here on the home place.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View RandyMorter's profile

RandyMorter

227 posts in 1441 days


#2 posted 04-04-2011 04:51 PM

superdav721 – thanks for the insight. I’ve been wondering about that. The joint I’m getting is pretty tight but not enough to where I really have to force the pieces together. They are tight enough that they hold together even if I hold the box on end. I haven’t actually glued one together yet.

I’ll look into the mortising marking gauge…

My wife has one horse. I couldn’t tell you much about him. I know as much about horses as she does about table saws. You must be into horses quite a bit! Are they just for pleasure riding or do you show or work them?

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View itsmic's profile

itsmic

1419 posts in 1869 days


#3 posted 04-04-2011 05:54 PM

Hi Randy, I am following Your progress, Your sketchup drawings are always impressive. For a prototype, this box is coming along, of course some lessons will be “par for the course”. A useful box with a purpose is always a good project. Thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Dave's profile

Dave

11205 posts in 1591 days


#4 posted 04-04-2011 06:17 PM

Randy my sister in law and her husband do what they call rendezvous. They take real tee pees and horses. Wear period clothes. 1700 and 1800 cowboy and Indian stuff. A little to rough for me. He is a real blacksmith by trade. He has worked at the Agricultural museum for over 15 years as a smith.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View RandyMorter's profile

RandyMorter

227 posts in 1441 days


#5 posted 04-04-2011 08:44 PM

Wow superdav – that’s pretty hard core! I think my wife wants to do something like that here in AZ. I rode a horse for about 30 minutes, perhaps 7 years ago. I got my fill of it then. So the 3 horses at your place belong to your sister in law?

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Dave's profile

Dave

11205 posts in 1591 days


#6 posted 04-04-2011 10:09 PM

We are on family land. Mother in law across the street. Sister in law next door. On and on. Its good for the kids though. We are out in the county but there is always a few adults close buy.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View DavidSchnider's profile

DavidSchnider

1 post in 1036 days


#7 posted 02-22-2012 03:02 PM

tote boxes are great!

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