The box is almost done. First thing I did today was cut the top to fit. I inititially cut it the same size as the box but decided to cut it a bit smaller so that the corners would show through which I thought gave it a nicer look. I also rabbited the under side of the top a bit to hold it in place. I generallly like lift off lids better than hinged lids for a couple of reasons: I think the metal of a hinge can distract from the beauty of the wood, and I’m too lazy to go buy the hinges.
Second thing I did was to get the box rough sanded to 100 grit. I need to go a couple more levels finer before it will be ready to finish. I almost got that done today but my dinner was getting cold…
Tommorrow I’ll complete the sanding and start applying the finish. I’ll be finishing it with just several coats of shellac and wax. I used to always finish with oil and a top coat of lacquer. When I set up my own shop I quickly decided that spraying lacquer in my garage next to my furnace was asking for trouble so I switched to water based polyurethanes. I like that for table tops becasue of its’ durability but it’s slow to dry making it difficult to work with in a small shop since I don’t have a dust free finish room. And for small projects like this box it’s a real pain to have to clean the spray gun. I tried using sheallac for the first time last year and it’s become my favorite finish for most projects, espeically small ones. It’s not as durable as a lot of finishes but it drys fast so there is little problem with dust setteling on it and I can apply alot of coats in a short time. There is also no risk of oily rags burning my shop down. It’s a natural and even edible product (after it dries), and it’s really easy to repair since every coat partially disolves the previous one.
Anyways, here’s a couple of photos of the box. The next photos will be of the finished box and posted as a project which I’ll try to get done tommorrow. I hope people have found this usefull and I’m looking forward to seeing someone use my technique for double dovetails in a project of their own.
-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.