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Walnut Watch Box

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Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 01-15-2017 11:49 PM 1027 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thought I’d try making a small “finished” box for my watches. Had some walnut and maple and thought they would make a smart looking combination for this.

I re-sawed the walnut to create book matched side panels. After I found one of the boards had some stress in it and bowed a little. That didn’t make me happy. So I cut the side pieces to rough size and then wet the side that was causing the bow. I then clamped them in my bench vise for about an hour. Low and behold, they straightened out and stayed that way. Whew! :)

Re-sawing the walnut for the sides. You can see the side with the stress starting to bow.

Checking the fit after milling to size and profile.

Finish sanded the center panel for the lid which is maple and mahogany, and checked the fit.

The basic box glued up. It’s not perfect. Bill, think of order of operations! I didn’t have the lid panel finished and went ahead and glued up the sides with the bottom while the panel glue dried. Mistake. I should have at least cut a blank from some MDF and used in in place of the maple lid panel, to help keep the sides perfectly square. When the lid panel dried, I could have pulled out the MDF blank with a screw and installed the maple panel. Doh!

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o34/bilk22/Woodworking/Walnut%20Watch%20Box/IMG_5062.jpg

Anyway I have some details to add to the box so hopefully I can cover my error.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)



13 comments so far

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BurlyBob

5555 posts in 2292 days


#1 posted 01-16-2017 03:23 AM

Nice! I like the chamfer on the lid. That’s an idea I might borrow on my black walnut box.

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

6565 posts in 3174 days


#2 posted 01-16-2017 11:56 PM

Looks like this is going to be a beautiful watch box!

My only concern is with the solid maple lid. When it expands and contracts, it’s going to play havoc with your mitered corners. If you haven’t already glued up the lid completely, is there a way you can make a deeper rabbet/groove for the panel to expand/contract underneath the mitered lid frame?

If so, then you can just glue the lid panel in the center, and let it move without it breaking the lid frame!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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builtinbkyn

2368 posts in 967 days


#3 posted 01-17-2017 05:39 AM

Hey Dean. Thanks for the input and complement. Unfortunately the box is already glued up and segmented. This is a first time experience for me – making a decorative box. I was going to pick up some veneered panels for this, but had a scrap piece of maple sitting around. It was a cut-off that had a big knot in it. It’s been in the shop for almost a year and thought this was a nice use for it. I milled the panel 1/4”. Do you still think it will be a problem? I guess at this point I’ll just have to roll with it and hope for the best :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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builtinbkyn

2368 posts in 967 days


#4 posted 01-17-2017 05:59 AM

I had a few hours to spend in the shop continuing the box. I also wasted a bit of that time figuring out how I was going to cover my mistake in the glue-up. Basically what I did was trim away some of the walnut around the perimeter of the maple frame and glue on some mahogany trim pieces that overhang the sides. A small gap around the maple panel is noticeable, but a slight variation of the overhang really isn’t. so I think I can live with the results.

First up after trimming about 5/32” from the top edge of the walnut sides was to then separate the lid from the bottom. I have some Delta blades I like to use for smaller more delicate work. The make a 1/16” kerf.

Then I cut some mahogany strips to glue around the maple panel to hide the gap from the glue-up.

Test fitting things.

And what I ended up with so far.

I have a few more details I’ll be adding, and then it’s time to put the finish on. I picked up some crushed velvet for the lining. Not looking forward to doing that part :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

6565 posts in 3174 days


#5 posted 01-17-2017 06:23 PM

Bill,

Well, for a first-time experience, you’re doing a fine job!

As you gain more experience, you’ll notice how wood moves. The wider the board, the more it moves. Wood also will move according to the season. For example, during the summer, wood will expand—and even though the relative humidity is low—warmer air holds much more moisture than cold air, and wood will absorb that and expand.

The opposite occurs during the winter, as even though the relative humidity is high, cold air doesn’t hold as much moisture as warm air, and wood will contract.

The reason I mentioned this in my previous post, is that you glued up the panel during the winter, when it’s already contracted. As you approach summer, it will expand, and could open the miter joints in the frame.

I’m not trying to scare you, by the way!

Since your panel is relatively small, and it’s only 1/4” thick, you’ll probably be ok. Or just get away with a little bit of gapping at the corners, that nobody else would notice.

With solid wood, you need to accommodate expansion/contraction of wood.

Another option is to use a plywood or MDF panel as a base and veneer your nice wood on top. That way you avoid the expansion/contraction issues altogether. If your bandsaw can slice off less than 1/16” then you can make your own veneers, and you’re all set.

Fortunately for me, I had a shop teacher who drilled expansion/contraction into our heads! But I’ve seen many new woodworkers who don’t realize that wood moves, and end up learning these lessons the hard way…....

Looking forward to seeing the finished box!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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builtinbkyn

2368 posts in 967 days


#6 posted 01-17-2017 11:14 PM

Hey Dean. Thanks for the follow-up. I’m somewhat of a newbie in terms of having a wood shop, but not necessarily new to working with wood. However making furniture and furnishings isn’t what I did in the past – well not much of it anyway. I’m familiar with the fact that wood does change dimensionally with moisture. I guess in this instance I didn’t consider it because of the scale and size of the pieces, but I’m sure you’re right that this does need to be considered no matter the scale of the project. I did consider using veneered panels, but I had that piece of maple sitting there staring at me :) I did mill it down to be relatively thin, but it should be free-floating as you suggested. I’ll certainly have to be more conscious of how I think about assembly of even small items such as this box, moving forward.

I was able to do a little more work on the box this afternoon. Even with the two mistakes I made thus far, it’s not looking bad. Hopefully I can get a decent finish on it, when assembly and sanding is completed. The mahogany trim added a really nice contrast to things I think. It also hides my mistake – the gap on the side where I did a terrible job of gluing up.

A few pics of the process and my make-shift miter box.

I keep this piece at the miter saw to help eliminate or reduce blowout on smaller pieces or when a finer cut is needed. However the mahogany was just too thin and delicate to use the miter saw so I had to improvise. Used a Dozuki dovetail sawfor nice clean cuts. Wedging the strips between the fence and that piece of mahogany helped me achieve clean cuts.

I used the 1-2-3 blocks for ballast to keep the workpiece steady. Clamps would have just gotten in the way.

Seems to be coming together nicely even though it tested my patience a bit. :O

I may add some detail to the bottom edge – another mahogany band by itself or with some mahogany feet at each corner. I guess I’ll have to cut a few pieces to see what looks best. Flying by the seat of my pants with no plans LOL

Oh I see I didn’t state it anywhere. The box will hold six watches on pillows and will be lined with crushed velvet.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

6565 posts in 3174 days


#7 posted 01-18-2017 12:46 AM

Definitely look’n good, Bill!

I’m considering building a watch box, myself, and am particularly interested in the watch pillows you’ll be using!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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builtinbkyn

2368 posts in 967 days


#8 posted 01-18-2017 02:06 AM

Thanks Dean. Amazon has the pillows separately listed as do some other sources. Some are better than others. I like the kind that have a side structure. They hold up better than the pillows without. Search Amazon and you’ll see the difference between the two.

Link


Definitely look n good, Bill!

I m considering building a watch box, myself, and am particularly interested in the watch pillows you ll be using!

- Mean_Dean


-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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Mean_Dean

6565 posts in 3174 days


#9 posted 01-18-2017 04:48 AM

Thanks for the link, Bill—I’ll definitely order a set.

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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builtinbkyn

2368 posts in 967 days


#10 posted 01-18-2017 02:18 PM

NP Dean. I wanted to say, this is exactly why I try to blog my projects. Information gets shared and if there’s some step along the way that others see a mistake in or have a suggestion for doing it differently next time, then I get something from it too. I’m still learning the finer and even basic points of woodworking. Without getting formal training somewhere, this is the next best thing. If I just posted completed projects, I may never learn something from my mistakes when they aren’t readily apparent to me.


Thanks for the link, Bill—I ll definitely order a set.

- Mean_Dean


-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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builtinbkyn

2368 posts in 967 days


#11 posted 01-24-2017 06:02 PM

A little more time spent on the box. Put some finish on it over the weekend. A few coats of clear Bullseye shellac followed by a cut mix of amber/clear to tone things up a bit and then two coats with some rattle can satin clear poly. Lightly sanded between coats and then rubbed out the poly with some paste wax and steel wool. I think the finish looks ok. May try something different next time.

Drying time is always frustrating so it had to be put to something productive. I spent it making some drawer organizers. Way overdue for that. I also went thru my lumber, discarding cut-offs that were really junk and organizing my lumber rack including installing wheels that were shorter than the wheels that were on it, enabling me to tuck the cart under the wall mounted rack.

I receive the faux suede that will line the box. This will be affixed to 1/4” MDF for the divisions and to card stock for the bottom and sides. It’s self-stick, which should make the process go smoother with less mess.

Now just need some hardware which I think arrives this evening. :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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builtinbkyn

2368 posts in 967 days


#12 posted 01-26-2017 08:12 PM

After making the divisions in the box, I lined it with the faux suede. It was nice having the adhesive backing vs using spray adhesive. I would have made a mess with that stuff.

Hardware arrived in the mail. I should have time to finish things over the weekend.

The Rockler branded quadrant hinges are no where near as nice as the Brusso, so I’ll be using them. The Rockler are much thinner and seem to hang a bit when operating. They are also plated vs solid brass.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

6565 posts in 3174 days


#13 posted 01-26-2017 11:23 PM

You’re going to get a lot of enjoyment from this beauty! Be sure to post it as a project when you’ve got the hinges on.

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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