Yes! Finally. The joints have all been cut, and the box is perfectly squared up. No glue yet, and the base and top have not even been started. This was a good exercise. And while the joints are far from perfect, it should look really nice when it’s all done. Interestingly, the joints didn’t necessarily get better as I went along. Each one had its own complications, and I have to say, I don’t really enjoy doing such small dovetails. My new Japanese pull saw arrived yesterday, so the last joint was done solely with that one. It was nice. Here are the thumbnails of the four joints, in the order I did them – click on any one to see a hugemongous version.
One of the biggest lessons I learned was about marking the base of the tails and pins. I had been marking them with pencil, and then following up with a knife before beginning to chisel out. But while I followed the guideline “always leave the lines” when cutting my pins and tails, I failed to follow that on the base. As a result, I cut a little too deep and there are tiny gaps in a couple joints. Here you can see what I’m talking about:
- Should I try to fill those gaps? I heard something once about mixing sawdust with wood glue. I suppose I could also insert tiny wedges in there and cut/sand them down. It’s not the end of the world with them like that, but just thinkin’.
- What do I do next? Do I glue first, before planing or sanding it down?
- Regarding the bottom, what do you suggest – do a stepped rabbet (if I’m even using the right term) so that the walls go all the way to the bottom on the outside, and are recessed into the box bottom on the inside? Having the end grain exposed really takes away from the appearance so I want to cover that up.
- Same thing with the top – I can’t just slice a piece of my board and hinge it on there up on top – the end grain really looks kind of vulgar. So would you do mitered edges glued to an interior panel? I’m really a newb at box building so maybe this is a fundamental thing here – I just don’t know.
[This entry was originally posted on my personal website, Adventures in Woodworking.]