A Keepsake Box for Izzy from reclaimed wood. #2: Making nice wood from "garbage".

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Blog entry by paratrooper34 posted 11-24-2012 01:16 AM 2356 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Beginning Part 2 of A Keepsake Box for Izzy from reclaimed wood. series Part 3: Long and productive day!!! »

I spent the day making final preparations to the boards to begin making the box. I did final cleaning up, jointing, face planing, and cutting rabbets. I decided to use Roy Underhill’s 11 groove box that I saw him do on one of his latest shows for how I would construct this box. I originally wanted to do a dovetailed box, however, I like the grain of this wood and I don’t want the joinery to be the “story” of the box. So with mitered and splined corners, the wood grain will be the most prominent feature as opposed to the joinery.

When I left off last, I started the preliminary sizing and cleaning up. Today I got it all done. The first thing I did was remove more of the width of the board that I am using for the sides. When I got it finished on the edges, I determined that I wanted to take off just a bit more which would remove the nail holes that were really close to that edge. I used the panel marking gauge and used my heavy duty rip saw to make the cut. I have two rip saws; a LN 7 ppi and this old Disston, which I think is 5 ppi. It is a very nice saw that I restored and it cuts very fast. For long lengths, this is the saw to use. I also had to remove a half roundover on the board that I am using for the top. Here is the ripping of the boards.

Found these little beauties after I started the first cut. I nicked the the one that is second from the combo square. It did no damage as I stopped very quickly after I realized I hit it. So I put the board back on the bench and after some digging, I found all four of these bunched up on the edge just under the surface. Good thing it wasn’t on a table saw, I probably wouldn’t have noticed until I checked the cut after it was done.

After I had the boards ripped to size, I used the jointer planes and got the edges dressed up. I first used my #8, but realized that I needed just a little bit more length as the end that was closest to me was just a tad low. So I used the extra length of my huge wood bodied jointer, a J. Kellogg, which made short work of getting that edge straightened out. Below is a link for info on that plane. Not sure how old it is, but it looks pretty old.

Once I got them both jointed, I had one more board, the one that will be the sides, that needed a face cleaned up. Here is what it looked like before I started.

Here is what it looked like after I used a #5 to clean it up.

Now all of the faces are cleaned up and jointed. However, with boards this long, I needed to make sure the edges were coplanar. To do this, I set a combination square to the same width as the narrowest point of the board for the sides. I then scribed down the entire board and found it was out by about an eighth of an inch at at a pretty big distance of the board. To show this, I used blue tape to show where it was not straight.

Fixing this was simple: I used the #5 to remove the hump and then ran the #8 jointer to bring the whole edge square. This made the board coplanar over the entire length. Next step was to cut off the edges that had splits in them. These splits seemed to have come from where nails were driven in. I didn’t notice when I took out the nails, but it appears the cut nails were not oriented correctly which could lead to a stress crack.

Once I had the boards cut down to lengths I wanted to work with, it was time to break out my Stanley 45 and cut some rabbets. The initial run is three rabbets on the interior face of the the board for the sides. Two 1/4” rabbets for the top and bottom and a third which will hold small strips to hold the top in position when the top is on. This is a 3/4” rabbet and like the other two, cut to a depth of 1/4”.

I wanted to show off my box that I made for the 45. I made it from some QSWO I had and some maple accents and top. Simple box, and it holds everything that goes with the 45. Here are a couple of pics of the box. I like having the plane and all of its parts and pieces in one spot together.

I set up the 45 with depth adjusters on both sides. This helps to keep the rabbets square to the face. Here is that set up. I have a hard time keeping the cuts square when only using one depth adjuster, so for me, this is the way to go.

I did have one mistake when cutting the rabbet for the bottom. The fence was not tightened down enough and the result was it moved slightly away from the pane body causing a wider rabbet than intended as the plane pushed in toward the middle of the board. Unfortunately I didn’t catch until it was too late. Stupid mistake. I always make sure I tighten everything down, but slipped it this time. On the subsequent cuts, I make sure everything was tight. Here is the board with all the rabbets cut. Luckily the only rabbet messed up is on the bottom and it won’t be seen unless it is looked at closely.

So that ends this entry. Next I want to put a profile around the top edge of the box. I will break out the hollows and rounds to do that. After that, I will be cutting the strips for the inside rim, preparing the top and bottom, and cutting the sides. After I get those done, I will cut the rabbets for the splines and make the splines. Once those are done, I will start assembly.

NOTE: Replace the word “rabbet” with the word “groove” everywhere you see it. I inadvertently used the wrong term, many apologies. The cuts I made are obviously not rabbets.

-- Mike

4 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29588 posts in 2395 days

#1 posted 11-24-2012 01:53 AM

I have utter admiration for those of you skilled with hand tools. I am much to impatient for them.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


712 posts in 3330 days

#2 posted 11-24-2012 03:37 AM

Absolutely exquisite! I so enjoy those who know how to treat their hand tools as well as they how to use them! Well done, sir!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Frankenboom's profile


6 posts in 2067 days

#3 posted 11-24-2012 04:21 AM

Beautiful box and amazing hand tool work! I only wish I could quickly learn to use them, and to learn to use them quickly… :D

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 3009 days

#4 posted 11-24-2012 09:45 PM

Thanks everyone! Much appreciated!

-- Mike

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