|Project by manuka||posted 11-12-2014 07:44 PM||2555 views||6 times favorited||8 comments|
EDIT: Added handles and lid. The handles are from Lee Valley. The lid is held in place by four 1/4” magnets also from Lee Valley (felt like playing with those). It’s a surprisingly satisfying closure. The lid is from a pine scrap from a bed I found on the street. The recess in the lid is to accommodate the taller kits (1/2 and 3/8) as the box is the right height for the shortest one (1/4).
After a bad experience with a self-centering dowelling kit whose thread seized, I invested in the 08350 JessEm Dowelling Jig Master Kit and have been wowed with the precision. What was less impressive was the storage that came with it: none at all. After shelling all that cash for that beautiful kit, I wanted a box to put all the pieces away in a tidy fashion.
The box is certainly not a beauty in craftsmanship but as a beginner it was a step up on my skill curve.
Figuring out how to fit all the pieces into a box was fun. I am quite poor at visualizing in three dimensions and had a lot of help from my girlfriend who could be a 3D tetris master. It took a number of tries to find a pleasant configuration and that process was stimulating.
The body of the box came out of an old plank a friend gave me some time ago—I think he said it was some mahogany taken from a yacht. After scraping the varnish the timber came up gorgeous. The bottom is from a scrap of pine. The insert is from a scrap of malas timber, which to me split a bit too easily. The finish is plain tung oil.
Making the trenches on the table saw was a learning experience: the last ones were better than the first. My narrowest chisel is 1/2” wide so I may try to clean up the trenches if I find a cheap 1/4” chisel.
At some stage there was a lot of cutting and gluing of very small pieces for the insert and I found these small cuts very challenging. Sometimes I resorted to chiseling to get a tiny piece out of an already small piece.
Naturally I thought I’d assemble the box with dowels but the Jessem kit only has instructions for (1) how to join boards flush and (2) joining perpendicular at an arbitrary location. Both methods work perfectly but I needed to dowel boards at 90 degrees flush at the edge (butt joint); there were no instructions for that and what I tried was not precise enough. Since then I tried a different procedure that seems to work (posted on one my second reply below).
So on the box what looks like dowelling holes are, for some, deeply countersunk screws covered with putty, and for others dowels inserted after the box was screwed together.
- Might add a lid at some stage but not sure yet how to attach it. Wondering if some rare earth magnets would be a good application there.
- Also might add handles at some stage, not sure which way to go.
Update: I see that Todd made a beautiful box for the same kit.
Thanks for looking!