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Good Neighbor Tom's Valet box. Now with big ole finishing screed!

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Project by Douglas Bordner posted 2506 days ago 2685 views 3 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this box for my neighbor Tom as a reward for the “too-many-to-count” times he has saved my bacon. The backstory is this. Tom has a background in engineering, with an immense technical knowledge. He is about my age (50-ish). Since moving into our neighborhood he and his wife Jeannie (who I suspect is somewhat younger than Tom) have had 3 girls (now about ages 11-3). He went back to law school and became a Patent Attorney. Rather than move out west to the ritsy newer suburbs, he and his family have added geothermal heating and are planning an addition to their Craftsman-style 2-story bungalow. He has even ordered salvaged stained glass windows from a dismantled Victorian somewhere off eBay, and is fixin’ to case and hang them in the new addition. I respect this man immensely.

In addition, when I couldn’t figure out how to: change my chopsaw blade without a spanner, pull my car battery when it was deeply corroded to the cabling, fix my sputtering chain saw, rehabilitate the mower that I destroyed while attempting to mow iron gardening implements left in the grass… I called on my good neighbor. He has alway rolled up his sleeves and saved the day for me.

tomsvalet5grain

So here it is. I found this incredible piece of Sapele with figure I have never seen before in this species. It’s almost a birdseye figure, but there are no true knots in the middle of the eyes. It’s not quilted exactly and there is the difference of color around the eyes. I had planed it to close to finished thickness +.125” and left it to acclimatize to the shop. Two days later it was a cupped nightmare. I shaved off a veneer piece and glued the thicker piece to a backer board of spanish cedar to try and tame the cupping. The sapele won. End result: exotic cupped plywood. Next I left the sapele thicker than original specified, split it on the long axis, flipped one piece end-over-end and glued up a slip-match, then created a 3/16 thick 3/8 wide tenon and made breadboard ends from a bit of leftover Lyptus® (Weyerhauser Eucalytus Plantation-Grown in Brazil). Suitably flat, the project continued.

tomsvalet4

Tray is spanish cedar with dividers and lining plus ring holders which are new to this project. Lining ideas courtesy of Emily Palm of Blue Heron Woodworks via FWW#185. Tray is finished with MS/BLO/Pratt & Lambert #38 Alykd varnish (homebrew danish oil with a high resin titration).

Box materials: Sapele (straight and wavy), Walnut, Lyptus® and a dash of fiddleback maple veneer edgebanding on the lid. Box has a “cloud drop” cutaway for finger access below the lid. Lid is simply hinged on pins through the “carcase” into the lid, with the back, underneath edge of the lid radiused to allow “staying” action at 90°. The outer box is finished with a de-waxed shellac sealcoat, Oxford Ultima Spray Acrylic Lacquer (waterborn), rubbed out to P4000 grit with Mirka Abralon pads and a RO sander.

tomsvalet5

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.





33 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2659 days


#1 posted 2506 days ago

what a beautiful gift for another angel on earth!

my favourite feature (other than the beautiful wood) is the little lip for opening the lid. Nice.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15543 posts in 2717 days


#2 posted 2505 days ago

Beautigul box, Douglas!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View coloradoclimber's profile

coloradoclimber

548 posts in 2567 days


#3 posted 2505 days ago

Beautiful box and thanks for the detailed writeup. Hearing the details adds a lot.

View dbkmd's profile

dbkmd

25 posts in 2576 days


#4 posted 2505 days ago

Beautiful! Lots of work but well worth it. A real treasure.

David

-- David

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2535 days


#5 posted 2505 days ago

That’s a very detailed and stylish box. Really nice work!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Paul's profile

Paul

649 posts in 2591 days


#6 posted 2505 days ago

It may be a familiar term to the folks on this forum for “something really pleasurable to look at”, but it was new to me when I first saw it used about a year ago.

“Eye Candy” Your box is “eye candy.”

Very nice! And I also appreciate the write up of the process.

-- Paul, Texas

View woodspar's profile

woodspar

710 posts in 2598 days


#7 posted 2505 days ago

Nice work! I am going to school on you man! This is what I would like to building at some point! Beautiful wood. Good story. Thanks for posting.

-- John

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2745 days


#8 posted 2505 days ago

This very nice woodworking, a lesson for us all. Beautifully made and a great story sounds like a great friend. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Mario's profile

Mario

902 posts in 2550 days


#9 posted 2505 days ago

Nice work. I am sure he will love it.Good neighbor are a true blessing.

-- Hope Never fails

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2585 days


#10 posted 2505 days ago

Extraordinary…...beautiful work…..I need to make my neighbor something…..he hosts the monthly poker game and brews wonderful beer….HHmmm…maybe a nice cigar humidor!

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3948 posts in 2563 days


#11 posted 2505 days ago

Thanks everyone for the kind comments! I especially am pleased by Paul’s eye candy comment.

I have a tiny corollary response. My buddy Jeff (a LJ) works at the Mom and Pop woodworking store here in town where I got my start in woodworking as an adult. I always bring my show-and-tell items out to them as I buy most of my stock and machines through them. I handed it over and Jeff spent about a minute rubbing the box with his hands (now I’m going to date and type myself here with a quote from a Frank Zappa song- he was doing ”the circular motion rub-it”).
That made me very happy with the level of finish, ‘cause it really is as smooth as a baby’s butt and it does beg to be touched. Not bad for not dragging out the pumice and rottenstone, paraffin oil, felt block etc. These Abralon pads borrowed from the automotive finishing industry are just too easy. Hand Candy!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View RonR's profile

RonR

71 posts in 2507 days


#12 posted 2505 days ago

Wonderful craftsmanship! The wood is real awesome, the finish looks great! Thanks for sharing the story, too.

-- RonR, Massachusetts

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2810 days


#13 posted 2505 days ago

The wood types you used are spectacular and the gift is just as spectacular. Sounds like you’ve got a great neighbor and now, a happy one, too.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

11987 posts in 2596 days


#14 posted 2505 days ago

Great box. Thanks for sharing.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14242 posts in 2565 days


#15 posted 2505 days ago

Douglas, sounds like your Good Neighbor also has a Good Neighbor. Very beautiful and thoughtful gift you made for him. Thank you for sharing the craftsmanship and the story.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

showing 1 through 15 of 33 comments

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