|Project by Boxguy||posted 07-07-2015 11:50 AM||2974 views||26 times favorited||42 comments|
Thanks for looking at this posting. I especially appreciate it when you take the time to “have your say” about the projects I post. I try to respond to all comments and criticisms made the first day or two. That is part of the fun for me on this site, so check back for feedback.
Pictured is a box (8×8 x 3 3/4) designed to hold 25 small bottles of essential oil (concentrated scent oil) The hinge is Rockler's 8 inch hinge with a built in stop. This box (above) has sides that are made of teak.
Materials As you can see, there are 12 boxes in this set. They all have Pupleheart corner splines, Anegre attached tops, inserted Melamine bottom boards, and dividers made from wooden Venetian blinds. The sides are made from Teak, Anegre, Black Cherry, White Oak, Zebrawood, Tulip Poplar, and Sweet Gum. Basically, any narrow boards that I had sitting around the shop got a chance to be a box.
Story A local businessman approached me from Essential Oil Quality Alliance. They make great scents. He wanted some quality boxes for special orders. I made him some samples with different shapes, internal arrangements, and woods. We agreed on the specifics and a price. They were to be made of recycled materials, and all have the same shape, and the same woods on the top, bottom, and corner splines. I could vary the side woods. I had crating, cut-offs, old bolsters, and veneer backer boards so recycling was no problem…it is what I do anyhow. He was not in a rush and I could work at my own pace. We would start with 12 boxes.
Probably I should have stopped to do a little more math. That is 144 corner splines to slot, cut, glue, and trim. 48 side boards to form, dado, angle, glue, sand, and finish with 4 coats of finish (1 tung oil , 2 poly, 1 wax) to hand apply and sand between coats. Then there were tops to apply, bottoms to fit … all the usual 125 steps I go through to make a box. This was going to take some time…and it did. Of course there were economies of uniformity but there were still a lot of steps and cuts to form 30 pieces of wood into a box times 12. Each box took about 135 passes over a saw blade to make all the parts. Yikes! That is 1620 saw cuts to make this order! I didn’t do the math at the start; I just slogged away at the boxes and couldn’t figure out why this was taking me so long. Now I know.
Challenges I had never made copies of the same box over and over. I usually make boxes one at a time and put as much variety into that as I can. I make lots of boxes, but not a lot of boxes that are alike. I quickly learned that making copies present some challenges for me. It is difficult to stay focused and concentrate on what I have done to what box. I had to make three or at most four boxes at a time to avoid this. I am not suited to doing the same thing over and over in succession. In the finishing stage this was like putting 48 coats of finish on the same box.
The people who ran the gallery that sold the most of my boxes retired, and I was glad to have the business and appreciate the support. I got to buy a fun new tool as a result of this project and did learn to be more systematic and efficient in my work. This was a new kind of challenge for me, but I am glad this tall order is now filled.
As always, keep boxing and keep posting.
This is an index to my tutorials on Lumber Jocks about making boxes like those pictured above. They are arranged by topic. I hope they are useful. The spline video was fun to make.
Video on making and gluing splines.
Making a jig to cut spline slots:
Jig for 45ing corners:
Making splines with a simple jig:
$5 band clamps:
Combining Wood Colors:
Sizing Tea Boxes and Dividers From Venetian Blinds
Making Kleenex boxes:
Making music boxes
Routers and Rounding edges
Why round box corners?
Organizing a glue-up table:
Adding splines to a box:
Measuring for spline slot cuts:
Installing an attached top: like that pictured above.
Cutting off the box top and sizing piano hinges
Adding finger indents:
More about finger indents.
Mortising and installing hinges:
Tips on making sliding trays: for inside boxes:
Swapping Wood By Mail:
Making a serving tray with angled sides.
Making household boxes:
Roy Underhill's tool tote.
-- Big Al in IN