|Project by maplerock||posted 07-25-2015 02:23 PM||5840 views||10 times favorited||15 comments|
I’ve been wanting to try something like this for a long time. Finally, I got around to it. An old oak board called out to me a few weeks ago. “Make something out of me” it said. It was a 1×8 about six feet long. The box I had in mind was kind of complicated for me, and since this board was basically scrap, and begging me to make it pretty, I said “OK.”
I planed it and the old stains of dirt and oil disappeared. There were a few blemishes, but all in all, it was a pretty handsome board. I cut it into the proper lengths for my box, sanded it, put a dado in for the bottom, and got to work.
I used a 45 degree jig on my table saw to cut the mitres and I glued it up with titebond trim and moulding glue. I used to use modified cargo ratchets to clamp my boxes, but now I use the retractable clamps with a squeeze grip. An awesome addition to my shop.
Ordinarily I put splines in my mitred corners, but for this box I only used glue. The reason being that I used wooden straps for detail, and the splines might have caused problems. I planed the same oak for the top, cut pieces for the tray and the runners from it, and glued on the top. I use a press with threaded rods to tighten the press. After a few hours I cut off the excess top and trimmed it flush.
On most of my boxes I rout all of the edges with a ½ roundover, but for this one I needed a rectangular box with squared corners. I then cut off the top with my tablesaw (a very dangerous step), installed the rails, and sanded out the thumb lift. Then it was time to cut the mortises for the hinges, and install those painful contraptions. I dread it much of the time, but luckily It went well!
After that I cut walnut straps about 1/8th inch thick. Mathematically I calculated how to space them and began gluing them on. That glue makes wood slippery at times, and great care is needed when clamping to be sure they don’t move. I cheated with a few ½” pin nails.
After all the glue is set, I turned it over to my wife for finishing. This is a rare box for us, as we used walnut stain. It gave the oak a nice warm look, and it affected the walnut straps very little. After the stain and multiple coats of Minwax wipe on poly, it was time to install the carpet tacks. It was tedious, and I had to measure, punch and drill perfectly. They went on pretty smoothly and give the box a really neat look.
Finished off the box and tray with suede bottoms, brass chain, and felt pads on the bottom, and it was ready.
All in all it was time consuming and different from any of my previous box building experiences. It has become my favorite box to date (but I say that after every box I build!) I get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I look at it… is that weird?
I hope you like it! *
-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana