|Project by SwedishIron||posted 09-06-2009 11:01 PM||6512 views||46 times favorited||26 comments|
The boxes primary wood is Sapele, the solid top is a 1/4” Quilted Maple panel, and Gabon Ebony is the accent wood. The escutcheon inlay is handmade out of is some old piano key Ivory that I bought from a guy in Rhode Island “a.k.a. Walnuts” who sells his wears regularly on Woodnet and Ebay. The hinges are from Brasso and the 1/2 mortise lock is from Woodcraft.
Calculating the Dimension of the piece:
As with most projects I make from scratch, I find the aspect of my desired material that I want to use and figure out the limiting factor.. which turned out to be the height of the Sapele boards that I had re-sawn from a huge chunk that I had picked up. Using the height of the boards and plugging that into the Golden Ratio, I calculated the length and depth of the box to maximize the use of my materials.
The entire piece was planed smooth, hand scraped and finally sanded down with 320 git w/d SP. The piece has two coats of Watco Natural Danish Oil. Inbetween both coats of oil the piece was lightly sanded w/ 600 grit w/d SP to help fill the grain of the Sapele. The top was french polished and the rest of the box was bushed Shellac. The shellac solution was about #3/4 pound cut so it was really thin and allowed me to put about three coats on the box in about an hour. It has about 15 coats, but remember they are really thin.
In between each three coat application I would rub down the surface w/ 600 w/d sandpaper using Mineral Spirits as a lubricant. After being satisfied with the overall coverage the final polishing step used Pink Stropping Abrasive compound shaved into a find powder and rubbed into the shellac w/ the direction of the grain using Paste Wax. I didn’t have any Pumice or Rottenstone on hand so the stropping abrasive worked just fine.
How Long did it take
The build took 18 hours.. including hardware, inlay. fixing a few accidental design opportunities.. and included in the build time was the fact that I originally lined the inside w/ Spanish Cedar but I removed it since it really dulled the piece and took way from the overall impact. It wasn’t intended as a humidor so I’m glad the inside was kept plain and not lined. The finishing time took about the same but that was mostly due to the fact I tried many new techniques and spent a lot of time waxing it to get the mirror finish.
Why I built it
The box was made as a thank you gift for some family friends the graciously gave me a complete Stanley #55 Combination plane in its original box. This project is the least I could do to try and compensate them for their generosity.
-- Scott, Colorado