|Project by Pwilhelm||posted 10-05-2016 06:28 PM||857 views||5 times favorited||9 comments|
My wife’s best friend was moving out of the country last fall with her husband and his job, so I wanted to make something for them before they left. I was thinking of a jewelry box of some sort, but for me, projects don’t really take shape until I get a good look at the wood. I asked the guy at the local lumber shop if they had anything interesting in walnut or maple, and he said he had just set aside a curly piece of Ambrosia (wormy) maple. That, and a piece of walnut with a big knot and some nice figure at one end made for a good start.
I had bought an Irwin dado set and was interested in trying some finger joints and this seemed like the right project for it. I built a sliding miter tray for my little table saw and started trying finger joints on a few pieces of scrap. It was a real eye-opening experience to see how a tiny amount of slop in the joint was completely too much, visually anyway. Just 1/32” of error was enough to make the joint either not go together or be too sloppy to look good. In any case, practice makes perfect (well, better anyway), a couple hours of tweaking and refining the width of the dado and my marking and cutting technique improved the result and I was fairly happy with the outcome of the joints.
The box turned out looking a little more like a coffin or an urn than I had hoped. I could have made it shallower, but what part of that grain and figure would you cut off and throw in the scrap pile? Sometimes the appreciation of the wood itself gets in the way of the project.