|Project by WWilson||posted 1213 days ago||1655 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
This box was a present for one of college friends who now lives in Germany. The wedding is in Germany and unfortunately, I am not able to attend. I made this for he and his bride to commemorate their special day.
Box Sides: Cherry
Top Panel: Spalted Maple
Keeper Strips & Handles: Black Walnut
Bottom: 1/4” ply (get the good stuff from Woodcraft, etc. It is definitely worth the few extra $$)
2 coats Danish Oil (hand rubbed)
Length: 8 3/8”
Width: 5 5/8”
Sides: 3/8” thick.
-Spalted Maple Top
- Lift lid w/ keeper strips & handles
This was my first attempt at half lap joints. I actually got the idea for this type of joint from FWW #201 (“The right drawer for your project”). That article got me thinking about using something other than keyed miters for my boxes. I did all the joinery on the router table and have to say it came out really good. I added the pins for extra strength and for some aesthetic nuance.
The dowels are just hardware store grade dowel. In retrospect I should have either bought Walnut dowel or a dowel plate to make my own. I had to use what I had on hand but next time I will keep that in mind. The dowels were trimmed up with a low angle block plane. Worked great and left a very nice surface.
I would like to thank Matt Kenney from FWW for inspiring me to use keeper strips on this box. I saw some videos of him making some boxes that used this style lid and thought I would give it a try. The fit is excellent. I will definitely make more boxes with this style lid.
The recesses in the sides were cut by hand with a chisel. You can see the marks and I make no apologies for that. I call it character… When I cut the handles into the lid I decided they needed the entire 3/8” gluing area. That drove the need to make cut outs in the keeper strips so the lid would close. Didn’t find that little baby until I tried to close it up for the first time… Ah, yes planning or lack thereof. At any rate I recovered and I think it came out pretty good.
What I Learned / Things to Consider
1.) When making box sides with grooves in them (for the lid, keeper strip, bottom, etc), make sure you make at least 5. Use the extra one as your guide / quick set up for next time. Oh yeah, when you sand off the marks on the outside of the box, this extra piece will save you from cutting the lid off in the wrong place (and possibly ruining an otherwise perfect lid – not that I did that or anything….). This is CHEAP INSURANCE (and will really speed up your set up time for the next box you make like this)!
2.) I glued the top panel into a small rabbet cut into the inside of the lid. Not sure if wood movement is going to get me on this one. Consider wood movement before you get to cutting.
3.) Use hand planes as much as you can. I said this in my last posting and it’s worth saying again. The handles were “rounded” with my low angle block plane. Yeah it doesn’t look like a router did the job but that’s the point – small details that tell you it is hand made. Keep your tools sharp. Sharp tools are happy tools.
4.) 3/8” thick sides seems just about right for small boxes like this. I will continue to use this thickness because it doesn’t make the box feel too heavy but gives ample structural integrity.
Thanks for looking.