|Project by jdh122||posted 09-08-2010 02:22 PM||2855 views||2 times favorited||3 comments|
I made this for a wedding present for a close friend. I vaguely followed the plans from Eagle Lake Woodworking although I did the base differently, used box instead of dovetail joints, used individual boards instead of plywood for the bottom and did the top out of two instead of one piece of plywood.
The whole piece was made out of recovered wood – mostly it came from a church pew that I bought (don’t worry, it wasn’t an antique). All of that wood was too thick, so had to be re-sawn on the tablesaw. But as I didn’t want to throw away the off-cuts, I glued several of these together in order not to throw them away (in the picture of the joint you can see where the splines that were holding the pieces for the pew bottom were left in since I didn’t want to lose all of that wood, plus you can also see that some of the pieces were glued together from two pieces of thinner stock). There is also wood from a school desk that I found in the garbage, and from some old pieces of hardwood floor that I got from a friend. The bottom is made of eastern hemlock that I had left over from a compost bin I built. And the plywood for the top comes from the back of that same pew.
This was my first attempt at the box joint, and I cut the shorter pieces on the router table with a simple shop-made jig. But I found it too hard to try to hold the long pieces vertical, so I used a handheld router with a pattern-cutting bit and then squared them on the bandsaw. It worked fairly well, although one of the four corners turned out pretty rough (that was the one where I tried to square the cuts using a handsaw and chisel before I figured out that the bandsaw would work much better).
I’m a bit embarrassed at the quality of the miters on the top – you can see that I had to fill one of them with a lot of epoxy and sawdust. This is because I originally made the top about 4 inches too long (measure twice, etc), and had to muscle the whole top through the tablesaw with the miter gauge, and then do a plunge-cut straight across with the circular saw, and re-glue it, thereby sacrificing my near-perfect (at least by my rather lax standards) miters.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the results, although sometimes doubt that it was wise to decide to work with all recovered wood (I spent almost as much time getting the wood ready to use as actually making the piece).
-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests