|Project by Pablo83||posted 1430 days ago||1353 views||4 times favorited||20 comments|
Hi LJ’s, long time lurker, first time poster here (in the projects section, at least)
I built this as a gift for my girlfriend for her birthday, and for finishing nursing school (got to love those ‘kills two birds with one stone’ gifts!)
It is walnut with cocobolo edge banding, cherry drawer sides/dividers, black velvet lining and brass hardware. Approx 8×12x6.5”. This project was quite the journey for me, mainly because I had to make due with limited tools. For example, when cutting the half-blind dovetails in the drawer (I don’t have a router) I realized I only had old, dull chisels. And no grinding wheel. So I read up on ScarySharp, and after scrounging around for some plate glass and putting in a little elbow grease I FINALLY had suitable chisels to attempt hand cutting these things! Come to think of it, I think the only power tools I used were a planer, table saw (with no dado blade!) and 1/4 sheet sander.
For the finish, after much fretting and worrying I finally chose BLO to start (on sample pieces I found it gave a better look then tung oil, and two types of watco oil) followed by an attempt at french polish with orange shellac, then wax. I filled the grain by pumice rubbing the first few layers of the shellac. I don’t think I got the french polish method quite licked, but it sure did turn out shiny and smooth, and my forearms are now somehow 3 times the size that they were when I started finishing…. hmmm…
If I did it again I would: 1) use a different layout/proportion for the dovetails. After reading so much on how to do them, I was so excited to lay them out and start cutting I didn’t give too much thought to how they’d actually look. 2) Maybe use a different accent wood then cocobolo. While beautiful, it was a #$%@ to work with, and the most striking colours (streaks of cream, purple, black) have since mellowed into the (still striking, IMHO) orange and brown you see in the pictures. 3) take wood expansion/contraction into great consideration. The 3-way mitres of cocobolo have opened up EVER so slightly (was cut/glued up during a heat wave around 30C, it’s now around 10C… pretty much the most swing in temp/humidity we get here). It’s amazing actually, since I built the box whole then sawed off the lid on the TS the edge banding and lid were perfectly flush… now when you close the box, you can notice around a strong 1/32” gap on all 4 corners were the banding meets, as it’s shrunk more then the walnut which is cross grained in relation to it.
I would like to say thank you to CharlieM1958 for helping me with a finishing question, and RogerBean for inspiring me by making such nice boxes that it makes mine look like something a 4th grader hacked together in an afternoon :). Seriously, if you haven’t checked out his Walnut Veneer Curved box it will blow your mind. (BLO your mind, maybe?)
The girlfriend was speechless when I gave her the gift (she had seen it in construction, but not finished and couldn’t picture how it would turn out). So were her parents… and friends… and co-workers. I now have requests to make a few more!
Thanks for looking!