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Diamond Top Box

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Project by CharlieM1958 posted 2422 days ago 1845 views 6 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I really like checkerboards, and I had the thought recently that it might be cool to use one for a box top. My second thought was that, to add some visual interest, why not turn it 45 degrees to make it more like a diamond pattern. I thought the effect of rounding over the edges and leaving them exposed would be kind of cool, although, in retrospect, I think I would prefer some sort of floating panel arrangement. Oh well… guess I’ll just have to make another one.

The woods used are 1/2” red oak and walnut. The finish is numerous coats of wipe-on poly. To get a really smooth surface on grainy woods, I flood the first few coats on very liberally to fill the pores, then sand everything smooth again doen to 400 grit, then wipe on the last couple of thin coats.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"





40 comments so far

View Mark Mazzo's profile

Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 2508 days


#1 posted 2422 days ago

Charlie,

Nicely done box. The contrast between the Oak and Walnut is very pleasing. I like the 45 degree orientation of the checker pattern too.

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at http://thecraftsmanspath.com

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

14 posts in 2424 days


#2 posted 2422 days ago

I love the box. How did you make the box joints. I tell you if you would not have said something I would have thought you spent alot of glue up time on the top of the box. I never even thought about a checker board what a clever idea.

-- With God all things are possible. Matt 20:26

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2534 days


#3 posted 2422 days ago

I like the exposed edge on the top, it makes the pattern look like it was folded over. The rotation definitely adds interest to the look too. Spiffy box.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2632 days


#4 posted 2422 days ago

Very nice box, Charlie. You’re right, the checkerboard really adds a neat effect.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

2913 posts in 2491 days


#5 posted 2422 days ago

Charlie – I like the box very much. I think I would not like a panel design better. I like the way the top wraps over the edge. I also think you did a nice presentation photo in that last shot. Very artistic of you. :-)

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4739 posts in 2477 days


#6 posted 2422 days ago

The round over edge works for me. Nice little box. Did you find the hinges easy to install?

I agree with Betsy about the photos. They are really nice. Very artsy.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Sgt_Lobo's profile

Sgt_Lobo

87 posts in 2454 days


#7 posted 2422 days ago

Very nice work Charlie. The oak and the walnut contrast very nicely…I may have to steal that combo for a future project. Thanks for sharing.

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15639 posts in 2814 days


#8 posted 2422 days ago

Thanks, Guys!

Delta – There was quite a bit of glue-up time on the top. I started by gluing up alternate strips of oak and maple (6 of each color). Then I crosscut that assembly across the colors, and glued them back together alternating every other strip to create the checkerboard. A lot of work, but not nearly as bad as trying to cut out all the squares individually and gluing them together.

Steve – That was my first experience with quadrant hinges. To do the mortises, I set up my router table using the fence and stop blocks. I guess I was not careful enough, because I ended up being a little oversized on one side. Rather than have that error be so glaring, I opted to round the edge of the two mortises in the back. So if you look at the photo of the open box closely, you’ll see how the mortises slope gently away from the hinge. It is not the best looking solution in the world, but probably the best I could do under the circumstances.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15639 posts in 2814 days


#9 posted 2422 days ago

Thanks also for the photo compliments. One thing I noticed early in my Lumberjocks browsing is that the projects I found most striking were frequently photographed in natural light. So if you want to show your project at its best, take it outside for the photo shoot if possible, in my opinion.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Karson's profile

Karson

34852 posts in 2996 days


#10 posted 2422 days ago

Charlie. Because i studied Drama in high school. and the teacher always told us to look at the big picture and see if it comfortable to the eyes.

My first look at the box was one of beauty and a little busy but pleasing to the eye.

But then I noticed, at least from the pictures, that the squares don’t seem to symmetric on the lid. It maybe the view of the pictures, but the squares look to be closer at the top and left, and further away at the bottom and right.

Again I want to emphasize that I do like the box and it might just be the pictures that make it seem the way that I’m viewing it. It would be nice to have a panoramic viewer on LJ and an ability to make pictures that way.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3960 posts in 2659 days


#11 posted 2422 days ago

Ooh, lookee dem quadrant hinges, mon cheri!
Seriously beautiful work Charlie. Love the concept, the half-blind doves, the hinges, (even with the save) and of course the top. Fine looking box.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15639 posts in 2814 days


#12 posted 2422 days ago

Karson, you are very observant. I tried to make the left-right alignment perfectly symmetrical. It is very close, but not perfect. The angle of the photograph makes it look more off than it really is.

As for front-to-back alignment, I opted to go with what I thought would look best as the viewer looked at the box from the front. In a perfect world, I would have planned everything carefully enough for that look I wanted to be identical on both the front and back.

Planning is not my strong suit. I’m one of those right-brain folks who plunges in and makes it up as I go along. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15639 posts in 2814 days


#13 posted 2422 days ago

And Doug, one of those Beall hinge gizmos sure would have come in handy!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2632 days


#14 posted 2422 days ago

Beall hinge gizmo?

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile

Karson

34852 posts in 2996 days


#15 posted 2422 days ago

Looking inside the open lid there seems to be just a little variation on the walnut diamonds.

And as the instructor would tell us, “It not always necessary to make every thing so comfortable to the eyes that what you are trying to represent is lost.”

I like the bold dark color in the front of the box that is first visible, That draws the eyes to look at it. It’s one of those things where you need to make the lid and then the box to fit around it.

We sometimes see things on the left of a scene and miss things on the right, And this is because we read from left to right. If you want to force the right view you need something bold that causes them to look that way. Like a fire in a fireplace. Movement catches the eyes.

A great box. It keeps the eye busy and keeps it hanging around for a second look, or third look.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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