Last of my Christmas boxes

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Project by Sgt_Lobo posted 12-17-2007 05:15 AM 3223 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, not a box in the typical sense…A very good friend of mine collects knives and wanted a case to display them in. He does leatherwork and created saddle bags, a sissy bar bag, and a tank bra for my motorcycle, so I guess you could say that I owed him big time.

The display case is made out of red oak. I stained it with minwax dark walnut and finished it with 6 coats of wipe-on poly. The only problem I had in the making of the box was with the lid. After I cut it from the rest of the box, it fell apart on me. The glue in the miters got sucked into the end grain, which didn’t leave enough to make a good bond. I couldn’t cut it and key it like the box part because of the lexan. So, I ended up re-gluing it and then buried some finishing nails in the corners. After the fix up, everything else went smooth.

Anyhow, enjoy the pics and thanks for looking! And by the way, the knives in there are mine for testing purposes, his knives are much fancier…

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

16 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4184 days

#1 posted 12-17-2007 05:26 AM

Very nice! You not only do great work, but you’re doing a LOT of it. Do you ever come out of the shop? :-)

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

View Sgt_Lobo's profile


87 posts in 3824 days

#2 posted 12-17-2007 05:31 AM

Not lately! As I’m sure many more here at LJs can attest to, Christmas is a busy time… Besides, I have a lot of money invested in all these tools, and since this isn’t a full time job that pays for itself, I have to make these investments worth while.

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4065 days

#3 posted 12-17-2007 07:18 AM

I think that your investment has been worth it.
The issues you had would never have been known if you had not shared.
Your project looks nice. I like the way the grain runs continuously from the sides to the top.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4032 days

#4 posted 12-17-2007 08:46 AM

You box looks great. I like the grain pattern and the finish is outstanding. Looking closely at your lid, I think that you could have fit the keyed miters on it – remember they don’t have to be that deep to be effective. I’m not saying this to be critical of this box – just some advice for your next one.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3840 days

#5 posted 12-17-2007 10:45 AM

Nicely done. He will really like having such a nice way to show off his knives. And great color choice.

I just wanted to emphasize what you seem to have learned: End grain to end grain glue joints are pretty much worthless. Most glue joinery, no matter how traditional or modern (fancy router bits, etc.) is designed to increase the surface area of side grain to side grain contact, because that makes for a very strong glue bond.

For example, almost all of the surface area of a “key” is side grain, and it is in contact completely with side grain of the mitered joint. A finger box joint, while held together somewhat by friction, is almost completely side grain to side grain contact on the inside faces of each finger.

I tend to think of a glued miter as being temporary. Because until it is reinforced, the glue may as well not even be there.

Since the knife case will probably spend most of its life sitting on the wall and recieve light use, it is probably fine with the finish nails. I don’t mean to criticise at all; I just wanted to build on what you meantioned, and thought this information might be usefull to others viewing this thread or like cajunpen said, advice for your next project. It’s great that you explained what happened for others to learn from your initial mistake; I try to do the same thing on every project!

Your progress and quick learning curve is impressive. That first box you made is up to speed with a lot of people’s projects after several years of practice. I can’t wait to see your next project.

By the way, what’s a sissy bar bag? Is that like a man purse? ;)

-- Happy woodworking!

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3840 days

#6 posted 12-17-2007 11:33 AM

That is a fine box. The recipient will display his knives proudly in it.

View Buckskin's profile


486 posts in 3954 days

#7 posted 12-17-2007 02:58 PM

I don’t have any fancy knives but I have a few that I would like to display. I like your idea. Saves a lot of shaping in forming beds for the knives to lay in.

View Sgt_Lobo's profile


87 posts in 3824 days

#8 posted 12-17-2007 03:27 PM

Thanks everyone for the comments!

Cajunpen: That is what I am here for, advice! I like it when people are “critical” of my work, as it forces me to do different things on future projects. The reason I couldn’t do keyed miters for the lid is because the lexan runs pretty deep in the lid. I might have been able to make small keys, but just didn’t want to take the chance of hitting the lexan.

Blake: Thanks for summarizing and expanding on my glue issue…This is exactly why I always disclose my mistakes. If we never tell people what went wrong, no one would learn. Oh, and by the way, the “sissy bar” on a motorcycle is basically a backrest that the passenger can lean back against. So the bag was designed to hang off the back of it. :)

Buckskin: Yes, this design of trapping the knives between the foam and the glass saves a tone of time…it might not be as “professional”, but the big benefit is that if you want to switch out knives, your not locked into any particular pattern for placing them in there.

Thanks again everyone!

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 3989 days

#9 posted 12-17-2007 04:44 PM

The only thing better than a box is a display box. Very nice.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3956 days

#10 posted 12-17-2007 05:01 PM

“Only a true LumberJock could put his favorite box cutter on display.”

I take sides with the guys here, and you have surely learned something new as well. We all learn something new each and every day! Hopefully you used thick plate glass too because the increased pressure might crack anything thinner.

My Harley had a sissybar that had a woman attached (several women actually as I was a real dog back then) but not some man-purse…and what’s this thing called a “tank bra”??? Are you ridin’ a girls bike? Keep your eyes on the road not on her tank! LOL! You know, I did have this huge beer mug that I put over my sissybar for when I went to swap meets. Funny thing though that I never got pulled over for a sobriety check!

Oh, I’m sorry about those comments bro. May Uncle Sam ever forgive me, but you opened yourself up to that one didn’t ya? See…Ya learned something else new today as well! Don’t give ammo to your LumberJocks!

We all still love ya though.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Sgt_Lobo's profile


87 posts in 3824 days

#11 posted 12-17-2007 05:29 PM

Tank bra/sissy bar—okay, I can see how these can be mis-leading. But if you think about it, sometimes I find myself saying things like “I’m going to take her out for a ride” (meaning my scooter), so if I refer to my bike as a “her”, then it’s allright for her to have a sissy bar bag and a bra…

Alright, I’m sure I’ve given you plenty more ammo now!

Oh, and I think it’s funny how you are the only one who noticed my box cutter in there. Pretty fancy huh?

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4126 days

#12 posted 12-17-2007 11:22 PM

When I bought a cover for the front of my pickup I first heard the term “bra” used in this way. Leave it to a man to name a cover that goes around a pair of headlights, a “bra”.. sheesh. men!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4212 days

#13 posted 12-18-2007 12:28 AM

Beautiful box Sarg. Did you use flox and Don Jer paint for the bottom velvet look? Or is it velvet? mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Sgt_Lobo's profile


87 posts in 3824 days

#14 posted 12-18-2007 12:33 AM

Thanks jock, it’s actually velvet over 2” foam.

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4058 days

#15 posted 12-18-2007 01:04 AM

Great work as always Sarge!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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