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First try at a box, first woodworking project.

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Project by JHawkFan posted 01-21-2011 07:41 PM 2292 views 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay I’ve just started wood working and I really don’t know what I’m doing. My only real experience is some hand man repairs and up keeps when I first joined the military or watching DIY network. The only training I’ve had is self taught or looking at pictures and wondering how I can do that. This is my first project. I had a few simple goals when making this. I wanted to make a box that would last since I had a new born I wanted to put some gifts from her birth in it and give it to her later in life. I also didn’t want use any metal on it, like screws, hinges, etc. (this was hard for me at first cuss doing repairs that’s all I know). So I saw a picture of box on line and really liked it so I tried it with my own twist. The box is oak and the top is birch with oak handle. Since I didn’t know anything about wood I just went with what the big home improvement center had. I am happy with how the box turned out, however I am not happy with hinges on the top but didn’t know how else to do it. Also not happy with how the finish turned out. I was trying to go for the super gloss shine I’ve seen on jewelry boxes in stores… yeah didn’t happen. So all that being said I would really like your input. I’m a big boy so if you think it sucks please tell me just add areas I could improve on. Thanks

-- Matt Speer , ‎"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill





20 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4163 posts in 1610 days


#1 posted 01-21-2011 07:46 PM

Matt, great first box.

Great thing is you went ahead and made the project

It will be a special box and you will always treasure it

There are some amazing box makers on LJ’s and are always there for help

jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1063 posts in 1727 days


#2 posted 01-21-2011 08:23 PM

It does not suck Matt, especially for the reason you built it
Have a look around on LJ site, there are some amazing people on here who are happy to show and share their skills

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

536 posts in 2235 days


#3 posted 01-21-2011 08:34 PM

I have to say, it looks great. I think the hinges are really good, it’s hard to make a hinge with out metal, but the way you did is pretty much the only way to do it with out metal. As for the finish, I’d look into getting a sealer/grain filler for your next project. Oak especially is a very porous wood (as I’m sure you noticed) so a sealer or grain filler will give you a smoother surface to apply your final finish. Most of the commercially made jewelry boxes use a heavy coat of polyurethane to fill the pores in the wood to get the nice smooth finish. Keep up the good work, don’t get discouraged if a project doesn’t come out exactly the way you envisioned, always try to learn from your experiences.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View tomd's profile

tomd

1810 posts in 2524 days


#4 posted 01-21-2011 08:43 PM

That is great for a first box, caution boxes can get addictive, nice work.

-- Tom D

View ratchet's profile

ratchet

1304 posts in 2540 days


#5 posted 01-21-2011 08:54 PM

Yeah it sucks, but only because you did something this nice on your first try! Are you kidding me? Really…first time??? That is a fine box, executed well, of good design, and proportion. There are woodworkers with many years experience that would be happy to have built such a project.
I say well done!
To maybe give meaningful feedback, High glosss finishes can be tricky, you might try a semi or satin finish in the future. Did you use poly on this one?

View bigike's profile

bigike

4035 posts in 2042 days


#6 posted 01-21-2011 09:15 PM

looks like pro work to me. ;)

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View JHawkFan's profile

JHawkFan

23 posts in 1445 days


#7 posted 01-21-2011 10:00 PM

Ratchet, I did use poly on this. It’s the only way I knew when I finished this, since then I’ve done some homework and realized there is so much information out there you could pretty much get a degree in finishes.

Tomd you are right boxes are addictive. I have couple more I can’t wait to start and a few my wife wants. Now if the weather would just warm up I can make use of my shop. LOL

Thanks Chris that really sounds like what I want with a sealer.

Has anyone ever used wax on top of their finish? A guy at the local shop said that will give the high gloss I want. True or not?

-- Matt Speer , ‎"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

415 posts in 2440 days


#8 posted 01-21-2011 10:11 PM

You made a great looking box.

-- Joe, Ga

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4448 posts in 1790 days


#9 posted 01-21-2011 10:19 PM

Its a bit glossy, yes.

You could try not putting the hinge pin all the way through the side, making it invisible.

However given those points this is a very good first box. I like the angled meeting of the top pieces. You got the grain following across the top pieces, not simple and very clever. Much better than my first box. I look forward to your future posts.

Oh and as Tom said, you know boxes are addictive, don’t you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View HallTree's profile

HallTree

5661 posts in 2521 days


#10 posted 01-21-2011 11:46 PM

You stated “Okay I’ve just started wood working and I really don’t know what I’m doing”. Wow! that is a great job. It sure seems like you know what you are doing.
For some interesting hinge,s check out some that ‘Littelcope’ has made:

http://lumberjocks.com/littlecope/projects

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Mike's profile

Mike

391 posts in 2370 days


#11 posted 01-22-2011 12:55 AM

Great start and room to improve what you don’t like. We ARE our own worst critics. As you can see you don’t get a lot of hard critical comments on LJ’s.

Even when you ask everyone to be honest I think they try to do it with a teaching heart rather than being unkind.

Best place to learn.

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3317 posts in 2688 days


#12 posted 01-22-2011 04:05 AM

Matt, Welcome aboard, I would have to say that is good looking first box. I like the idea of assembling it with no fasteners, Something I have not done a lot of. I like your quote and it looks as if you are heading in the right direction for that potential. .
Ron did bring up a good point about some hinges there are a number of guys that have used wooden or leather hinges here. Take look at some of the boxes, that is one of the things I love to do around here is to get inspiration.
I cetainly look forward to seeing some of your other creations in the future.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View fernandoindia's profile

fernandoindia

1077 posts in 1697 days


#13 posted 01-22-2011 05:35 AM

Hi Matt, welcome to LJ.

I started WW 2 yrs ago, and still don´t know what I´m doing. But is the way to go.

Not being 100% satisfied with your work, means that you understand the mistakes of any part of the process. That is a good thing to happen. The day you achieve 100% satisfaction, is game over.

Take care and enjoy the place

PS: BTW, as to glossy finish, pay a look to our LJ clleague Steve in Marin chessboard video. Last chapter #7 that issue

-- Back home. Fernando

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1482 posts in 1858 days


#14 posted 01-22-2011 08:07 AM

If you can do this well from gathering information, you should really enjoy this site. Good luck and welcome.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and so little time!

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3100 posts in 1687 days


#15 posted 01-22-2011 08:09 AM

great job on your first box. It looks nice.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

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