Bandsaw Box #2

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Project by RandyMorter posted 02-18-2011 07:57 AM 4046 views 4 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my second band saw box. I actually started out to make 4 of them at the same time, on January 19, 2011.

This time my wife saw some Redwood at Lowe’s and decided she wanted me to make them out of that. We got some finished piece for the front and a couple of redwood 2×6’s for the rest of the block. I’d never done anything with redwood but now I know it’s as soft as cedar and I won’t use it again for something like this.

Following the great advice I got here on LJ for my first box, I used bigger and better clamps for the glue up. Someone said to use even more than I did (I used 6) but it seemed okay. I’ll have to pick up a couple more clamps if I do some more of these. 8 should be fine. And I didn’t have nearly the glue squeeze out, and I didn’t notice any gaps in the blocks. Thanks for the help everyone!

I used a design similar to my bandsaw #1 but elongated it a bit out to roughly 10 inches in width. It stands about 5 inches tall and 3-1/2 inches deep. It has 5 pieces total.

I used my new Ridgid oscillating spindle/belt sander on this project (I went out and got it for this project) and am thankful I have it. The down side is my experience. I ended up removing so much material from the outside of the drawers and inside the drawer cavity that the gap betwen them is pretty big. I was just trying to get rid of the saw marks. It makes me think either I’ve also got bad bandsaw technique (which wouldn’t surprise me – I haven’t had it 2 months yet) or a bad blade (it’s 1/8 inch Grizzly blade). It’s probably some combination of both.

I wanted to put in a secret compartment again but to do it better this time. As you can see, the left drawer has the compartment on the bottom and the entry/exit cuts are also on the bottom. I guess if you wanted to hide those cuts you could slice the drawer horzontally after cutting the face off and then glue that piece back on later.

The right drawer was a bit deep to be practical so I came up with the idea to cut the “tray” out of the waste from the right drawer cavity. I tried to cut it so that it automatically formed the supports to keep the drawer at the top, and so that there’s a lip to grab to pull the tray out (you can see it in picture #2 on the right side of the tray piece).

I initially wanted to try just danish oil, which I did. I applied 3 coats and really liked the look. Then I attended a demo/lecture on finishes and saw the General Finish Arm-R-Seal wipe on poly and decided to try it so I added 3 coats of it w/ sanding @ 400 grit in between. I like that finish. I got the gloss but want to get the semi-gloss for the rest of the boxes. That stuff goes on great – no brushes, no sag or runs on this project. The worst was that there was some beading around edges but that was due to my poor technique. I did try to make sure it didn’t do that but, well, I’m not perfect. Sanding took care of it though.

I then tried flocking for the first time. This is the DonJer flocking, wine color which I really like. It’s dark but it’s not black or brown. I’d like a deep blue or green but the colors at Woodcraft seemed a bit brighter than what I wanted.

The flocking is a bit messy and I’ll probably do it differently next time. I did it inside of a large box with some newspaper inside. I was able to recover the unused flocking. I’d poured out a small portion of the glue into a small container but when I got to my last drawer piece I was just about out of glue but it took about 10 minutes or more to cover the drawers at that point so didn’t want to risk opening the paint can again. I ended up with enough but I had to scrape it out of the little dixie cup I’d poured it into.

I also got a dab of the glue on the outside of one of the drawers but thankfully it was on the inside of the box. However, I was able to rub it off with mineral spirits. Other than those items I was pretty pleased with my first flocking attempt.

I added the metal drawer pulls (from Hobby Lobby or Joann Fabrics) as well as felt pads on the bottom and on the back inside the cavity. The pads in the cavity force the drawers to sit pretty flush with the face of the box which they don’t normally due to the material removed by the saw.

Picture 4 shows the four blanks with the pattern fixed to them and the outer box cuts.

Lessons Learned

- I’d drawn up plans using sketchup AND wrote out the steps to make the box including the hidden drawer. When I cut the first unit I didn’t READ my instructions and cut the cavity before cutting the back off one of the drawers, rendering the block useless. Plan my steps, verify the plan, follow the plan.

- Only sand as much as necessary. Try to make the cuts as smooth as possible in the first place. Keep the piece depth below what the spindle sander capacity is unless you want to sand by hand. Use the biggest diameter spindle possible on the spindle sander (I used the big drum on the belt as much as I could). Otherwise you can make a bunch of little divits.

- I came up with the idea of routing a finger catch into the bottom of the secret compartment so that I didn’t need to use a magnet or some other pull. Unfortunately I came up with the idea AFTER I glued the unit pictured so it doesn’t have any kind of pull and I’m not going to use a magnet like I did on my first box.

- When flocking, if you use a small secondary container for the glue, make sure you pour a sufficient amount or have a helper nearby!

- Keep the work surface clean if you’re placing work pieces on it so that the wood doesn’t get dinged up.

- Flocking goes on AFTER the finish is applied. I fortunately did it this way (by accident). One reason for this is that if you have to sand the piece AFTER it’s flocked you’ll end up with saw dust in the flocking. It won’t necessarily be glued in but getting it out could ruin the flocking (this dawned on me when I thought I might have to sand and re-finish where I got glue on the outside of a drawer).

- I really like the Arm-R-Seal and will use it more. Marc Spagnuolo / turned me on to this and it really is the best poly I’ve ever done. No bubbles. You can thin it if you want it to go on even thinner (and therefore avoid any sagging even more). You can buy a large quantity of gloss and use it for everything. IF you want a semi or satin finish, have small quantities of that on hand and only put it on as the final coat – it’ll have the same look (I haven’t tried this yet but that’s coming up…).

Update 4/19/2011

The 5th picture up above and these pics are from the 2nd box I finished of this series, on 4/19/2011. I’m giving this one to a co-worker like I did the first one. It’s pretty much the same as the other one. Flocking was a lot easier this time.

The 6th picture is the overlay I created in case anyone wants it. I think this is the one I used and printed out a few times to get it to be the size of my blanks.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

14 comments so far

View wwbob's profile


111 posts in 2904 days

#1 posted 02-18-2011 08:24 AM

Well done. You advice about cutting and sanding is dead on. I’m finishing my first box right now and I over sanded as well.

Thanks for the insight for the drawer pulls. I was wondering where I might find some. Are the drawer pulls for doll house furniture?

Nice work and thanks for the info.

Bob, in Mesa AZ

-- "I like the quiet I hear." - Channing, age 4

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 2719 days

#2 posted 02-18-2011 08:30 AM

Hi Bob – I think they were near the doll houses but they’re a bit big for that. I found quite a few good brass latches, hinges, etc. a Hobby Lobby and Joann’s too. I went to the Hobby Lobby at I-10 and the 101 on the west side, near the Guitar Center. I went to the Joann’s on (I think) Dysart. I think Rocklers sells some of this stuff too but I haven’t been to their store yet. I haven’t seen it at Woodcraft either.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View wwbob's profile


111 posts in 2904 days

#3 posted 02-18-2011 08:48 AM

Thanks for the info. To Hobby Lobby tomorrow!

-- "I like the quiet I hear." - Channing, age 4

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 2719 days

#4 posted 02-18-2011 08:57 AM

Just a note – it seems like the selection of stuff changes all the time at Hobby Lobby, similar to Goodwill. But the few times I’ve been there I always find little things that I think dress up a box. I know some people only like wood pulls but, at least with this not very expensive wood, I kind of like the hardware. It makes it look (to me anyway) better than it is.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3218 days

#5 posted 02-18-2011 11:08 AM

Nice and great description on the post. Thx for taking the time to write.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3094 days

#6 posted 02-18-2011 11:29 AM

Very nice box. Great finish. You will learn from each box you make. Sanding is something that is needed to watch. Great blog about how you made it. I’m sure that you will make a lot of great looking boxes in the future. Keep up the great work.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 2719 days

#7 posted 02-18-2011 01:49 PM

Thanks Ken and Tim.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 3394 days

#8 posted 02-18-2011 04:06 PM

lots of info here thanks
never heard of hobby lobby ?
where is it at ?

-- self proclaimed copycat

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 2719 days

#9 posted 02-18-2011 04:22 PM

Hi Eddy – I think there are more than one, but the one I’ve gone to is in the shopping center at I-10 and 101 on the west side. It’s in the part of the mall south of McDowell, where Guitar Center is (where I also have spent a bunch of cash). It’s farther west than Guitar Center, near the Claim Jumper restaurant.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3148 days

#10 posted 02-18-2011 06:49 PM

Nice box Randy, your design is cool, I like the hidden drawer, the flocking really adds beauty and contrast to the project, if you keep improving and perfecting your projects like this I fear you may not need us anymore, stop getting so good so fast, lols thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 2719 days

#11 posted 02-18-2011 07:45 PM

You’re quite the kidder, Mic! These are nothing compared to your boxes or many others (okay, most others) I see. But they let me justify buying the band saw to my wife!

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Hawk9's profile


57 posts in 2826 days

#12 posted 02-19-2011 02:40 AM

Sooooo much fun with a bandsaw!!!!! Amazing fun!!! You’re addicted!!!
Great boxes. Nice flowing design. Keep ‘em coming.

View wwbob's profile


111 posts in 2904 days

#13 posted 02-19-2011 05:42 AM

Got to Hobby Lobby and found the same drawer pulls, $1.50 for 4. The pulls were in the jewelery box hardware section. The nice lady also directed me to the store’s standard drawer pull section. In that section I found a clear glass pull that was about 3/4” in diameter, big money at $3. I’m hoping the clear knob will pick up some of the wood color while providing something easy to grip.

A tip on visible seams:
I sanded the inside of the back of the box and didn’t get a good fit to the body of the box. The seam was a little too visible in a couple of places. I mixed some of the “wood flour” caught in the dust catcher of the sander with a little Titebond glue, then pressed the mixture into the seam. I did this after I had glued the back to the body. It created a mess of glue on the outside of the box requiring more sanding. The wood flour/glue mix has taken a coat of sanding sealer without a problem. Can’t see where I went nuts with the sander.

Next time I may try putting the fill in when I’m gluing the back on. Mark the back where the fill is needed; mix up the fill; apply the fill the marked areas just on the outside edge; apply glue to the rest of the area; clamp and be happy.

My first box. Fun, fast, makes great presents. I can see how addicting these boxes can become.

-- "I like the quiet I hear." - Channing, age 4

View WoodSpanker's profile


519 posts in 3421 days

#14 posted 02-19-2011 07:15 AM

very very nice!

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

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