|Project by Alin Dobra||posted 01-27-2008 07:27 AM||3806 views||5 times favorited||38 comments|
After three weeks in the making (about 50 hours of work), here it is: my entry for the “Not Just Any Box” competition. I designed and build this box for this competition starting Jan 8 (a little late, I know). The box pushed my skills to the limit and I was forced to learn a couple of things. I can truly say it reflects my current skill level both in terms of design and execution.
My main considerations when I set upon designing this box were:
1. Include as many of my skills in a single box as possible. I wanted a box that requires significant bandsawing, hand-cut dovetails, carving and, if possible wood turning.
2. Coming up with a clean design was paramount. Since I wanted so many skills reflected in the work, the possibility to produce an “overly decorated” piece was great.
3. I wanted something useful: a jewelry box that can actually hold a lot of jewelry.
4. As few straight lines as possible. This is especially difficult if dovetails are to be included since they require straight parts to be executed. I had this idea of curved dovetails for a long time but never had the guts to attempt it. This project seemed like the ideal opportunity.
Main design challenges:
1. Decide on a shape that is interesting but not overwhelming. I used Sketchup to get an idea of what would work.
2. Fit in a natural way a natural edge bowl. The inspiration came when I realized that a bride is bound to have a nice wedding ring that needs a special place.
3. Design some feet that fit the rest of the box and give it just enough elevation to add interestingness but not detract.
4. Design some shape for the partitions for the inside trays that fit the design of the box (straight partitions do not really fit).
Main construction challenges:
1. Cut the dovetails on wide pieces at a 15 degree angle (approx). The dovetails had to be perfect throughout the joint since I was planning to round them up (thus the inside becomes outside).
2. Shape the exterior (correct order is crucial). I first cut the dovetails, than the inside shape then glued the dovetails, then the outside shape.
3. Make the inside trays. Since the partitions are not straight, to avoid going insane with lots of small parts bending, I opted for using the scrollsaw on a 2×16 x 10 block of pine. Tedious work to say the least.
4. Doing a delicate woodturning worthy enough to be the central piece and to hold the wedding ring.
5. Carving the rose (about 8 hours on the rose alone).
6. Sanding the box (all done by hand)
Details about the box:
1. The box is 16 1/8” x 10” x 6”
2. The sides and top of the box are cut from a 4”x5”x36” block of cherry
3. The sides are hand-dovetailed and rounded
4. The rose is basswood (hand-carved and inserted into a hole in the top. I did not use glue since it allows me to remove the rose should I need to fiddle with the top and the fit in the hole is go good I have to press it in)
5. Inside trays are pine with a plywood bottom. The top tray is removable. Both trays “treated” with Donjer flocking. This flocking is sprayed over a glue and forms a nice cover. Everything got covered to make sure there is no competition for the central piece.
6. The box is finished with Watco oil and buffed to a nice luster. The rose and woodturning are finished with shellac.
Here are some more pictures of the box (3 pictures is not enough to show this box properly). Click on the picture to see a higher resolution version.
Thanks for looking,
-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida