|Project by vipond33||posted 08-26-2011 05:30 AM||8316 views||117 times favorited||31 comments|
September is coming with all it entails, but back when the earth was still cooling and I was in school (as my daughter would have you believe), pencil boxes were quite common and simple. A swing top, a rounded lid, in beech most likely, pencil crayon marked up in boredom, a storehouse for bugs, gum, secret notes.
Looking around the net to maybe buy? her one I find they have virtually disappeared. I did find a picture of a new one with a link to a store, but it isn’t for sale anymore,
and I discovered a photo of a very old one belonging to someones grandmother. Maybe we sat beside each other back then, but I really don’t remember the flowers.
Well, yeah, as usual, I know what you’re thinking: ”Cut to the chase already! Build the silly thing and make this post come true!”. Ok, ok, ok.
My version’s a little different than the classic style, quite a bit larger with a square end and no routed cavities, all to give her lots of space and be much easier to get her fingers in. The divider is heavily scooped for that reason.
The body is white oak for durability, though I’m afraid for those mitered tits left at the opening – but I could think of no other way to end it well. The lid is book-matched eastern white pine for a lighter look and feel, with an ogee profile providing a small grace note. The sliding trays are genuine Brazilian rosewood, eight way miters on 3/32”! – does anyone here throw even a sliver of this stuff away? Didn’t think so.
It was tricky getting the shallow angled ends to meet perfectly while preserving the right length and pivot point. I probably thought and worked backwards there – no surprise sometimes. Veneer covers all the end grain at that cut and significantly strengthens the thin butt joints. What, no tiny dovetails?
Now hold on, did I say trays? As in two? Look at the first picture and you will see the end of one peeking out from under the recess – and that is the secret from the teacher. No amount of shaking will make it come out and there is no purchase for even a fingernail. Hmm. Now if you look over at the large tray you might notice a little block of reddish wood at the opposite end, concealing, you guessed it, a magnet. Clear the space in between (the black torpedo shaped thing is a pencil sharpener), turn the big tray around and slide it up to the small one. Two super magnets kiss! through the walls and overpower the magnet/washer combination at the other end. Pull them back & M&M’s appear like magic – all when you were supposedly just getting out your eraser. Honest! Do make sure they’re not peanut style these days, plus the teacher might see you chewing. Heaven in the middle of math class.
Other details: A removable Chicago bolt acts as the pivot with a super slim brass washer between the wood halves, a small pair of magnets prevents the lid from ever falling out, tiny ebony keys break up the blandness of the quartersawn oak and traditional English green leather lines the bottoms (1/8” Baltic ply). Tried and True finish as usual (pre-finish on the interior) with Goddard’s wax.
I don’t know what the other kids might think, but if the teacher should happen to notice the little girl suggested in rosewood grain at the end of the small box, I hope my daughter will have the presence of mind to say “My dad made a mistake gluing it, she’s stuck and can’t come out”.
9 1/2” x 2 1/2” x 2 1/4”
About 22 hrs.
Build on LJ’s.
I couldn’t resist, so for all the M&M’s fans out there, a shot of it ready for the last day of school. No pencils or magnets required. Just like woodworking, share with your friends.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.