|Project by Blake||posted 2118 days ago||6089 views||88 times favorited||40 comments|
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I finally finished this box! This box (or “valet”) is for my boss in trade for tools that I took home from the used tool store (where I work) several months ago. He has been nice about encouraging my passion, and letting me build him boxes has been great practice and has allowed me to acquire some awesome new (used) tools.
The agreement was that I would build a jewelry box for his wife (already posted here) and a valet for him. Some of the tools that I got as part of the trade were a Jet Air filter, a Delta Hollow Chisel Mortising Machine, along with several smaller items and hand tools (I think I got the better end of the bargain!)
My boss had come up with the idea of a valet, and I spent quite a bit of time with him tying to design it for how he wanted it to look and work. There are a lot of commercially made valets on the internet that didn’t appeal to him. He wanted something that would keep his cell phone, PDA and mp3 player charged, and allow a place for a wallet, incoming or outgoing mail, and other miscellaneous items. This is what we came up with.
I had a pretty good idea in my head and on paper of what I was going to build. But something just wasn’t right, although I couldn’t put a finger on it. It really had me frustrated for a while. I think this is why I put it off for so long. Finally I built up the courage to give Todd a call and ask for some design advice.
He promptly emailed me some sketches and photos with some great ideas and it all fell into place. He also called me and we talked on the phone for over an hour about this project and woodworking in general. All I can say is what a nice guy, and a pro, and I look foreword to the day I can meet him in person and see his work.
I had to include the drawing he sent me because it is just so cool:
Anyway, The overall design had not changed, but he was able to point out some of the details that really brought the box to life. He helped give me a clear vision of the project and for the first time I was actually excited to get started. (Thanks Todd!)
The front compartment is lined with suede but under the suede there is a 1/2” gap that runs along the top and bottom of that section. This way cords can easily be pushed up through the base to charge the electronics. There is also space underneath the box and small arched holes in the back so they can easily run under the box and out the back.
I spent a lot of time shaping the lid edges and pull. I did this mostly with power sanders including a mini disk sander chucked up in my cordless drill. I originally used a quarter round-over bit in the router table to shape the lid sides but it ended up looking very commercial and boring. After a lot of power sanding I achieved this nice “pillow top” look which I believe is much more organic. The finger pull has a nice soft feel to it when you grab it. It almost feels like your fingers have shaped it over time.
I wish the photos did that Walnut lid justice. The figure is wavy and feathery from where a branch grew nearby. The grain and the figure both intersect at the lid pull.
The Specs: Philippine Mahogany and Black Walnut, box joints on the new Incra Router Table (slick man, slick), brass pins to hinge the lid, lid shaped mostly by power sanding, oiled with boiled linseed oil, all compartments lined with sued, size: 10” x 14” x 3 1/2”.
A few more photos:
I am really happy with this one and it’s nice to build another box again because it seems like it’s been a while.
-- Happy woodworking! http://www.blakeweber.us