|Project by Boxguy||posted 05-15-2012 06:52 PM||1858 views||4 times favorited||11 comments|
Pictured here are several views of Carolie’s six-sided tea box.
Problem: How can I craft a unique shape that would minimize the footprint of this box while still offering storage for 36 teabags, 8 handcrafted British teaspoons, and an assortment of sweeteners? Sometimes the best designs start with arranging the actual things you want to put inside the box…then you can design your box from the inside out.
Solution: This box is just 10 inches wide, 6 1/2 inches deep, and 4 1/4 inches tall. The attached top and angled corners give this box a smaller look. The longer back allows for a lengthy, more stable hinge for the top.
Materials: The staggered corner splines are Movingui and the lift is Black Walnut. The box is Black Cherry with a nice knotty grain on top. The clear plastic sweetener caddy was purchased at a local restaurant supply store.
Techniques: The different angles are a pain, so carefully mark each board to be sure you cut the correct angle on the correct board. The back two angles are 45 degrees, but the front four angles are cut at 22 1/2 degrees. The two end boards are cut 45 on the back side and 22 1/2 on the front side. However, the problem comes when you try to fit this all together. How long do you make the back side? My solution was to leave my initial board a little long and cut all my other sides starting with the left end and working around the front to the right side. Then I taped these 5 sides together with a piece of 2 inch wide masking tape, folded them into shape, and cut the back board to fit. Measuring is not enough, if you are off the slightest bit on angles or lengths it will throw your last cut way off. So just leave extra length then trim the back board to fit. Once all six sides are cut, dry fit this assembly with a band clamp to be sure all your joints fit tightly. Recut your lengths if you need to.
It doesn’t show well in the pictures, but I staggered the spline cuts on the front corners. (Look closely at picture #5.) If you don’t do this the splines look too much like dotted lines running around the front of the box.
Critique: I like this six-sided shape. It draws the eye without diminishing the function. The spoons fit in nicely and the lift-out dividers and sweetener caddy make this easy to clean. Though there is not much color contrast in the movingui splines and the cherry sides, the splines add great mechanical strength to the joints and are a subtle visual element. Basically, this design works well and looks attractive at least to my eye. I have sold several boxes made along the lines of this this general shape. To me, sales are the ultimate test of art or utility.
-- Big Al in IN