|Project by Boxguy||posted 06-27-2012 04:30 AM||3153 views||29 times favorited||22 comments|
Background and Materials: When I was a kid someone in the family gave me a pencil box imported from India. It was designed something like this one and I liked having it. So I thought I’d make one to hold my drafting supplies pencils, lead, and erasers.
I use it as a kind of mechanical IQ test to see how long it takes people to figure out how to open it. You have to slide the top down and then turn the middle section to the right to get to the bottom. This one is about 8 inches long by 3 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches deep. The figured Movingui top is from Ghana, Africa and was a backer board scrap left after the veneer was turned off of the trunk. The Brazilian Mahogany bottom was made from a shipping crate for veneer.
Construction Process in Eight Steps: There are six pieces of wood used to make up the box. First, cut the left end of the mahogany piece off. Second, you cut the bottom lengthwise. Third, cut the right end off of the mahogany section. Forth, cut the dado grooves for the pencils in the center section and the bottom section. Fifth, cut a sliding dovetail in both sides of the inside of the top. Sixth, make an angled cut across the top section. Seventh, make a sliding dovetail cut in the top Movingui piece and cut away the section of the top that covers the solid left hand section of the top. (It is shown upside down in the bottom of picture 4) Eighth, glue the ends back on and add the swivel screw from the top of the mahogany piece to the bottom section. (There are several more construction hints lower in this posting in the replies to Kiefer and others. Please scroll down.)
Hint: When you are starting be sure your dado cuts leave enough room for your pencils to fit, especially ones with clips. Try making just the dadoes in a scrap and size your box from there.
Lessons Learned: When I started I thought I could sell these as great presents for kids and presentation boxes for pens, but the building process is so complex and the sliding dovetail work is so difficult to fine tune that I decided to just make three or four and give the ones I didn’t want to keep to friends for presents. I couldn’t make them pay off in terms of time spent and profit earned. People simply aren’t going to pay what the product is worth in time spent for a lowly pencil box.
Thanks! As always thanks for looking and a special thanks to those who take time to comment or offer suggestions. A big thanks to all for making this a “Top Three” for today. I appreciate the support.
-- Big Al in IN