|Project by Boxguy||posted 06-28-2012 05:46 AM||2299 views||7 times favorited||26 comments|
Pictured: Two octagonal boxes with pivoting lids anchored in place with a screw in back and a rare earth magnet in front. They are about 4 inches tall and 8 inches side to side. One box is red alder with a figured anegre top. The splined box is curly cherry with white oak sides.
Story: From time to time I have made octagonal boxes. The problem is always the hinges. The short side does not allow for a long enough surface to make a hinge work well. The lid can wiggle and won’t stay aligned as well as I would like. This design solves those problems. The lid swivels and can actually turn far enough so you can access the entire box interior.
Techniques: Of course the eight sides are all cut the same length and the ends are each 22 1/2 degrees. Sizing the bottom is best done by taping the box together with masking tape on the outside then tracing around the inside on your bottom board. Now take a 1/4 in size scrap and re-mark and enlarge each side by 1/4 inch or whatever depth of cut you dadoed into the sides. Don’t try to fit the bottom in too tightly you will just fight the fit when you use your strap clamp to pull the box together after applying glue.
Rather than struggle with the alignment of the screw and the magnets in the top and the bottom, I found it was far easier to just drill through the lid and into the bottom. I filled the hole with a contrasting dowel and sanded it flush. It is a real help when you are opening the box to be able to know which sides have the pivot and the magnet.
As a practical matter I glued on the roughly sized top and shaped it before I cut the lid off. The splines in the one box add strength, but look pretty busy. Sides of about 3/4 of an inch work better because you need room for the screw and the magnets to be embedded.
Critique: The rare earth magnets hold the box in line and worked better than I thought they would. The octagonal form is attractive, but is not too practical for storage. Adding splines calls for building a special jig to cut the slots. I avoided that by just cutting the slot across the whole side and inserting a long spline.
Thanks: As always thanks for looking and a special thanks to those who take time to add comments and make suggestions. Wow, a “Top Three.” Thanks, Lumber Jocks!
-- Big Al in IN