A Box For A Competition (Opera House)

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Project by Gumnut posted 785 days ago 2482 views 12 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As with my previous post (Pyramid Box), the same rules for the competition applied to this one as well.
Firstly, I made a mould from pine using an Arbortech Wood Carver to get the general shape, then I used a sanding disc on the angle grinder to smooth off the final shape of the mould.

I coated the mould with dental wax sheets, to prevent the finished Opera house sticking to the mould.
To get the wooden wedges to curve from top to bottom, I cut a kerf in the underside with a 0.2mm blade on a PROXXON saw. (Totalling 1,400 cuts) These were almost cut right through to the surface which allowed for easy bending! As it turned out the cuts made an impresion of tiles on the Opera House.

Each wedge piece was then pasted with two-part resin glue on the underside and wired into place on the mould in stages until full coverage was completed.

A thin jarrah strip was laminated onto the top ridge before sanding of the outside surface was carried out. I then placed the whole lot in the oven (without my wife knowing) to warm up the wax enough to then separate the Opera house from the wax-coated mould.

The inside of the shell was then cleaned and sanded to a point where I painted on an automotive acrylic primer filler, giving a smooth surface for the paint, being 3 coats of Midnight Blue Pearl Metallic automotive paint. 6 coats of acrylic gloss was then applied, with the aid of my wife’s hair dryer (again without her knowledge!) to heat up the paint and the shell surface for a very consistent gloss finish.

The outside of the shell was coated with 8 layers of acrylic gloss which was smoothed down with wet and dry between coats and finally polished with carnuba wax.

The base, the door, handle and the magnetic catch were made up of the left over 5mm planks and finished in satin estapol, then glued into place with the resin glue.
If you are going to try this, buy your wife a new hair dryer first!

It came first place in the competition!
I had intentions of giving it to Oprah (As Oprah’s Opera House), when she came to Australia but missed my opportunity!
It could be used for her remote control in her home theatre :)

The wood is Oak and Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata).

Hope you enjoy the pics.

-- Peter, member of the Fine Woodwork Association

26 comments so far

View michelletwo's profile


2236 posts in 1652 days

#1 posted 785 days ago

clever construction..ssweet

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 861 days

#2 posted 785 days ago

A very impressive box. And the story of the making is greatly appreciated. Congrats on the win!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View jaykaypur's profile


3324 posts in 1045 days

#3 posted 785 days ago

W O W !

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View aviad mishaeli's profile

aviad mishaeli

93 posts in 1045 days

#4 posted 785 days ago

this is a beutifull shape and very intresting , i love it

View Arthouse's profile


226 posts in 1287 days

#5 posted 785 days ago

Innovative construction and design. I love it . You could be a model maker for Architects. Have you thought about using foam for you glue forms? A little easier to form. I just love the design of the opera house. If I may take the liberty and add to your thinking and say Instead of cutting to bend core because I think the cut lines detract from the total piece get wood and sand it thru a drum sander then slowly bend the pieces using a steamer until they bend into shape to hold for the wire. Still incredible piece hope you win your competition .

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

View Spoontaneous's profile


1309 posts in 1966 days

#6 posted 785 days ago

Outstanding !!!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Roger's profile


14447 posts in 1440 days

#7 posted 785 days ago

Wow! That’s amazing..

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1494 posts in 909 days

#8 posted 785 days ago


Congratulations on your First Place Honor with this one (and 2nd place with your Pyramid box).

Your Opera House box is about 10 miles north of Incredible. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View a1Jim's profile


112027 posts in 2213 days

#9 posted 785 days ago

Shee Zam that’s and amazing box and fantastic technique, you’ve got a winner there for sure. GREAT JOB!

-- Custom furniture

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 1755 days

#10 posted 785 days ago

Very Unique Box, Congratulations for the first place, Great job, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Gumnut's profile


95 posts in 794 days

#11 posted 785 days ago

But wait there’s more to come!
Will post some newer boxes soon!

-- Peter, member of the Fine Woodwork Association

View WRAAdesign's profile


46 posts in 1035 days

#12 posted 785 days ago

Impressive, thanks for sharing your process; it reinforces the appreciation of the project and the time invested.


View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5030 posts in 1945 days

#13 posted 785 days ago

Very excellent and unique. I can tell alot of work went into it.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View SPalm's profile


4798 posts in 2518 days

#14 posted 785 days ago

That is just fantastic. I love it.
And thanks for the step by step. fun to see it develop.

Good job, and congrats.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View majuvla's profile


3345 posts in 1504 days

#15 posted 785 days ago

Congratulations,wonderfull job

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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