|Project by ShaneA||posted 12-23-2012 11:47 PM||2309 views||5 times favorited||37 comments|
This is a walnut box I made for my mom as an urn for her recently deceased Black Lab. I have seen this basic design many times before. However, I think it was fellow LJ Yorkshire Stewart who gave me the idea to take it from a blanket chest size project, to a box size project. It is mortice and tenon construction, solid walnut panels.
I had a lot of problems making this box. Not necessarily due to the complexity of the project, but just careless and silly mistakes on my part. First when resawing and planing the figured panels. The panel, more or less, shattered in the DeWalt planer. I thought I had cleared all the debris from the planer, went to turn it back on and…well, it wasn’t good. There must have been some pieces up in the machine. That electrical burning metal smell came jumping out. Still haven’t taken it apart to see the innards and just how bad it is. Then as I was mocking up the top, I thought it looked a little too heavy, so I decided I would put a bevel around the edge to lighten it a bit. Well I had in mind that the would have the bevel on the under side, and that the face of the panel that is the inside, would have been on the outside, but I beveled the wrong side, AND all the way around. I was thinking jsut three sides for the bevel. Not a big deal, but I just flipped it over and ran the bevel along the other three sides. Then, when I went to mortise the hinges…I cut them in the face of the box, not the back. I had gone to great lengths and possibly killed my planer to get those panels in the front. I was starting to get a little frustrated at this point. I decided I would just go with it, and put the hinges in. I knew the hinges had the brass screws, so I tried to get the right size pilot holes, and be gentle. Hah, I broke one screw in the box and one screw in the top. At this point, I came within an eyelash of tap dancing on top of the box on the concrete floor.
I backed away for a day or two, and decided I would try to salvage the box best I could. Getting the broken screws out was a pain, and messed up the top of the box a bit. At this point, I decided I would just cut the box down, and remove the shallow mortices for the hinges, and lessen the hack job of trying to get the screws out. I made a simple jig so I could run the box across the table saw. This allowed me to re-mortice for the hinges in the back of the box this time. I drilled out a 1/4” hole where the screws were, and plugged with walnut dowels. I knew the end grain of the dowel would be darker, and do not have a face plug cutter. But, I really didn’t see a lot of other options.
All in all, I am pretty happy with the box, it could have been better and easier, but it is a learning experience. I due know, as most of you do, that when you make something for mom, you better do a good job, because you will have to look at it for a long time. The box is a size that will here hold the remains of her black lab, and the older dog she still has. Sort of a two birds with one stone thing.
Thanks for looking.