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Project by KnickKnack posted 440 days ago 1925 views 20 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As my mother would have said – this piece of olive was “fait a la mao”, which I think was supposed to mean “hand made”.
When we first moved into this house in Portugal 5 years ago, we had to chop down a “dead” olive tree – it has since regrown into a fine, if multi-, upstanding citizen. This was one of the branches I’ve been lovingly caring for all this time, and I thought I’d have a go at using a piece of it.
It seems like I’ve been actually working on this piece for ever – in fact it’s only 4 weeks (yes, if you do the calculations, that’s 3 days per butt joint (in fact, they’re floating tenons, but that’s just a butt joint’s rich cousin, isn’t it?)). For a few weeks before that I’d been fighting a battle between the forces of good (leave them as they are), and evil (throw away the bark and make them square).
Two weeks were spent working out how to make appropriate hinges – you can see below the ones that didn’t make the grade.

Olive, jatobá, fumed oak, mahogany and cocktail stick hinges.
At it’s biggest, it’s 31cm wide, 17cm deep, and 7cm high.
Finished with Linseed oil (for the colouring), then danish oil and varnish.

I keep forgetting how I did things, so, for my future reference and in case something might pique someone’s brain cells, there follows some construction pictures…

Cutting “strange” angles on the table saw is easy (even if I had one, which I don’t), but then routing the mortises on those edges isn’t. So I adapted my most excellent 45° router jig . It took a few attempts on scraps to get the exact angle to match the tops …

Pieces made – ready to go, except I need hinges! ...

It took a while to make these oak and mahogany detailed hinges, but I decided they were a bit on the large side, even though they’re pretty jolly small …

These little jatobá guys just didn’t seem right …

Glueing “strange” angles is always a challenge …

Finally – hinges I can work with – just need a lot of sanding with nail manicure sticks. Luckily I had a 2.5mm drill bit – I couldn’t find any 3mm cocktail sticks. Wave the sandpaper 3 times at the stick and it’s snug, but not too snug, fit …

How to get gluing pressure on a tiny hinge bit? ...

OK – the scary bit is over – and, testing the pudding – do they open? ...

Make basic base from book-matched end-grain oak. All the oak is bookmatched and, before I put on the finish, it looked just lovely on the front bar – but the finish has almost killed the match – officionados with microscopes can see it though, and I know it’s there…

Bottom finally made – the dowels holes are so I can relocate it in exactly the right place. I can’s finish it later, after assembly, since it needs serious fuming, and I don’t want to grey up the jatobá …

I need the base proud of the box itself. Now, how am I going to do that? Add a bit of wood the my fence, above the bit…

And for the back – a flush trim bit, but flush trim to a bit of plywood I clamp onto the side …

Final assembly …

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."





30 comments so far

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1802 posts in 1673 days


#1 posted 440 days ago

That is a fantastic box!

Congrats on braving the storm of “issues” and coming out on top.

Also, I love the hinge idea – this one is a favorite for sure!

Cheers!

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View jap's profile

jap

1225 posts in 658 days


#2 posted 440 days ago

cool box

-- Joel

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15452 posts in 1471 days


#3 posted 440 days ago

That’s a really nice box. So well done and so well presented.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13367 posts in 943 days


#4 posted 440 days ago

Absolutely awesome. Closed it looks like a B1 bomber.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

2341 posts in 648 days


#5 posted 440 days ago

Really beautiful, and great design. Actually reminds me of a stealth fighter.

-- --Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View Karson's profile

Karson

34862 posts in 3005 days


#6 posted 440 days ago

Beautiful box and great construction details.

A very nice tutorial.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View LookingGlass's profile

LookingGlass

76 posts in 713 days


#7 posted 440 days ago

A beautiful box. One of the best I have seen.

-- Take care.....Ed

View scrollsaw's profile

scrollsaw

13026 posts in 2458 days


#8 posted 440 days ago

I like the design and the look.Great job

-- Todd

View Chad256's profile

Chad256

118 posts in 491 days


#9 posted 440 days ago

Very. Very nice box! Way to keep pushing through the problem areas and coming up with a great solution. Thanks for sharing…

-- -- Chad -- T&C Woodworks

View fisherdoug09's profile

fisherdoug09

81 posts in 1279 days


#10 posted 440 days ago

Beautiful box, I love the look of Olive wood. Living in the US its hard to come by. I have gotten some from an uncle in No Calif. near the town of Croning which is the olive capital of the US.

View Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Cajun Box Sculptor

4938 posts in 1913 days


#11 posted 440 days ago

Awesome box..it is obvious that you put a lot of work and thought into it.

View Boxguy's profile

Boxguy

1410 posts in 872 days


#12 posted 440 days ago

I like this box for the sheer audacity of making a truly original shape and design. It was four weeks well spent. One of my favorite things about building boxes is the problem solving involved in the process. In this design you have set yourself a real task and have solved the attendant problems beautifully. I especially like the determination you showed in the hinges by not settling for “good enough” and instead strove for “excellent.”

Thanks for taking us through the building process and telling us the story behind the wood. This was an enjoyable posting and has earned a well-deserved “Top Three.” Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

2578 posts in 1022 days


#13 posted 440 days ago

beautiful box. that is a great design, so unique.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View Gary's profile

Gary

7006 posts in 2037 days


#14 posted 440 days ago

Man, you did some really great work. The construction was really cool to see. Thanks for a great tutorial

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Jimbo4's profile

Jimbo4

1124 posts in 1367 days


#15 posted 440 days ago

You have out done yourself ! Beautiful, awesome, fantastic, and all the rest of the accolades in the world cannot express what you accomplished !

-- BELT SANDER: Used for making rectangular gouges in wood.

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