Pencil / pen holder

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Project by CameronD posted 07-02-2013 03:15 AM 1151 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had the other weekend free and wanted to practice using the router table. Being pretty new at wood working, I have found the router table to be quite difficult to set up and get right. At first I thought about just making a cube. 6 sides, lots of miters, etc. But I figured that would be fairly useless, but a pencil box could be useful and give some experience.

This 1/4 inch red oak. The miters were cut with a 45degree chamfer bit and the bottom is 1/4 inch red oak with a rabbet cut to fit the bottom. I added couple coats of poly stain and then a piece of cork inside the bottom.

I took it to work and one of our assistants told me it would be a good gift for all the assistants, which I took as a hint (I can occasionally pick up on them, but not often) and have since worked up 6 more in poplar, but I have run into several issues with them. The rabbets didn’t cut nearly as cleanly, so there are some gaps at the base. I cut the angles using the table saw set to 45 degrees, which actually worked but was a bit narrower than I’d like (though I was able to cut all sides for all at once then chop to size).

The biggest problem is that I applied a sealing coat of shellac cut with 1:1 with denatured alcohol (as suggested by the Woodcraft service rep) to the inside panels. Within a few hours every one of them cupped. I applied to the outside, thinking that would help, but no. Instead, setting them on damp and wrung out kitchen towels on a table in the sun for 30 minutes helped significantly, though several still show some cupping.

Once completed, I’ll post a few photos of batch three.

I think this is my 3rd or 4th craft project (as opposed to a drill press stand or other such bigger, less refined project.

All I can say is “I’m learning” but as I look back on a few other projects (two I’ve posted) I am happy to see progress.

Thanks to all the posters here and on Youtube who share their knowledge. I’m drinking in all I can.

3 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29877 posts in 2485 days

#1 posted 07-02-2013 05:09 AM

You’re doing fine. Continue to work on your improvements. Don’t be to hard on yourself (we all are here) and enjoy the journey.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3187 days

#2 posted 07-02-2013 03:39 PM

Welcome to the world of working with something that continuously moves….

My Daughters Boyfriend wanted to make some things in the shop one weekend, so we made a few of these…

I found that Cutting to size first then doing the Miters worked Easier…

Of course I also just put them together then finished on the outside & reached inside as best as I could (with pencils & pens Inside no one will be the wiser if the Inside is not totally covered in finish )

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View CameronD's profile


17 posts in 1945 days

#3 posted 07-03-2013 12:14 AM

Thanks Monte and Pat. It was fun to make and even the ones that aren’t as well done are still fun, and each provides practice, as each had its own character. Besides, they aren’t factory made, and it shows, which I think is a good thing.

I wondered about mitering after, which is what I did the first time on the router table. I think of I were to do these again, if return to that method. I’d also use thicker material for the base, which would allow it a bit more visual importance and allow a bit more wiggle room in cutting the rabbet.

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