The second box in my series was called (per the book) an old pine box. The author salvaged some old shelving from his house and used that. I figured I would do the same, there was sure to be something out in the shed, or among the stacks in the basement that I could use. I was looking for some nice old quartersawn looking pine (which is what the author used) and I found the perfect piece (Fir, I think) But when it came time to measure it up I was short the box top (or bottom) I could have scaled things down, but as the first box was so small, I wanted to make this one bigger to see what the different challenges would be.
Boxes number one and two, yes the cherry one is really that small!
I swung by my local lumberyard last week to pick out a piece of walnut for the 4th box, and looked around to see what, if anything, I could use for this project. Right on the top of the stack of poplar (S4S) was the perfect piece. It was evenly colored, and had a really cool wavy riftsawn grain on all 4 sides. This was it.
Per the book, I glued up the top and bottom. After watching the wood whisper glue up his tabletop, I opted to also use biscuits for alignment purposes. (and to make sure it would survive a fall.) I was also hoping this would help keep things aligned (and flat) during glueup, and despite using my pipeclamps on the tops and bottoms, and clamping down the seams, they still buckled a little. Glueing up oversized pieces, helped alleviate most of the problem, my orbital sander the rest.
I’d like to thank Dollarbill for his dowel suggestion. I’ll be trying that next time!
The rest of the project was pretty straightforward…. although my one complaint was that the author used 5/8th stock, and told us to go get some 1x pine at the lumberyard…. Perhaps if I re-read the intro portion a 5th time I’d have realized he admitted to preplaning his stock.
Having missed this mention, I proceeded as if I were a newbie, and marched forward with my 3/4” stock. Once the sides were glued and nailed together I saw that the box was really way to thick for it’s proportions, so I did what any lumberjock might have done. I put a sacrificial fence on the tablesaw, cozied it right up to the blade, and “jointed” the box down to 5/8ths.
Perfect! Oh, don’t worry, I made doublesure that the nails were countersunk deep enough before I went to the saw.
Then I tried my hand at planing nice chamfers on the edges of the top and bottom. With the grain, piece of cake, across the grain… well, Perhaps It’s high time I learn how to properly sharpen. No?
The tablesaw made quick, and clean work of what I couldn’t do with a blockplane.
Not sure why the bottom was to be attached with screws, I’m afraid of what any woodmovement might do, but I proceeded as instructed. Partly to follow my “teacher’s” advice, and partly out of curiosity to see what happens over the course of a few seasonal changes.
The lid “keeper” (aspen) was attached before sizing, and then cut to size on the tablesaw, ensuring it was perfectly centered. I also cut about 1/8” into the lid portion, thereby reducing it’s apparent thickness down a bit as well. the bottom is still the original 3/4 dimension.
I also cut the chamfers on the side with the tablesaw.
The only other design change I deviated from was omitting a handle on the top of the box. I felt it would have distracted from the grain I had matched so well. I still have a little of this poplar left, so I could have made a handle to match. While the lid does fit snugly, it can easily be opened with one or two hands. Almost too big for one hand, which give a more special feeling to opening the box, (having to use both hands) don’t you think?
I still need to “finish” this box, as I do my first. But as far as the assembly goes, this puppy is done.
For me, however, I still need to make a little glue and sawdust filler to plug up the nailholes one last time and fix a crack where my countersunk screw must have gone a tad askew. I’m also going to make plugs to cover the screwholes as I don’t like the looks of them.