A box of Koa - Not a Koa Box #2: The first project - Board #2

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Blog entry by sras posted 11-28-2010 12:19 AM 4731 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Introductions Part 2 of A box of Koa - Not a Koa Box series Part 3: Mini bowls - board #3 »

I decided that my first koa project would be a thank you gift for the couple who invited us to spend the week in Hawaii with them. She had bought a necklace and was looking at koa display boxes – it seemed to be a natural to offer up a display box.

Board #2 (see previous post) was chosen. I spent quite a bit of time working out the design details:
1. The necklace had to hang such that it spanned the width and length of the box. This required a trial fit with the necklace to get sure it would drape over the support correctly.
2. I wanted to make the most out of my material – this required a few iterations to get the right proportions and not run out of wood.
3. I wanted nice hardware – solid brass and beveled glass. The glass was ordered ahead of time to make sure I had exact dimensions to work from.

Once all the details were worked out, it was time to start cutting. Given the size of material there was no room for errors. First up was resawing. A new bandsaw blade made all the difference here.

I wanted to make sure the grain and color transitioned nicely. I numbered the location of each piece before cutting.

Again, I had to be very careful with the saw and the planer. Snipe and chipout were not allowed for in the allocation of material. I took care of the snipe risk by running a sacrifical strip in front and behind the pieces. Miter cuts were cut slightly oversized and then dialed it through a series of test fits.

The brass hinges were a little too wide for the width of the box sides. I clamped them between two blocks and filed them down. This next picture is from about halfway through sanding them back to a polish. I went all the way to 2000 grit. It ended up not quite as polished as the original but close!

I added strength and detail to the corners with a spline. I used the spline miter jig I recently posted as a project. It worked great. The splines are from some mahogany I have left over from my kitchen stool project .

The display box is bascially two frames hinged together. The next picture shows the glue up of the door. Once again, no extra material is available for error recovery!

I bought some black velvet for the background. There is an allowance of just over 1/4 inch for the back. The back is made up of two layers of 1/8 inch plywood. The inner layer is covered with the velvet and the back layer finishes off the back side. The velvet is glued in place with fabric glue (Tacky brand).

The final picture is from the finishing process. There is the box, the door, a center medallion and the glass retainers.

The final assembly is posted as a project . This project spanned several months. I used this as a break from working on the kitchen stools (which are still moving along). This pretty well consumed the wood from board #2. I have a few small scraps left over. When (or if) I make use of them, I’ll post and addendum to this entry.

Stay tuned for what happens to the next board!!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

3 comments so far

View DrewM's profile


176 posts in 2998 days

#1 posted 11-28-2010 01:28 AM

outstanding work!

-- Drew, Delaware

View sras's profile


4799 posts in 3128 days

#2 posted 11-28-2010 06:24 AM

Thanks Drew!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2973 days

#3 posted 11-28-2010 08:16 AM

Cool stuff, I am addicted to koa wood as well

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

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