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Forum topic by oakview posted 12-29-2011 03:49 AM 3860 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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oakview

55 posts in 1821 days


12-29-2011 03:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: padauk walnut maple question

I have some walnut, padauk and hard maple in 1/2” thickness that I want to build a box with using finger joints. I’m terrible at designing projects, hence the perhaps seemingly silly questions. I’m building this box for an auction to benefit greyhound rescue and want to do a nice job from the start.

1) Box dimensions – I’ve seen the Golden Ratio used for many different wood items, so would that be a good starting point, or do y’all just wing it?

2) How long can the longest side reasonably be if using the 1/2” stock above without compromising the strength and avoiding serious warping or twisting?

Thanks for your responses.

-- ~^ DaveG ~^


17 replies so far

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 2515 days


#1 posted 12-29-2011 04:07 AM

Dave,
I doubt you’ll run into mechanical problems with dried wood before you run out of room for the box. Just wing it. If it looks good, it’s good. Boeign’s mantra was “If it looks good, it’ll fly good.” From the B-17 to the Dreamliner, that has been true.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2154 days


#2 posted 12-29-2011 05:10 AM

I agree that warping won’t be a problem with dry wood. As far as proportions go, I usually draw a rough sketch to proportion to see how it looks. I am a big pet greyhound fan and have had several over the years. They are a wonderful pet that suprises most people as they assume they are hyper and require a lot of room or exercise. In my opinion, if you look up ‘couch potato’ in the dictionary, you will see a pic of a greyhound! Not good watchdogs but otherwise good guys. Sorry to stray off topic but there aren’t many of us greyhound fans around.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#3 posted 12-29-2011 05:13 AM

If you can’t design very well use others projects as examples.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2314 days


#4 posted 12-29-2011 06:46 AM

Try a 5 to 8 ratio.

If you are careful and smart, you can cut corrugated board on your table saw. Cut it to the net dimensions, for simplicity, and hot melt it together and walk around it and hem and haw out loud.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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oakview

55 posts in 1821 days


#5 posted 12-29-2011 07:30 AM

Thanks everyone… I asked the questions because 1) I’m totally in awe of the boxes I’ve seen here, simply amazing, and 2) I’m terrible at estimating dimensions of boxes that I would shamelessly plagiarize. The cardboard mockup sounds like a good idea. I could easily visualize the 1:1.6 ratio without wasting any wood. Think I’ll use an Exacto knife rather than the table saw though.

@gfadvm – yes, greyhounds make the best companions. I’ve got two of ‘em, both couch potatoes and great doggie diplomats. When we take them anywhere, people just love them! We’re fortunate to have a greyhound rescue center just 20 miles from us. We do a lot to help them out, including making items for auction to help defray expenses.

-- ~^ DaveG ~^

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oakview

55 posts in 1821 days


#6 posted 12-30-2011 08:45 AM

Another coupla questions related to this box I’m planning to build:

1) I read that most folks hereabouts seem to use brass rod for the lid pins. Are there any drawbacks to using steel, i.e. a nail shank? Or would I be construed as just being cheap?

2) Using 1/2” stock, the lid will be about 10” long x 6” wide, and the pins will be going into the long side. How far into the lid should the pins penetrate?

Thanks again in advance.

-- ~^ DaveG ~^

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 2515 days


#7 posted 12-30-2011 10:34 AM

Dave,

Steel will rust and bind. Brass is self-lubricating and won’t rust and isn’t very expensive. Any good hardware store will have it. An inch or so penetration should be more than enough. Make it a tight fit. Test on scrap to make sure it doesn’t bind.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View rance's profile

rance

4245 posts in 2624 days


#8 posted 12-30-2011 11:00 AM

6×10 seems a little large for a box with 1/2” walls. I’d go with a 5×7 or thereabouts. Also think about photograph sizes. 3×5, 5×7, 8×10. These seem to have good ratios.

How about Copper for pins? You can usually get it free in some discarded Romex wiring.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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oakview

55 posts in 1821 days


#9 posted 12-30-2011 11:17 AM

As always, great advice gentlemen. I didn’t think about steel pins oxidizing and the subsequent binding. And, I have alternate smaller dimensions I’ll fall back on. I must have been thinking 3/4 stock instead of the 2/4 when coming up with the larger size. The walls would look kinda flimsy over the 10” side…

-- ~^ DaveG ~^

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2412 posts in 2386 days


#10 posted 12-30-2011 06:31 PM

I use 1: 1.4 ratio. It just appeals to me more than the 1: 1.666 ratio does. I make hundreds of cedar boxes 3/8” stock 8”x11”.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2154 days


#11 posted 12-31-2011 03:38 AM

I hate to disagree with my buddy Rance but 1/2” stock works fine for larger boxes and looks OK unless you make them deep ( then it looks puny). Almost all of my big (16×10 ) boxes are made with 5/8” stock. I think 3/4” stock looks too thick and bulky for most jewelry boxes/keepsake boxes. Just my opinion. If you’re going to grind/sculpt it, then you need thicker stock. I have used SS brazing rod, copper wire, and brass brazing rod for pins and they all seem to work fine.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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oakview

55 posts in 1821 days


#12 posted 12-31-2011 06:09 AM

Nah, no disagreements, just differences of what is beauty in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, between experienced box builders :) I value all the input coming this way.

@gfadvm – how deep do you typically make your boxes? I can go up to 5-1/2” without doing any glueup with the boards I was planning to use. I have tentatively chosen 4” sides which will result in a 3-3/4” usable depth after inletting the bottom piece with a 1/4” rabbet.

-- ~^ DaveG ~^

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2154 days


#13 posted 12-31-2011 06:32 AM

Dave, In the past I made most of my boxes 5-6” deep but now I’m making a lot of them 3” and they seem to sell. Those oak boxes I posted this week are all made out of 3” stock so are only about 2 1/2” deep inside and I like the proportion. From a functional standpoint, the deeper boxes should probably have a removable tray . It all depends on who and what you’re making them for. That box under my drum sander is relatively huge but it suits it’s purpose very well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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oakview

55 posts in 1821 days


#14 posted 12-31-2011 06:39 AM

Thanks – I’ll go have a look…

-- ~^ DaveG ~^

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2154 days


#15 posted 12-31-2011 06:47 AM

Dave, I forgot to mention that hinge pins can also be made of wood. I have used bamboo skewers, 1/8”, 3/16”, and 1/4” dowels. I wax the dowels as they tend to squeak if you don’t. My daughter loves her ‘squeaking’ jewelry box!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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