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Boxmakers - question about making a small box

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 06-11-2012 05:55 PM 1244 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1714 days


06-11-2012 05:55 PM

For fathers day, I want to make my father a fly box out of some curly oak I have lined with cork. The box is going to be fairly small, and due to tool limitations, I have questions about construction. The overall height is only going to be about 2 1/4 inches, and I am going to use either 1/2” or 3/8’ stock

Question 1 – Do I want to plane it to 3/8 or 1/2”? The stock is currently 23/32”. I don’t have a bandsaw yet so I can’t resaw. I know, a lot of nice wood is getting turned to chips

2- Joints. I want to assemble the whole box at 2 1/4” then cut it in half on the table saw. I am going to leave the blade about a 1/32” shallow and finish the rest with either a coping saw or exacto knife. I can’t dovetail it, I can’t box joint it so it will be mitered. I won’t have enough room for splines. Will the miters hold with just glue?

3 – Cutting the miters. I want to miter the top and bottom also so no end grain shows. Should I get a 45 degree chamfer bit, or cut it on the table saw? The end grain cuts will be done on the table saw to avoid tear out. I have a miter saw but I trust my table saw a lot more.

4 – Rather than get a chamfer bit, should I just get a lock miter bit? I am still concerned about tear out but I could make my cuts proud to allow some trimming.

5 – Hinges. I’d really like to use barrel hinges. Do I have enough room?

Sorry for asking a ton of questions, but I really want to get this right. My dad has undergone a lot of very serious health issues lately and I’m not sure how many more fathers days we will have.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/


7 replies so far

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Gene Howe

8257 posts in 2894 days


#1 posted 06-11-2012 06:50 PM

Having no band saw sorta limits you to planing it down. You could resaw it on the table saw but You’d likely not save anything.
Power planing also has it’s challenges with chip out on curly wood. I plane to about 1/16th over and plan to sand out the chip marks. I use a “Flat Sander” but a thickness sander works, too. Or, something that small could easily be router planed.
Titebond ll will hold miter joints that small with no problem. Just be sure to spread a very thin coat over the mitered end to seal the pores. Press it in with your finger. You’re looking for just a film of glue. Let it dry (usually in under a minute), then glue and clamp as normal.
If you get the lock miter bit (I would), get the set up block for 1/2”.
Soss barrel hinges come as small as to fit in either a 7/16 or 1/2 thickness. Easy install, too.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1714 days


#2 posted 06-11-2012 06:58 PM

Thanks Gene. I was looking at the MLCS Katana lock miter bit and set up block for 3/4” and 1/2”. It’s listed as a “premium” bit so I hope it is up to the task. That combo is a very easy to swallow 60$. I wasn’t sure if I would have enough room (depth) to drill for the barrel hinges so I am glad to hear I can get them to fit a 1/2 thickness.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

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Gene Howe

8257 posts in 2894 days


#3 posted 06-11-2012 07:04 PM

Katana is a good bit.
Should be no problem.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1714 days


#4 posted 06-11-2012 07:07 PM

Also I do not have a drum. belt or thickness sander, so the planer is going to have to do. I have already planed it down and there has not been any tear out. I will just take REALLY light passes with brand new blades (1/64th at a time.) If it does start taring, there is a hardwood dealer near me that offers thickness sanding services. I will take it there to finish up.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

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TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3141 days


#5 posted 06-12-2012 05:07 AM

You could rewaw with a hand saw.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1714 days


#6 posted 06-12-2012 11:45 AM

You know, I am embarrassed to say that I do not own a (decent) handsaw. I have a crappy buck brothers cross cut saw that I used to cut down some tree limbs many years ago.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23188 posts in 2332 days


#7 posted 06-12-2012 12:15 PM

I’ve been making miter cornered boxes with keys now for about 2 months so I’m no expert. However, I’m really enjoying it and have made all of my jigs and have perfected the jigs so they are ready now and everything sets up easily. I cut my miters with a table saw sled. I have two sleds for boxes – one sled is for standard cross cutting operations (TS blade 90 deg) and for cutting the key slots. I have a cradle that I simply mount into the crosscut sled when I want to cut the slots. I have another identical sled which I use to cut the miters with (TS blade at 45 deg). I also use my crosscutting sled to rip my stock for my keys. It’s a simple setup on my crosscut sled. I’ve learned a lot from asking fellow lumberjocks but I have also learned a whole lot from Doug Stowe's books. I think I have two of his books and Dan Freeman’s book. All three of these books are good and someone who wants to learn how to make boxes should get them because they will just save you a lot of time.

I’m really happy with my boxes so far and my box making hobby. However, I’m still a beginner and have a lot more to learn. Best of luck to you. I believe that you will really like making boxes.

helluvawreck
https://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

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