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Watch box base design question

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Forum topic by LSGss posted 01-09-2013 11:01 PM 985 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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LSGss

55 posts in 675 days


01-09-2013 11:01 PM

Hello all, I have a question about my watch box base. The base would be approximately 14” x 10”.

1.The sides of the box are 5/8” thick so first I was wondering what thickness should the base be?

2.I was told at this size the mahogany I plan to use would move therefore, would it be best the veneer plywood with hardwood veneer? Is there a way to still use hardwood and hide where it expands?

3. How thick should the veneer and plywood be? And what is the best way to incorporate it into the sides? Also when you adhere hardwood veneer to plywood, can that veneer move depending on the environment still?

Sorry this is a lot of questions. I have a couple of box building books but I don’t feel like they address the topic well.

Thank you.
Lenny


9 replies so far

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Dan Krager

1613 posts in 922 days


#1 posted 01-16-2013 03:51 AM

Hi Lenny. Welcome to LJ!
It seems to me that 5/8 thick walls for a box this size is pretty thick. I would drop back to 1/2 or 3/8. Just an opinion of design and form, not critical to the function. The thickness of the base depends on aesthetics. Are you going to let it project beyond the sides? If so, then molding of the edges is in order. What kind of top for the box?
Yes, solid wood moves, but you should verify just how much in this case. If this is going to be kept in a conditioned environment, then movement is minimal. Look up in a chart how much this would move. Mahogany is one of the more stable woods. If the grain is perpendicular to the 10”, I’ll wager that you would need a micrometer to measure the movement. Therefore, careful construction allowing for this minimal movement is a lot more practical than messing with veneer.
Your question indicates that connecting the base and top to the walls allowing for movement is not currently in your skill set. One thing to keep in mind is that this is a case where the movement, if any, can be allocated from center, thus cutting the allowance in half. Any movement precludes glue so you have to decide on a mechanical joint type. There are too many options to list here without further design details, but if you can’t decide or know about any, then come back for more.
You can eliminate the movement problem entirely by making the parts so the grain all runs the same direction, i.e. all movement is parallel, no cross direction movement.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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LSGss

55 posts in 675 days


#2 posted 01-16-2013 06:34 PM

Hi Dan, thank you for the help. I do agree that 5/8” thickness will be to bulky perhaps 1/2” will work well.

Those are a couple of my drawings, im not a great drawer. Its a somewhat simple design. I plan on doing a hidden spline miter for the corners. I was going to put the base into a dado slot or rabbet the base and put that part into the dado slot. I prefer to use hardwood instead of veneer. I am making a gloss top with a thin frame.
You are correct that this is a new project for me and not in my skill set. I have a couple of box building books and design books that I have read but they don’t go into detail in these topics. I was under the impression that I can glue the base in if I apply to glue at the halfway point on the cross grain side.
Im not to sure I understand your example of having all the grain in parallel. The sides will all be parallel because they run in the horizontal but how would that work for the base.

Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it. If you have a suggestion of other resources please let me know. Thank you again.

Lenny

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Dan Krager

1613 posts in 922 days


#3 posted 01-22-2013 03:18 AM

Lenny, I’m glad you sent email. This did not let me know even though it was marked to watch.
I must have been sleeping, thinking that all the grain could be “parallel”. :) All the grain on the sides will be horizontal and the bottom grain will be parallel to the side or the end, depending on how you put it in. Generally you want the grain on the bottom to run the long way. If you dado the bottom in, it will be stronger. And you are right, you must cut the bottom undersize so it is sloppy in the lateral fit (cross grain). Then when you assemble it, a drop of glue in the center of each end of the bottom will be perfect to keep it from rattling around or slipping to one side. Suggest you finish the bottom before assembly so raw wood won’t show when it shrinks.
Assemble the box and then cut the top off. You can use a table saw or a band saw. If you are brave you can hand saw it with a fine tooth panel saw.
Glass top with thin frame is kinda asking for trouble because the joints are not going to be strong enough. If you epoxy the glass into it’s dado, that will help a lot. Is this a two layer box? The drawings sorta suggest that it might be.???
If I don’t respond right away, do get in touch again. I’ll help all I can.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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LSGss

55 posts in 675 days


#4 posted 01-26-2013 01:38 AM

Yes this is a two layered box. The sliding drawer on the bottom and a fixed tray on top covered by a glass lid. I wasn’t sure about dimension for framing the glass top. I was going to do a hidden spline miter to strength the corner joints for the frame. I think I drew a side view in one of pictures, I have the it 2” H x 1” W x 14.75” L for the longer lengths. Let me know if you have any ideas about a good side for the frame. I think I will use 1/8’ glass.

I have a general question about veneering. Cutting hardwood veneer, what is a thickness that would keep the veneered panel from moving and being able to be glued in around the entire parameter?

Is there a way to make a solid wood bottom that is flush to the bottom of the sides? For example if the bottom has a rabbet that fits in the dado of the sides?

Thanks again for the help,
Lenny

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Dan Krager

1613 posts in 922 days


#5 posted 01-26-2013 03:23 AM

The wood frame around the glass is going to be fragile due to its diminutive size in cross section, even with splines.

No amount of thickness will keep a veneered panel from moving. If you veneer a panel it must be balanced. What you do to one side must be done to the other. No ifs ands or buts. Commercial veneers are measured in thousandths of an inch, 0.020-0.040. Home made veneers are tough to make at 1/16 =0.063. Then you need a press. Use four panels of particle board or MDF slightly bigger than the panel and glue them face to face in pairs. These make the top and bottom of a press that you can clamp together around the edges until the veneer glue sets up.

A solid wood bottom could be made to fit as you suggest. Just allow for cross grain movement with deep dados and rabbets on the bottom panel edges parallel to grain.

You’re gonna learn some things building this box, so get it done. Take notes for the next one! That’s all part of the fun.

Got pictures?
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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LSGss

55 posts in 675 days


#6 posted 01-26-2013 10:37 PM

Hey Dan,

Would it be possible to make this kind of joint for the bottom. Could I use a real wood or only wood veneer on plywood? Would there have to be a space for “A” or “B” on the image.

Thanks again.
Lenny

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Dan Krager

1613 posts in 922 days


#7 posted 01-26-2013 10:48 PM

Yes, you could use either veneered plywood or solid wood. Yes, you need space at A and B to allow for movement of solid wood, less for plywood veneer. Remember to allow for veneering both surfaces of the plywood bottom panel. That is a big MUST.

This type of joint dado and rabbet is easy to do with hand planes or table saws.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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Dan Krager

1613 posts in 922 days


#8 posted 02-02-2013 02:49 PM

How goes the war, Lenny?
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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LSGss

55 posts in 675 days


#9 posted 02-05-2013 04:06 AM

It goes okay. I should have mentioned that I am a fourth year medical student on a busy rotation so I haven’t had time to do anything yet. I’ll defiantly let you know when I make some headway, i’m sure i’ll have more questions. Thanks and sorry about the slow reply.

Lenny

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