Box Contest #13-15

author-gravatar skeys Mar 19, 2017

I really like Matt Kenney's "52 Boxes in 52 Weeks" project. The designs are clean and elegant. This is the second box I've done out of the group. Another thing about the designs is that they're all pretty understated and quiet. I wanted to see what happened when I added some "noise" in the form of brash colors. I used padauk and canary wood for this box.

Don't make the mistake I did and think you can scrape off the excess paint. Especially if you use a porous wood like padauk. I still have work to do with an exacto knife to clean out the pores.

I'm happy with it overall. These boxes are small. This is about 2" wide at the base, 2" tall and 6" long.

I saw a crazy piece of canary wood with yellow, red, even purple grain streaks. I thought padauk would be a good complimentary match. I resawed to 1/4"for the sides and 5/16" for the top.

I made patterns for the curves on the bottom of the box. An old pot lid worked for the arch on the short end. I cut a thin strip of plywood to bend for the arch on the longer side. The arches are so small that cutting with a band saw seemed silly, so I used a spindle sander to shape them. 

I used SketchUp to figure out the angle for the sides. 5° and 4° were too steep, and 3° didn't seem steep enough, so 3.5° it is. As it turned out, I think 3° would have been better.

I used a chunk of 8/4 cherry to cut the wedges. I guess it's time to clean that blade.

Double stick tape worked well to attach the wedges to the sides

This type of sled works great for miters, if the pieces are small enough.

This is an example of why you should slow down and think the steps through before you do them. I should have cut the rabbets for the bottom and small reveal BEFORE I cut the sides to length. Cutting the bottom rabbet was fine, but the other one took a bit of work. The end pieces are too small to just slide across a fence. Double stick tape to the rescue again. With the wedges still in place, I stuck them on a piece of ply that I could run along the fence. But that meant that I had to go between the bit and the fence. When you do that, remember to feed the other way (left to right).

After carefully peeling off the wedges, some tape held it together while I fit the lid.

You can't see it, but I routed the raised (or lowered) rim for the underside before I rounded the ends of the lid. 

Tape works great for mitered box glue ups. The bottom is in too.

If you make this box, or one with this kind of small, painted detail, use tape to mask off the unpainted areas. Trust me, don't think to yourself "oh, just a couple of swipes with a card scraper and it will be fine", it won't, use tape.

And, yes, in case you were wondering, I made two of them. On the second one, I reversed the woods for the side and top. 

Maybe you can tell that I really liked Matt's series of boxes. This is the second one I've made, and I'll probably do a couple of more. I guess I'll find out what it's like to be ahead of the game when Christmas rolls around. Thanks for looking.

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