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Catan box

author-gravatar ronanmor Nov 30, 2019

As part of the fine furniture course our first project was to produce a dovetailed box with a veneered mdf lid and bottom. I decided to go for an inlayed dovetail for the box with walnut as the box sides and maple as the inlay. For the veneered top i created a design based around my favourite boardgame, Catan. I used a mixture of natural veneer and stained Tabu veneer. I continued the house icon in the rest of the veneered panels throughout the box. I also created lipping for the box lid using timber cut from the box front and back to insure the grain pattern matches front and back. For the game components i made 2 mitred trays with maple keys and inserts. I positioned the inserts in the trays using mitred grooves and cross halving joints. For the bottom panels of each tray i continued the theme of the house icon as well.

#box #walnut #maple #dovetail #inlaiddovetail #veneer #catan #lipping #boadgame #finefuniture #inserts #mitredbox #mitre 

Photo of Catan box
Photo of Catan box
Photo of Catan box
Photo of Catan box
Photo of Catan box
Photo of Catan box

Finally i mitred the box using maple veneer keys. 

Photo of Catan box

I cut the maple inserts very carefully with a guillotine. 

Photo of Catan box

The finished bottom tray with book matched walnut veneer. 

Photo of Catan box

A photo of the jig from above. 

Photo of Catan box

For the trays i made a 45degree paring block jig. I created a rebate on the bottom of the jig to hold the material in place. This allowed me to chisel my mitred grooves without worrying about being 90. 

Photo of Catan box

Finished product. 

Photo of Catan box

The veneer was pressed in a bag as opposed to a cold press as i had so much tape. This made the iron essential when i was taking the tape off. 

Photo of Catan box

Veneer alost completer. 

Photo of Catan box

Building the veneer i struggled with the tree tops. Even with a template it was very difficult to get a tight fit with the mountain veneer underneath,. 

Photo of Catan box

Glue up. Some slight adjustments were needed to get square but i got there. 

Photo of Catan box

Next i cut the tails from the walnut and the pins on the maple side. 

Photo of Catan box

After cutting off the excess and flushing the maple you can see where the rebate was made. 

Photo of Catan box

First i cut a 3mm rebate in the bottom of the walnut. This would who as a continuous line when i made the final dovetails. I then made the maple dovetails. 

2 comments

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this beautiful box, Ronan! Ever since seeing it on Instagram, it's grown to probably be one of my favorite designs. The detail in this box is amazing. You did a fantastic job on the veneer work and I can't even begin to imagine how difficult (as you state above) the trees were. What was your choice of finish?

Thanks Sean! So I finished with Osmo Rapid(mainly because there was no raw available. 2 coats on the inside and 4-5 on the outside with buffing after the second coat with a little fine grit wire wool. Rapid was not a great choice for the inside of the trays though as it started to set before I had finished. Getting into those little nooks and crannies took an age.

@Sean  said:

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this beautiful box, Ronan! Ever since seeing it on Instagram, it's grown to probably be one of my favorite designs. The detail in this box is amazing. You did a fantastic job on the veneer work and I can't even begin to imagine how difficult (as you state above) the trees were. What was your choice of finish?

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