I want to thank Matt Kenney ( @mekwoodworks ) for his work on the book "52 Boxes in 52 Weeks". This piece was wholly influenced by his design, but it is not a direct copy of any one of his boxes.
Cherry sides, Sepele lid, Ebony handle, and plywood bottom. All parts are 1/4" thick.
7" long, 3.5" wide, and 3" tall. The handle is 1/2" tall and has a bevel from 5/16" wide at the top down to 3/16" at the base. The finish is Arm-R-Seal satin topcoat.
#box #boxmaking #cherry #sepele #ebony
The slight bevel of the Ebony pull feels just right when lifting the lid
Besides my tiny pill box theses are the thinnest box parts I have ever done at just 1/4" thick.
The rabbet for the lid and the bottom panel are just 1/8" x 1/8"
This is some 8/4 cherry that was left over from my Sofa Table build
The area of the boards above these lines is quarter sawn and has a beautiful ray fleck pattern and I'll keep it for later.
I'll mark it off and rip cut it.
Well folks, after five years of strictly working with only hand tools I decided that my shop needed an apprentice to make the long rip cuts and resaw cuts that take way too long to do by hand.
It's a Laguna 14twelve and I'm running a 3/4" Resaw King carbide tipped blade.
(don't spend $135 on the light from Laguna, Get a $10 sewing machine light off Amazon)
I'm going to resaw thin strips off the face of this stock, so I need to flatten it first
Winding sticks are used at either end to check for twist.
They make it very obvious which sides are high and which are low.
I then use my jointer plane to flatten the stock and remove the twist.
I like where the sapwood and heartwood transition. I use a panel guage to mark the width I need, this will also determint the height of the box. I go back to the bandsaw and rip cut the waste.
I then cleanup the saw marks with my #7 jointer plane and make sure the edge is 90 degrees to the face and mark the reference face and edge.
Back to the bandsaw again to resaw two strips that are a little over 5/16" thick and then trim them to the length I want at the bench with my crosscut backsaw.
Now I get out my 4 1/2 smoothing plane to cleanup the saw marks and get both panels to the exact same thickness of 1/4"
The shooting board is used to cleanup the ends and get both pieces to the exact same length.
I need to cut a rabbet on the top and bottom of each board. A marking guage is set to 1/8" and I mark out all of the cuts.
I don't have a tail vise so this is my solution instead.
I have a Veritas Rabbet Plane, but the cuts are so small I decided to use my shoulder plane instead. You have to be careful with the first cut, but if you use your fingers as a fence it's not too hard to run the corner of the shoulder plane right in the guage line. After one or two passes the shoulder is established and you can concentrate on not cutting too deep and going past the line.
I'm trying out the technique of resawing a board and turning it "inside out" to get the grain to wrap around all four corners of the box.
You have to remeber to cut the side pieces off of opposite ends of the boards for this to work.
The sides are cut off and the ends are cleaned up at the shooting board, making sure that the long pieces and the short pieces are exactly the same size.
The donky's ear is used to cut the long miters on each of the pieces.
Blue tape is used to clamp things up and make sure the miters are tight.
Pinch sticks are a great way to capture an inside dimension on things where you can't easily fit a ruler. The binder clip keeps things in place while you transfer the measurement to something like an adjustable square.
I mark out and cut a piece of 1/4" Baltic Birch plywood for the bottom panel.
I picked up this beautiful vintage Brown and Sharpe model at an antique store for 12 bucks including the bevel protractor. It still has the scriber too.
I cut the panel just outside the guage line.
Clean it up at the shooting board until I get and exact fit.
The visable edge of the plywood will be stained black with some Arm-R-Seal gel stain before finishing.
Time for the glue up.
I use plywood for the bottom panel because it won't move too much with seasonal changes so it can be glued into the rabbet all the way around and really helps to reinforce the mitered corner joints.
Now I go and get every clamp in the neighborhood and squeeze the ever livin' sh.....
I know it looks like a lot, but I'm really not putting too much pressure on any of these. Just enough to hold things exactly where I wan them.
The easiest way to cleanup and even out the top of the box is on some sandpaper glued to a flat surface.
I don't have an air compressor, I use Duster to keep the paper clean and extend it's life.
The router plane is used to cleanup the bottom of the rabbet and make sure that it is still 1/8" deep after we sanded down some of the top edge.
I guess I'm a belt and suspenders kinda guy. having the bottom panel glued in will help keep the miters together, but I'm going to add keys as well. Just one on each corner.
I use my rip cut tennon saw for this cut.
I found that two thicknesses of comercially available veneer fit perfectly into the kerf cut made by this saw.
I use Titebond Liquid Hide glue for this and glue in the pieces double thick.
While the glue is drying I move on to fitting the lid panel
It's done in the same way as the bottom panel was.
I mark out the 1/4" thickness and get out my scrub plane.
I chamfer each edge right down to the guage line.
I then trap the workpiece in the corner of these two planing stops and work across the grain until I get to within 1/16" or less to the line.
I switch over to a planing board with a very low wooden fence and get out the smoothing plane to finish it right to the line.
The grain in Sepele runs in different directions so getting a nice finish off the plane is nearly impossible.
I use blue tape and super glue or carpet tape to hold the board in place while I hand sand with 150 and then 220 grit.
A little mineral spirits shows me what the contrast in the two species will look like with finish.
The next morning I trim the keys flush and get out the smoothing plane, card scraper, and sanding blocks for the final cleanup.
I cut off a piece of Ebony for the handle. It's 5/8" x 5/16" and I used the narrow dimension of the lid to determine it's length.
I planed it down to 1/2" tall x 5/16" wide and then added a bevel to the front and back from 5/16" wide at the top down to 3/16" at the bottom.
I also put a slight bevel on the two ends. I don't know the angle, I just clamped two paint sticks to the fence of the shooting board and shot the ends until the cut met the top edge.
It's centered up and glued on with hide glue.
I did three coats of Arm-R-Seal Satin Top Coat with a light sanding with 400 grit between each coat.
After about a week of curing I'll add some Alfie Shine Hard Wax Polish and buff it out.
I hope you enjoyed following along, If you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear them.
Tim McCoy - Timmy2Hands
I'm training to become a professional boxer...