In this video I show you how I make a beautiful veneered box. The veneers used are figured black Limba on the inside, Curly Etimoe for the outside and Laurel Burl veneer for the top and bottom. The finish used for both inside and outside is a 1.5 pound cut of a dewaxed shellac. Hinges are 95 degree side rail hinges (Model SR-638) by Brusso hardware.
For the entire box I used 1/2" baltic birch plywood and 1/2" birdseye maple for the core structure.
The 4 sides are made like a "sandwich" in that they are strips of birdseye maple and plywood. More on that later.
This is the maple I used. Beautiful stuff but tears out like crazy! I probably won't use this again for a while.
Birdseye maple(top), BB ply, maple, BB ply, maple. Essentially the maple is on the top, bottom and in the area where the lid is cut off so you see that instead of plywood. It's on the top and bottom so you can put a small chamfer around the edge and again see maple instead of plywood.
After the glue up I run all 4 panels through the drum sander to make them all smooth and a consistent thickness.
Next I cut the panels to their final widths.
To get a nice grain match around 3 of the 4 corners I lay the pieces out on the veneer starting with the Left side, Front, Right side, and Back side.
Trace around them with a pencil
And then cut the long strip of veneer out.
I need another piece of veneer for the inside face so I trace the first veneer piece I cut out on to the inside veneer (curly black Limba veneer).
Next I cut the veneers to the exact length of the 4 side panels and mark them so I don't lose the grain matching
I roll on some veneer glue and place the veneer on both faces before sticking them in the bag.
After the glue dries I next need to put a rabbet on the inside top and bottom edges.
Since we are working with veneer it's important from here on out to prevent tear out so I use a marking knife to scribe the veneer before using the rabbeting bit.
Slowly run the piece, rotate and run again.
Before gluing up the panels I like to prefinish the inside faces and I start that by sanding with 180 grit and then stopping at 220 grit. Remember, you can burn through veneer very easily so dont sand too long!
I wipe on 3-4 coats of a 1.5 pound cut of shellac(dewaxed). After about the second coat I sand lightly with a 400 grit paper before applying the final coats.
The final part of my finishing recipe is to wax the faces. This not only looks/smells good(depending on the wax you use) but it also prevents any squeeze out from sticking when you glue the box up.
Cutting the miters should be first tested on a test piece to make sure your sled/table saw is dialed in.
Using a stop block I cut all 4 pieces to size.
One of the most important parts of the glue up is to make sure that the pieces are lined up perfectly. Especially if you have two rabbets that need to line up. To do this I use a straight piece of ply as my reference edge.
To glue up the box, if your miters are cut correctly, all you should need is a couple pieces of tape. Add the tape, flip it over and....
Add the glue!
Tape the final corner and wipe away any squeeze out.
While the glue is drying I measure for the top and bottom panels so that I can get their inside faces veneered using the same figured black Limba veneer.
Back in the bag for you two!(well, this is technically their first trip, but you know what I mean).
Sanding comes up next followed by 3-4 coats of shellac and then wax! Just like before. As you can tell, this is my recipe for pretty much all boxes I make. I'm not saying it's the best, just what works for me.
Apply glue to the rabbets on the top and bottom of the box and jam the panels in place!
Clamp away and give it some time to dry.
I make it a point to cut the rabbets just a hair deeper than the thickness of the plywood so that I can flush trim the top and bottom of the box and make it perfectly flush.
Sand with 120 grit here just to give the glue some tooth.
This burl is beautiful stuff but did require flattening for 2-3 days and still gave me fits when veneering. It's delicate stuff for sure!
Very lightly sand with 180 and 220 grit the top and bottom
Hey don't forget about the sides!
Using a hard block(wood) and 220 grit, I lightly chamfer the edges all the way around the box. I would typically use a chamfer bit at the router table but holy crap this burl was giving me fits so I didn't risk it.
Cutting the lid loose is always a scary task but with a bandsaw tuned up it shouldn't be a problem.
I have a big piece of melamine that I put some 120 and 150 grit adhesive backed sandpaper on to flatten my freshly cut lid and base. This works amazingly well. It's a good workout too!
See, I told ya! Can't see a gap anywhere.
To install the hinges I purchased the brusso brass hinge template that you use in conjunction with your router and a bearing. It worked "ok" but it's a pain in the ass to line up the edges with the template being so small. I have a strong opinion on hinges that I may make a dedicated video on to show what works best for me.
With the slots routed I pre-drill using the self-centering bit (I need to buy a new kit. The ones I have are cheap and don't work well).
Cut the threads using the steel screw that comes with the hinges! You can thank me later if you didn't know this tip.
Finish time with more shellac and wax!
The curly Etimoe is beautiful stuff.
Done! Hope you enjoyed this one. Now check out some beauty shots.