Sunday, April 22, 2012

Birthday Box

As hard as it is for me to believe, it's time for another birthday present for my boy. He loves to draw, so I decided on making a box to hold all his pencils, crayons etc.

Now normally my posts start from the beginning and follow the creation process through to the product. This one's going to be different - mostly because as the time crunch came on, the picture taking pretty much stopped.

So here it is, a bit backwards, but hopefully still worthwhile.

The completed box:

And now for what I have in way of "step-by-step" photographs.

The beginning:

The middle:

The end (assuming that you understand that by "end" I mean end of the beginning):

And pictures of two tips or techniques that I've found useful for making this style of box (which is really just a giant version of my pencil box):

The first involves shortening one end section to allow the top to slide in and out of the grooves. I rip down the center of the groove and then plane the remaining waste down to the bottom of the groove (well, "bottom" when the piece is oriented as it is in the finished box). It is easy to go too far, and then the lid does not fit snug; there is a gap between it and the end of the box. My improved technique is to first take a pencil and draw a line down the back corner of the remaining groove. As soon as this planes off, I stop. Pretty simple, but pretty darn effective. Why did it take me so long to think of that?

The second is a simple way to test the fit of the rabbeted bottom (or top) into the grooves in the box sides. I just grab an offcut of the grooved stock and use that as a handy gauge to test the rabbets. Again, simple but effective, and embarrassingly slow to come to me.

I guess I better start planning next year's birthday present, as it will be here before I know it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bench Project - Part III

About a million years ago, I started designing a new bench (sitting not work) to replace an existing bench that was on death's doorstep. Last week I put saw to wood and got started. Here's the progress so far:

What? It doesn't look familiar? Well, it has been a while since you saw the design. You remember, I worked on it forever. Here's a reminder:

There, see it now? No? Hmm. Yeah, probably not. Seems like I completely abandoned that design and just started building something different without a whole lot of thought going into it. How unlike me.

This one is supposed to be more "church pew like". We'll see...

Oh, and the original bench? The one that was about to fall apart. It's still there. Even though it is not well made, it is made of real wood. I just bang the doweled joinery back together every other day and it carries on - a daily demonstration of the power of real wood. Try that with pressed sawdust!