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A(nother) box - and some challenges

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condeesteso

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Well on the way with this now, but it has raised several challenges which I am happy to share :shock:
It's a commission for a nicely demanding client - we agree quickly on aesthetics and I have had space to select and recommend materials.
I knew I was in for a challenge when the word heirloom came up (I may even have been the first to mention it).
I know we all do at least one box, but as I come from benches and big solid brick-like stuff generally... this really is a challenge: of scale, techniques, tools, patience.
It looks roughly like this:
b1.jpg


Walnut (English, a bit wild), ebony profiled edges, pippy maple internal tray with leather insets to bottom (loose) - Connolly donkey brown, 1mm, very nice indeed.
From the outset the choice of materials was critical and many miles were burned looking, indeed some stock is now just that (stock) because we decided it wasn't right (some steamed pear for internals springs to mind).
It is solid stock throughout, and to make it more fun, every opposite face is bookmatched.
I used a Tuffsaws 3/4 x 4tpi for the deep ripping (11" walnut, and I get one go at it)... that blade is recommended without any qualification at all.
The corners are hand-cut dovetails, and the internal tray will be also (4.6mm stock, 3.4mm base, bookmatched halves again).
At one stage the top and base were to have a box string between the walnut and the ebony, but client and I agreed it was not needed and a little over-dressed.
b2.jpg

The ebony (Madagascar, old, from Timberline) was jointed to the walnut using a continuous double tenon - 2 grooves, a beech insert, grain running into the joint, Titebond 3).
The top and base are the same, but making the grooves was a real challenge. I bust a 2mm router bit very quickly (nowhere for the swarf to go I suspect) and resorted to a scratch-stock and a shop-made gauge used as a cutter to define the walls.

b3.jpg


Hinges from Ian Hawthorne, who was brilliantly helpful. We spent a while talking about locks, and he sent me a custom one. The hinges are excellent.
b4.jpg


Here's the start of the internal tray. Dovetails using my Two Lawyers Gents saw, my shop-made marking/cutting gauge, which I made so I could really see where the cutting tip was; my Moxon vice to get the work up close, and a few other tricks (which I may share :lol: )
b5.jpg


And finally for now, here's the walnut top and bottom - the grain is wonderful but there is no safe direction to approach it with an edge tool. That's why it is so good... 'cos it's a sod.
b6.jpg
 

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Pete W

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Well, I'd say that's one of the finest boxes I've seen in a while. Beautifully understated (glad you abandoned the box stringing) and the details are stunning. As is that walnut. =D>
 

woodbloke

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Making boxes like this is a real challenge and not one to be sneezed at. The workmanship HAS to be faultless all round and the choice of timbers is right up my street...English Walnut and ebony is hard to beat. Modern decent hinges (either from Ian or Andrew Crawford) help enormously and turn what can be a nightmare job into something that takes minutes (with the proper set up on the router table) Looking not too shabby thus far :wink: - Rob
 

SteveJ

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That's gorgeous, some beautiful work & that walnut is very, very nice!
 

No skills

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Very nice indeed. I think that the patience aspect is perhaps the most important skill needed - tools can be made/materials selected/demanding customers pacified but without patience none of it can happen.

Look forward to the finished item.
 

condeesteso

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Many thanks for the encouragement, all. I'm fortunate to have time on this one, and there are stages ahead that I know could be tricky, so I can think them through first.
I'll try and do a few more pics as the stages progress. Good to get favourable objective opinions though, as I am now far too close to it!
 

Richard T

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Very nice Douglas. Testament to bandsaw and blade indeed.

If you feel the urge to play with some more English Walnut, you'll be spoiled for choice next month. :)
 

jimi43

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I saw the embryonic stages of this masterpiece and I think I can safely say if you looked "heirloom quality" up in the dictionary....you would find a photograph of this little chest.

Knowing your tendency for perfection Douglas...I would say that once this emerges for the client....it will be faultless.

I am looking forward to the end result almost as much as the new owner is! :mrgreen:

Thanks for sharing

Jim
 

condeesteso

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very kind indeed.
Colin - there are pics honest, is this a tech issue I wonder?
Fitting the base and lid with a ribbon double tenon has been just one of those challenges. Alignment and squareness have to be bang on (0.1mm maybe) as the lid can be pushed off square to the base very easily. Base is on... lid next later. We shall see.
Cutting the dovetails in that 4.6mm maple I find the Two Lawyers saw (thinnest kerf I have) cuts so fast with no pressure it is madly easy to overshoot the line. I now use a beech block clamped to act as a depth stop. So far OK.
More pics when there is something to see. Did a quick super-thin finish on the inside base though - crikey, that walnut doesn't half light up.
 

woodbloke

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condeesteso":14srarz7 said:
Cutting the dovetails in that 4.6mm maple I find the Two Lawyers saw (thinnest kerf I have) cuts so fast with no pressure it is madly easy to overshoot the line. I now use a beech block clamped to act as a depth stop. So far OK.
I noticed that on the walnut dovetails as well that the line had been overshot in one or two places? - Rob
 

woodbloke

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condeesteso":2i05euh0 said:
Indeed Rob, one or two :shock: . They shall de disappeared in due course. Damn the observant :D
C'est la guerre, Douglas :wink: - Rob
 

David C

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I don't like to mention this but...... Have you framed a solid piece of walnut with the mitred ebony?

Will this not invite movement problems in the future?

David Charlesworth
 

condeesteso

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Yes David, indeed I have. I did consider the risks but the walnut had been sized and kept in the house for a few months, and has been extremely stable, also it was milled originally over 20 years ago. I shall have to wait and see as it has a lifetime guarantee with it... me or the box, it's a form of gambling I think :lol:
 

David C

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Well I do hope you get away with it because it is a fine piece of work.

David
 

tomthumbtom8

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Nice bit of work
can we have the dimensions and more pic please

I'm thinking of making a box with my son over the summer holiday are there any do's and don't when selecting your wood?

Tom
 
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