First try at a box! Oak, Meranti, Pine and Epoxy Resin.

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Kaizen123

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Hello everyone! Just joined and glad to be here.

I've started building a little jewelry type box just to practice my skills I've been teaching myself. I've only really done site joinery as a labourer but I'm much more interested in cabinet/furniture building.

So! Here she is so far and I've hit a bit of a snag...

I have layed some epoxy resin and green+blue pigment into an oak board I cut at an angle on the table saw. Don't know the degree and angle because it was just a completely random set up. Turned the wheel under the saw, didn't look where it landed and then cut the oak to create a valley for the epoxy. (Sorry for all those who are not epoxy fans I'm just trying this out to see what it's like to work with).

I've got pine sides and back mitred and (will be soon) splined with Meranti.

I wanted to do it all in oak but I didn't have enough. I also didn't want the oak lid to be as thick as it is (16mm) but all the wood except the pine is reclaimed. The pine is from Wickes and is also too thick. I hand milled the pine down from 18mm to 10 to match the oak side of the box. I did TRY to mill the oak using the table saw but after doing the side piece I decided not to try again as my Titan table saw was about to explode and the oak was burnt a crisp (see photo). I think I need a handsaw for this as milling the thickness of a 3 3/4inch piece of wood with a handsaw was not fun.

I just wanted some advice on the lid really. I have left a lip as I think it looks funky but I would love to create some kind of edging on it underneath and on top of the lid and top edges of the sides. Is this advisable for a newbie with no router? I've got some decent chisels and I do prefer using hand tools where possible but I REALLY don't want to screw it up. Is there any tried and tested fairly simple method of prettying up the corners on oak?

Any other suggestions would be great too :) Thanks everyone and nice to meet you all.
 

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Sporky McGuffin

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Much better that way round. Nice!

Fir simple boxes (which are nearly the limit of my ability) I cut a rebate around the edge of the lid bottom so there's a plug that sits into the box a few millimetres. I'd do it with a router as I've got one, or a shoulder plane.
 

MARK.B.

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You could use your table saw instead of a router to form a lip, maybe half the thickness and just enough removed so it fits snugly ,that way you keep the look but the top looks thinner and possibly more pleasing to the eye :)
 
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You have a lovely wee box to show off, I'd be inclined to put that aside and make another, rather than mess up that one. That way, is you mess up, you still have a lovely box.
 

Kaizen123

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I thought that about the lip using the table saw. Problem is it'll stretch the whole length of the board and I think that'll look daft. I only wanted a lip on the middle really.

I'm leaning towards just doing a couple Champers all around but that also might mess up the look of the mitred corners.... Ughhh I just don't know!!! This is the problem with not having a plan haha.
 
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If you want some treatment of the edges, you could do the old 'screw in a board' method to scribe a simple border, taking care not to overrun on the corners.

You could try stopped chamfers, stopping short of the corners and leaving them nicely square.

I'm sure others will have better suggestions...
 

Sporky McGuffin

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This is what I meant - this is as if the lid is on a table (ie upside down). The plug that is formed drops into the top of the box and thus locates the lid in position. Make the plug only very slightly smaller than the opening in the box so that it's a fairly positive fit.

lid rebate.jpg
 

Kaizen123

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That looks alright. Could probably do some long cuts on the table saw and chisel out the rest. Seems easy enough. I will get to it and let you guys know how it goes :) thanks.
 

Kaizen123

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Right! I've tried to achieve what was suggested here with the lip for the box. Had SOME success and a bit of a disaster. Basically I have a really cheap table saw which is hard to get accurate cuts on and I am a novice so I went a tad too deep on the far side of the lid, damaging the epoxy and requiring a lot of chiseling to repair.

I have also changed the sides from pine to Meranti and added in some splines. Never done them before and did them by hand so they are rubbish, but for a first attempt at least I learnt some lessons from it.

I have the sides and the top finished now and sanded down to 1200 grit because every tiny hairline scratch shows up in epoxy resin, and I've rubbed some Danish oil onto the outer faces.

Now I have to figure it out what to do about the bottom. Any ideas? I have some MDF and plywood laying around but not sure how to fix it. I probably should have cut some grooves before putting it together eh?.... Still. Learning for next time!

I am pretty happy with the finish though to be honest. The pigment in the epoxy really popped out as did the oak as soon as I had sanded it (and sanded it... And sanded it) before adding the oil. All in all I'm pretty chuffed so far with a first attempt. Now it's onto the bottom panel, little legs for it and possibly a handle for the lid.
 

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Kaizen123

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Ah I see! Great idea! Would glued batons be enough to hold the ply? Do you mean batons around the edges or crossing over side to side? Probably around the edge would work much better I imagine no?
 
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I'm far from even a competent maker of boxes, but I suppose around the edges. 9mm ply should be fine but whatever you have to hand. Cut a fraction smaller than the interior dimensions and drop it in. maybe a very small screw in each end to keep it in place.

It would be much better to have cut a rabbit, as you said, but that ship had sailed! :)
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Yes. Going in half cocked with no experience is a great way to make loads of errors!

I think - as in many things - there's a balance to be struck between finding things out for oneself, and doing things the established way. If I ever find that balance I'll be sure to let everyone know.
 

Adam W.

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@Kaizen123

I have lots of small pieces of air dried riven baltic oak knocking about at the moment and I'd like to offer you some pieces of wood for your box next project.

There are conditions though;

1.You learn to cut dovetails.
2. You pay the postage from London as I'm skint.
3. That HMRC don't decide to take them off me when I travel to London in a couple of weeks.

They look like this with lots of figuring and have nice straight grain, so it's very well behaved and should finish quite well, and they won't have my layout scribbling on them.

Send me a PM if you're interested.

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4. That you don't cover them with resin and make a traditional box with them.
 

Kaizen123

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@Kaizen123

I have lots of small pieces of air dried riven baltic oak knocking about at the moment and I'd like to offer you some pieces of wood for your box next project.

There are conditions though;

1.You learn to cut dovetails.
2. You pay the postage from London as I'm skint.
3. That HMRC don't decide to take them off me when I travel to London in a couple of weeks.

They look like this with lots of figuring and have nice straight grain, so it's very well behaved and should finish quite well, and they won't have my layout scribbling on them.

Send me a PM if you're interested.

View attachment 126864 View attachment 126865

4. That you don't cover them with resin and make a traditional box with them.
That's a great offer that I'll gladly take you up on! I was just about to tackle dovetails AND buy a live edge plank of oak (from B&Q... Is this not a good idea?), so this is really helpful for me as a learner thank you!
 

Adam W.

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Don't rush in and buy the wood from B&Q until you see the wood I'm going to send to you, because all pieces of wood are not made equal and this wood will give you a benchmark for decent joinery wood.

In the meantime, someone will likely teach you how to cut dovetails and make boxes properly, as there are some excellent box makers and cabinetmakers in this parish. If you learn to cut nice joints in some softwood, you'll easily be able to cut nice joints in this oak.

You'll probably have to get your tools up to scratch before you start......good luck with that one.
 

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