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How to Line Boxes & Drawers

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custard

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thetyreman":o7orwi3x said:
if you line the inside of the box, I take it you line it with suede or felt first then make the trays so they fit perfectly to that new slightly reduced size?
Generally yes, but if necessary you can do it "by the numbers" and pre-make the components. In that case I generally allow 0.5mm for a single thickness of top quality suede and that's always worked out pretty well for me.
 

oobaa

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Thanks for the guidance... first attempt completed - really like the contrast in colour and texture that suede delivers

IMG_1960.jpg

IMG_1962.jpg
 

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CoolNik

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Congrats on a lovely box!

I live in New Zealand and we are unable to purchase Copydex. Would someone who knows what the properties of Copydex are let me know so I can choose something available here with similar features, please?
Cheers
CoolNik
 

CHJ

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The Product description ,
Copydex Latex Adhesive is a versatile, multi-purpose adhesive for crafts, hobbies and repairs. You can use it to stick together paper, card, fabric, leather, upholstery and carpet, making it great for home repairs and DIY projects. Because it''s latex based, Copydex is solvent-free: safer both for users and the environment.
Try a google search for alternate brands. " copydex alternative "
 

CoolNik

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Thanks CHJ for the description. I think it will be quite easy to locate here. :D

I will now look for the leather to finish my box.

Regards
CoolNik
 

CoolNik

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custard":1o87aizo said:
Properly lining boxes or drawers, ideally with suede but many fabrics are also suitable, totally transforms the item, adding a great deal of value and hugely lifting the perception of quality. Furthermore, for many applications, such as jewellery, musical instruments, valuable writing instruments, coins, etc, it's pretty much mandatory to provide the client with a neatly lined compartment.

However, even though I see lots of boxes on this forum it's rare that I'll see a properly lined box. The irony is that it's all quite straightforward and it doesn't require much in the way of specialist tools or techniques. Don't get me wrong, if you're slapdash or rush the job it'll look rubbish, but if you're patient and methodical (and if you're not then the hard truth is that you're never going to make much progress with woodworking) then you can genuinely expect to produce fully professional results.

So if you'd like to learn how to go from this,



to this,



or to this,



then read on and I'll show you how I go about the task. You'll probably be surprised at how simple it is.

First let's look at the tools and materials that you'll need.

Personally I prefer to use good quality pig suede. It's widely available from any leather merchant, although if you want to buy on line you can easily find it on Ebay,

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PIG-SKIN-SUED ... rkt%3D1%26

You should look for suede that's about 0.5mm thick. Much thicker and the folds won't be clean, much thinner and it'll stretch and crease or wear through too quickly. I'd advise you to get an entire skin which usually comes in at about 8-10 sq foot. This will give you plenty for three or four boxes complete with a lift out tray, so in terms of material costs it'll cost you about £7-£10 to line a box with suede. You will find stuff cheaper than this, especially if you buy part skins, but I'd strongly advise you to give it a miss. If you run out of materials part way through then you really are stuffed, you're unlikely to get an accurate colour match from one piece to another and the skin and dye quality on the cheaper scraps can be very poor. This advice also holds true for materials like felt, stay well away from the really cheap stuff, it's just a frustrating false economy.

You'll also need some decent quality card that is about 175-200 gsm, look for something smooth and white. The ideal card will come in at about 0.3mm thick. Anything thicker is unnecessary as it will be fully supported by being glued to the substrate of the box, and if it's much thicker then it'll add to the problems of accurate cutting. You'll get smaller boxes out of A4 card stock, but for larger boxes you'll need A3.

The final materials you'll need are double sided tape (ideally in both 50mm or 75mm width and also in 12mm or 15mm width) and some Copydex adhesive. Don't try using PVA, the moisture content will cause too much wrinkling and ruin your work. I'd also recommend that if your Copydex is more than a year old then replace with fresh, old Copydex goes stringy and is a pain to use.

In terms of tools you really don't need much, you can see pretty much everything you'll need in this photo,



An A3 self healing cutting mat is really useful, not just because it protects your bench and is kind on your tools, but also because of the accurate grid pattern printed on the surface which will really help you cut square and avoid gaps. You'll need a decent straight edge (Axminster do a good value one), personally I use both a thick heavy 600mm cutting straight edge and also a heavy 300mm ruler. I find it really useful to use double stick tape to attach some 240 grit abrasive paper to the backs of your cutting straight edges, that helps hold them stable on suede, fabrics, and card, which can otherwise slip and ruin your work as well as endangering your fingers! The final thing you'll need is a scalpel together with plenty of replacement blades. I normally go through at least four or five blades when lining a box. As soon as the blade stops cutting really cleanly then change it immediately. if you don't you'll regret it, as it will drag and ruck up the suede causing ragged cuts. You can re-hone scalpel blades, but given how cheap they are if you buy in bulk I don't see the point. The only critical thing is never use a blunt blade. You may want to wear safety goggles when using or changing blades, remember they can and do break or spring off. They're your eyes so it's your choice.

Next post I'll go through the actual lining process.
Hi, the link in this comment to the eBay pig skin site does not work, so I searched for “pig skin suede” and got a number of responses, most of which were sites for various skins, lamb, goat etc. from India. I am happy to purchase from India if some of you chaps have had success with skins from these sorts of vendors? Also, you mention using “pig skins” - do you use anything else? Such as cow, goat, lamb? Finally, my last question, for now, I have always used white card. Do you match the card to the colour of the skin?
Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
CoolNik
 

Just4Fun

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On the one and only occasion I followed these (excellent) instructions I used chamois leather. I bought it from a motor spares shop; it was sold as a car washing item. Of course it was relatively small so if you have a large box to do it might not be suitable. My project was about the size of a cigar box and one skin was enough for that with little waste.
 

marcros

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You want a nice soft thin material for lining. The seller that I used for pig seems to now have various other animals instead but they look fine to me. I aim for about .6mm only based on what the pigskin was and that it felt about my right.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124121326186

Try that link and search his other items.

As for cardboard, the pros may use white card but I use cereal box! It doesn't show through. For a touch of luxury, I use Kellogg's rather than own branded cereals.
 

Glynne

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I can recommend this supplier after Macros kindly pointed me in his direction.
Fred used to work in the leather industry and appears to have quite a stock. He did send me a few small cut offs so as I could gauge what I wanted before I fully ordered.
Be warned, regardless of your age he will call you son - and I’m a Grandad!
 

Garno

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A +1 for Fred also, he is a very nice bloke and the two times I have got stuff from him he has been open to a deal. If I recall he prefers payment through the paypal "send money to relatives" service :lol:
 

Roxie

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Thank you Custard for you excellent instructions. I have recently used this method to line a couple of boxes with leather and they turned out great.
Only problem I had was getting the double sided sticky tape off the rule I used with abrasive paper, great idea but...…..

Thanks again, onto another lined box.

John
 

woodhutt

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Great tutorial Custard. I've never felt (no pun intended) that I had the skill to try the 'real thing' when lining boxes and have always stuck with flocking. Your post has given me the confidence to have a go.
Pete
 

Shibby

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Properly lining boxes or drawers, ideally with suede but many fabrics are also suitable, totally transforms the item, adding a great deal of value and hugely lifting the perception of quality. Furthermore, for many applications, such as jewellery, musical instruments, valuable writing instruments, coins, etc, it's pretty much mandatory to provide the client with a neatly lined compartment.

However, even though I see lots of boxes on this forum it's rare that I'll see a properly lined box. The irony is that it's all quite straightforward and it doesn't require much in the way of specialist tools or techniques. Don't get me wrong, if you're slapdash or rush the job it'll look rubbish, but if you're patient and methodical (and if you're not then the hard truth is that you're never going to make much progress with woodworking) then you can genuinely expect to produce fully professional results.

So if you'd like to learn how to go from this,

View attachment 58376

to this,

View attachment 58377

or to this,

View attachment 58380

then read on and I'll show you how I go about the task. You'll probably be surprised at how simple it is.

First let's look at the tools and materials that you'll need.

Personally I prefer to use good quality pig suede. It's widely available from any leather merchant, although if you want to buy on line you can easily find it on Ebay,

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PIG-SKIN-SUED ... rkt%3D1%26

You should look for suede that's about 0.5mm thick. Much thicker and the folds won't be clean, much thinner and it'll stretch and crease or wear through too quickly. I'd advise you to get an entire skin which usually comes in at about 8-10 sq foot. This will give you plenty for three or four boxes complete with a lift out tray, so in terms of material costs it'll cost you about £7-£10 to line a box with suede. You will find stuff cheaper than this, especially if you buy part skins, but I'd strongly advise you to give it a miss. If you run out of materials part way through then you really are stuffed, you're unlikely to get an accurate colour match from one piece to another and the skin and dye quality on the cheaper scraps can be very poor. This advice also holds true for materials like felt, stay well away from the really cheap stuff, it's just a frustrating false economy.

You'll also need some decent quality card that is about 175-200 gsm, look for something smooth and white. The ideal card will come in at about 0.3mm thick. Anything thicker is unnecessary as it will be fully supported by being glued to the substrate of the box, and if it's much thicker then it'll add to the problems of accurate cutting. You'll get smaller boxes out of A4 card stock, but for larger boxes you'll need A3.

The final materials you'll need are double sided tape (ideally in both 50mm or 75mm width and also in 12mm or 15mm width) and some Copydex adhesive. Don't try using PVA, the moisture content will cause too much wrinkling and ruin your work. I'd also recommend that if your Copydex is more than a year old then replace with fresh, old Copydex goes stringy and is a pain to use.

In terms of tools you really don't need much, you can see pretty much everything you'll need in this photo,

View attachment 58381

An A3 self healing cutting mat is really useful, not just because it protects your bench and is kind on your tools, but also because of the accurate grid pattern printed on the surface which will really help you cut square and avoid gaps. You'll need a decent straight edge (Axminster do a good value one), personally I use both a thick heavy 600mm cutting straight edge and also a heavy 300mm ruler. I find it really useful to use double stick tape to attach some 240 grit abrasive paper to the backs of your cutting straight edges, that helps hold them stable on suede, fabrics, and card, which can otherwise slip and ruin your work as well as endangering your fingers! The final thing you'll need is a scalpel together with plenty of replacement blades. I normally go through at least four or five blades when lining a box. As soon as the blade stops cutting really cleanly then change it immediately. if you don't you'll regret it, as it will drag and ruck up the suede causing ragged cuts. You can re-hone scalpel blades, but given how cheap they are if you buy in bulk I don't see the point. The only critical thing is never use a blunt blade. You may want to wear safety goggles when using or changing blades, remember they can and do break or spring off. They're your eyes so it's your choice.

Next post I'll go through the actual lining process.
Great post. Spot on how I line my boxes.
 

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Andy F

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What a great tutorial. I have never done this but reading it makes me want to give it a go.

As for making it a sticky, wouldn't this be a suitable post for the new articles section? Not sure how to get it in there though.

I will buy some scalpels when I do this, but will second the idea of changing the blades regularly. When decorating a room I use snap-off blades to cut the ends off the wallpaper along ceiling/skirting board. Even though I think the blade will still be sharp, I always snap it off between each sheet, otherwise it WILL ruck the paper up.
 

NickM

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It is very helpful. I took delivery of some very fine mulberry pig suede yesterday so could well be giving this ago in the next few weeks (I need to make a box first...). I'll report back!
 

Padster

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Gents,

Any current recommendations for good suppliers of 'pig skin' all current links in here no longer valid :-(

Thanks in advance

Padster
 
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