How would you make this oilstone box lid with hand tools?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

gold_bantam

Established Member
Joined
16 Dec 2022
Messages
59
Reaction score
22
Location
UK
I'd love to make an oilstone box with a lid something like this but I'm unsure of the hand tools and procedure to complete it neatly. I'm guessing it involves a rebate plane. Is this a project suitable for a woodworker with novice to intermediate skills? Ignore the fact that in the photo the lid is longer than the base .

Thank you
Screenshot_20231121-221609.jpg
 
A forstener bit ,depth gauge set on the drill handle and a sharp chisel and a good dose of care and patience.
do you not know anyone with a mortise machine.5 minute job hallowing it out on that.Exterior is the easy bit
 
Yes perfectly suitable. Most home made ones ive seen have repetitive evidence of an auger bit to hog out the waste. Then you could use a router plane and chisels to tidy up the rest

Adidat
 
I have made a couple but left the top plane and flat. One like that would require a moulding plane for the top. To hollow out the top trace round the stone then knife mark. Then drill out most of the waste. Forstner bit makes the best job of this. Then its chisel work and for a nice clean inside for the lid a router plane to finish off. If you dont have a router plane then use a chisel bevel down for that bit. The marks left by the drill are your depth guide to stop.
Regards
John
 
Nice little project using the methods already suggested but if you don't have / don't want to acquire the tools just cut the parts separately and make it like a normal box. Mitred corners on the sides is perfectly fine. You could even make the whole thing including the top then cut through the sides to form the lid. All easily done with hand tools.
Google "making boxes" if it's new to you, there are plenty of videos.
 
The decorative mouldings on the first example are the most difficult aspect of the project,if you really want them.My last oilstone box was for a combination stone so it needed a flat surface on both faces and as recommended above,it was done with a forstner bit and a depth stop on a bench drill.
 
The top is the easy bit for a hand tool beginner. Do the lengthways mouldings with a narrow rebate plane. If feeling confident enough have a go at the cross grain ends, or just leave them. Hollowing out the inside is the hard bit.
 
I think it's chamfered all round and the fillets cut afterwards. That seems to be the most straightforward way of making the lid and it's what I would do.

It needs marking out first with a gauge thoughbut.
 
I think it's chamfered all round and the fillets cut afterwards. That seems to be the most straightforward way of making the lid and it's what I would do.

It needs marking out first with a gauge thoughbut.
Thanks. So the rebate is cut into the slope? I was thinking I'd have to cut the rebates first and then perhaps try and chamfer in between them with the same rebate plane. Having only ever cut one simple rebate before in my life I have no experience to know if this would work.

Is it possible to get gauge lines onto a slope? Or is it a pencil and square job?
 
Thanks all. I don't have a Forstner bit but I can see why it's an attractive idea. I started a box yesterday with a piece of sapele which was only just thick enough really for a 1" stone. Of course I didn't take into account the amount of wood removed by the saw ripping it in half and then planing smooth. I think I can still get away with it but there's certainly no room for a scalloped base or really decorative top. I started chiseling out the inside and was surprised at how fast the waste was coming out so that's promising. I have a small moulding plane which I'm hoping I can run around the top edge to give it at least some character.

I have another piece of thicker sapele which I have earmarked for this project. I'll give it a base like GS Haydon did on his and then try and get a nicely formed lid with your suggestions.
 
Thanks. So the rebate is cut into the slope? I was thinking I'd have to cut the rebates first and then perhaps try and chamfer in between them with the same rebate plane. Having only ever cut one simple rebate before in my life I have no experience to know if this would work.

Is it possible to get gauge lines onto a slope? Or is it a pencil and square job?


Yes it is possible and if you have access to a plane called a snipes bill, you are onto an easy winner.

Mark out the top flat area and the edge of the fillet first, then plane your chamfer. The snipes bill rides in the small groove that you make with the marking gauge to open it up for the rebate plane. You can also use the sharp corner of a metal rebate plane if you have one and don't have a snipes bill.

It's standard practice for cutting mouldings with hollow and round planes to scribe on a chamfer with a marking gauge, I may have a photo that I can dig out tomorrow.
 
The decorative mouldings on the first example are the most difficult aspect of the project,if you really want them.My last oilstone box was for a combination stone so it needed a flat surface on both faces and as recommended above,it was done with a forstner bit and a depth stop on a bench drill.
I can't believe I never thought of that, just turning the box over to get the other side of the stone! Great idea. I love these decorative boxes though.
 
I'll admit I'm not much of a hand tool guy but I would approach it the same way as I do when using my open sided planer/molder to make raised panels. It does a great job on long straight grain but can blow out the corners of end grain. My solution is to either glue panels together so they are very wide or add sacrificial pieces to each side to make the ends, then rip the panels to width and then mould the sides. So in your case I would work the end grain of a wide board to the profile you want and then rip the lid to width and then mould the sides. Working with the lid with wide boards makes control of the plane easier because more of the sole is contacting wood. It is more difficult to work on the end of a 3" wide board than one that is 10" wide. The upside is that you have partially made material for future boxes.

Pete
 
I'll admit I'm not much of a hand tool guy but I would approach it the same way as I do when using my open sided planer/molder to make raised panels. It does a great job on long straight grain but can blow out the corners of end grain. My solution is to either glue panels together so they are very wide or add sacrificial pieces to each side to make the ends, then rip the panels to width and then mould the sides. So in your case I would work the end grain of a wide board to the profile you want and then rip the lid to width and then mould the sides. Working with the lid with wide boards makes control of the plane easier because more of the sole is contacting wood. It is more difficult to work on the end of a 3" wide board than one that is 10" wide. The upside is that you have partially made material for future boxes.

Pete
That's a really great suggestion, thanks. I was thinking that I'm going to need to bolster the end grain sections well on both sides with sacrificial pieces on this first box I'm doing. Hopefully it will be simple to find a workholding solution for it.
 
I had a go at an oilstone box. I’m pretty pleased with the result although it’s a long way from a fine piece. I think it will grace the workbench nicely especially after it gets worn in.
I made it with a piece of sapele I had. I was pleased to use it although since it was a random offcut it may have had something to do with the problems I had - there was some reversing grain in it. It was exactly the right size but I forgot about the loss of wood from a rip cut saw kerf ( a cut that wasn’t perfect) and the resulting planing to smooth off. So this is why I added the beech underneath.

I mortised out the waste with a bevel edge chisel and found it fast and satisfying. However I really struggled with getting a smooth finish with the hand router. It was tearing out a lot. Is this just a sharpness issue (ironic!) or do others occasionally find this?

I had a first attempt with a moulding plane for the lid. Again not perfect but I was happy enough. the corners of the moulding didn’t line up well but I think in hindsight it’s because it’s a moulding plane that has a vertical fence and no spring lines so the corners can’t meet nicely at 45 degrees? The long grain sides moulded pretty well but the end grain did get some tear out (not at the edge because I used a sacrificial block to extend it). Wouldn’t surprise me if I didn’t get the iron sharp enough. It’s strange trying to sharpen curved profiles after bench planes and chisels. I did the bead on the base with a sharpened screw in a block of wood, like a marking gauge.

I finished it with boiled linseed oil and look forward to experimenting with this washita stone now.

IMG_0468.jpeg
IMG_0467.jpeg
IMG_0466.jpeg
 
I made one of those under the guidance of my best mate who was/is a highly skilled restoration carpenter. We decided to split it in half. I did the top and he did the bottom. I was told to use hand tools and took me hours. He just threw it onto a mortice machine and did it in five minutes!
 
I made one of those under the guidance of my best mate who was/is a highly skilled restoration carpenter. We decided to split it in half. I did the top and he did the bottom. I was told to use hand tools and took me hours. He just threw it onto a mortice machine and did it in five minutes!
Did you enjoy it? Did he enjoy it? That’s all that matters right?
 
Back
Top