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MarkDennehy

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Took a somewhat protracted break from the desk unit I'm building for Calum to build a carved oak box for baby blankets (not for a new addition to my family, but for a friend).



Raw material was in storage for long enough to get buried:


Extracted after much effort:


Cheated wholesale by flattening with a #05 and then using the thicknesser to, er, thickness the boards down to 19mm:




Marked out the design on the sides and started in with the V-tool:






I think it's fair to say my skill with a v-tool is not really noteworthy, but on now to the gougework.



Chopping first:







Kiln-dried flat-sawn oak chips like a cracker if you're as cack-handed as I am or if your tools aren't sharp. The grinder and the CA glue both had starring roles in this project. Next up was removing the background:





And then using a freshly-filed stippling punch to stipple the background.







A quick swipe with a BLO-soaked rag brings up the detail for a quick check:





Then the very basic joinery - butt joints aligned with a simple shallow rabbit is the norm for this kind of box, so I sawed the shoulder and split the cheeks off by chisel. Very much squeaky bum time. How Peter Follansbee has the nerve to do this with a hatchet to his panels is beyond me.



And nailed together with cut nails, again as per the norm for the period (though these aren't hand-forged by a blacksmith, so losing points there).



And while I got the pattern to flow, I managed to place the nails badly on the first try and they wanted to punch through into the background of the carving so I had to relocate them.

Next, the lid. Had to get it out of a mm or so of twist and clean the surface a little.



Then a much simpler pattern on the lid, mainly on the edges to make the end grain look less raw.









Then a bit of shaping for the front and breaking the edges of the sides using a #04, a #62 1/2 and a gooseneck scraper:



Found at this point that I didn't have a base large enough set aside, so took an ash board that was taking up space, flattened it via #05, and cheated again with a thicknesser:





Scribed the box around the base, cut it to size, drilled pilot holes for more cut nails, and shaped the sides with a simple bevel with the #05 and #04 and some sandpaper to break the short vertical edges left at the corners.



Then sweated bullets over the hinges because I'm terrible at hinges but this time they came out okay.



Okay, they're garish as anything, and really should be wrought iron or cast iron or something that's at least black, but these were all I had and the baby was born ten days ago at this point, so I just used what I had on hand.

And done:









Not terrible I think. Next up is the clean-down and then back to the inlay and decoration work for Calum's desk....

http://www.stochasticgeometry.ie/2019/05/06/finished-3/
 

MarkDennehy

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Praise from caesar there Custard, thank you!

Now, if I can direct your attention to the folder marked "the four thousand things I did wrong on this box"... :D
 

Noel

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I think you've done well. Very nice Mark.
 

MikeG.

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That's a lovely box, Mark. Well done. I love to see a bit of carving in oak, and proper carving, too, with it's hand-made nature clearly distinguished from something churned out by router. Carving kiln dried oak is a real chore, and in particular, I'd have been too scared to chop with a gouge. I'm pretty sure I'd have chickened out and just pared back instead.

In hindsight, would you perhaps have made the joints and drilled for the nails first, before doing the carving? I'm also curious about the pattern you chose. Are they traditional patterns, something you've seen somewhere else, or something you made up yourself?
 

MarkDennehy

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You pretty much can't do the joinery first Mike, workholding becomes too difficult (and the endgrain carving gets too delicate I think); and the nail holes normally go in after as well so you can fit them around the design; I just forgot that part when drilling the first holes :D

The pattern's very old; it's one of Peter Follansbee's training patterns, and comes from actual 17th century New England carved oak boxes and some from this side of the atlantic as well I think. He does them a lot better though :D

 

Bm101

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Mark. There's certain people on this site. When they post 'Lookit' I always take a gander.
Mark you are on that list.
Never a chore reading your efforts fella. Keep it up, warts and all along with your ever increasing achievements and 'Da Humour'. Great stuff. I love that box and your faithfulness to it's construction and decoration. I think it's wonderful. Really. It looks like it was supposed to be made. (Hope that makes sense, stylistically it's the same because it was made the same).
I love it.
Regards as always,
Chris
 

MarkDennehy

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Lads, I only have a small shed, it's hard enough to get my head through the door as it is :)
Thanks for the kind words everyone.
 

xy mosian

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What a smashing job. I find that today I have been looking around to see if I have enough timber for something similar. Thank you for the inspiration. Well done.
xy
 

scooby

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Thats a great project and an equally great documentation of your process. I've never attempted carving of any sort, the thought of it seems a bit daunting but you have piqued my interest.
Thanks.
 

MikeG.

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Give it a try, Scooby. Without overstating things too much, if you can get the tools sharp you are 75% of the way there. The rest is pretty straightforward to anyone who can handle an ordinary chisel.
 

scooby

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Thanks for the words of encouragement Mike and Mark. Sharpening is no problem.
Carving is definitely on my 'to do' list.
 

DTR

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I can't help but respect and admire anyone who has the patience to panel carve. That box looks great, well done =D> =D>
 
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