Any Colour You Like #1: Design and experimentation

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 10-20-2012 05:43 PM 2643 reads 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Any Colour You Like series Part 2: Breathe »

I like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. This is amongst my favourites to play in the shop and out. The cover, for those of you who don’t know. is this.

This has inspired me to get my design head on. So here’s a picture of the box I’ve been designing, over the last week or so.

Designed using TurboCAD (no, NOT Sketchup), Size, approx’ 120mm corner to corner and 70mm high.
A tall order. Is there any other kind.

Its mostly black. I know of a black wood or two. The rest is a rainbow of colours, with the grey disc in the top centre, the moon. I don’t know of any blue woods. I can’t get hold of green ones. Dye, thats the answer here. Dyed veneer on an MDF core. I can sense people cringing. I could care less (though I’m not quite sure how), I use the materials and resources that suit the job. Limiting myself to natural wood colours here wood kill the design before it starts. MDF is an excellent substrate for veneer work (proven by experience). The chunkier pillars on each corner could be Ebony.

Time to start experimenting. A while ago I had bought a sample spirit based dye set. Produced by Chestnut, sold by in the UK. There is no distributor in the US, which is a shame, but I’m sure there must be an equivalent manufacturer there. I got hold of some disposable brushes (Axminster) and disposable latex gloves. These are essential if you don’t want to end up with technicolour hands for a few days.

The dye penetrates well and as its spirit (and not water) based it doesn’t raise the wood grain. I coloured up a number of strips, sufficient for the pattern when re-cut.

and some black. The veneer is Birch. The black was so successful that I went back to Axminster and bought a 250mL bottle (£6.50). The black part of the design and the lining veneer were now to be dyed also.

The full set.

When all was dry I started cutting up the rainbow pieces.

and making up the rainbows for the sides.

I cut the rainbow material for the sides from that for the top pattern (those pieces will be triangular eventually).

One pattern repeat.

and the full set. The pattern is held together with veneer tape. 1/20th of a millimetre thick paper gum backed.

. with the backing veneer in the background.

all glued and clamped to the router table and waiting to dry.

Be seeing you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

16 comments so far

View Ross's profile


30 posts in 3214 days

#1 posted 10-20-2012 05:45 PM

epic mart!

-- after hours of labour, i've broken it more....but at least it's colourful!!!

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3400 days

#2 posted 10-20-2012 05:47 PM

Thanks, Ross. Lets hope it works.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9238 posts in 3284 days

#3 posted 10-20-2012 05:50 PM

As always, outstanding vision! I eagerly await the next track of this album. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View shipwright's profile


8293 posts in 3162 days

#4 posted 10-20-2012 05:56 PM

That’s looking brilliant (both uses) Martyn.
You might try a version with just a little sand shading to define the edges.
Just a thought, not a critique.

This one will be special I think.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3799 days

#5 posted 10-20-2012 06:21 PM

Martyn, you’ll have to change your name to Joseph for Technicolour Dreamcoat :-)

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3197 days

#6 posted 10-20-2012 07:20 PM

DSOTM is one of my favorite Pink Floyd albums! And yeah, the dye/stain way was the best to go. I could provide you with green (and I mean GREEN) wood but it’s very delicate to work with in veneer form, so what the heck. I can barely imagine how stunning this new box will be once finished!

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Roger Gaborski's profile

Roger Gaborski

272 posts in 4112 days

#7 posted 10-20-2012 08:10 PM

The colors look great. Does the dye penetrate the wood so that you can lightly sand and not affect the color. I tried dyes before, but I was not successful. The dyed veneers I use are made in Germany and pressured dyed so the dye goes all the way through the wood.

-- Roger Gaborski,

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3400 days

#8 posted 10-20-2012 08:53 PM

Roger, it goes most of the way through a 0.5mm veneer. So light sanding only. Wouldn’t rely on it for solid wood though. Tried it on Sycamore, Maple (close grained) and it barely penetrated.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3277 days

#9 posted 10-20-2012 09:19 PM

Martyn, I can’t wait to see in finished!
Very cool!
One of the best albums from one of the best bands ever!
And now one of the best boxes will be made from one of the best boxmakers ever!!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Roger's profile


21003 posts in 3168 days

#10 posted 10-20-2012 09:46 PM

Oh man, Martyn… Now yer talkin. I believe “Dark Side of the Moon” is still one of the best selling albums of all time. PF plays theee absolute best, get into your bones, move yer mind, blow yer mind, touch yer soul music ever created and played, in my opinion. I got to see Pink Floyd on 3 different occasions, 2 of which were back-to-back nites at the original Cleveland Indians/Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio way back. Was some really gr8 times, music, etc.. Their music will live forever. Thnx for the flashback. I luved those 3 background singing women. They would raise the goosebumps. Oh yes, good times.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3400 days

#11 posted 10-20-2012 11:08 PM

I have to agree, Roger. Having seen them live in the 70’s (Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon) and 80’s (The Wall, in London, 1981) and various recorded sets, like Live in Pompeii, Pulse etc. They would take an awful lot to beat.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View sarahss's profile


258 posts in 3013 days

#12 posted 10-20-2012 11:16 PM

great colors! also, very cool to see one of your works in progress! i don’t care what you make your boxes from—they always look great!

View clieb91's profile


3610 posts in 4299 days

#13 posted 10-21-2012 12:36 AM

Martin, I to can not wait to see the outcome of this project. Thanks for sharing the progress very cool to see.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3054 days

#14 posted 10-21-2012 02:00 AM

Those dyes are remarkably vivid. I gave up on dyes as the color always looked “washed out”. I can’t wait to see this marvel! I too se nothing wrong with MDF as it is a very stable substrate.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View tomd's profile


2204 posts in 4134 days

#15 posted 10-21-2012 04:27 AM

OK I’m sitting here waiting, got to see this one.

-- Tom D

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