In the light #2: So the story begins

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 07-28-2013 01:01 PM 1540 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Everybody needs the light Part 2 of In the light series Part 3: Precision sizing and clean-up of pattern pieces »

Starting to cut all the pattern pieces today. This is the pattern

Shown in plan and end elevation.

  • Just a side note. If anyone is thinking of making one of these please could you wait until I have finished and posted mine. This is my design and it is a live blog of a project, in real time. I have been beaten to the punch by over-enthusiastic people before. Its not big and its not clever.

Now from the plan you can see that there are a number of small pieces here. The pattern is a repeat of one 45° triangular segment (as seen from the top), mirrored and repeated around the box. The upshot of this is that, apart from the central square, you need 8 of each piece. The white strips are English Sycamore, 6 mm x 3 mm. Also from the pattern you can see that each piece (going inward) is 12 mm shorter than the last. This allows for a trick whereby you only need to set up for cut length once. I’ll explain.

First I took a piece of 18 mm MDF. Planed and drum sanded it until it was exactly 12 mm thick ( I don’t trust the dimensions of off the shelf products). So

I cut 5×50 mm sections off it, so

Stood on end these can be used as fairly accurate 12 mm spacers.

Yes I know this is MDF and moisture content in the air will make it vary in thickness. That’s why I make and use these spacers on the same day and in the same conditions throughout).

Setting up my cross-cut jig (US – sled) for the longest piece length plus a couple of mm for clean up on the belt sander (see part one of the blog)

and putting 8 x strips in at a time

I cut the first strips. To cut the next shortest just add in one spacer

and so on. Please no belly aching about safety here. My hold down (which you will obviously need for the actual cut) for the strips is not shown for clarity of the point, about measurement, being made.

The same trick can be used for cutting the mitres on a mitre jig. Hold down also used here but not shown for clarity.

To give you an indication of just how ‘live’ this blog is you will see one long strip used in the last four images. This is because I’m writing these instructions shortly before actually doing the above described cutting. I know it will work I’ve done it this way before. In the next part of the blog I will show you the results of this and precision sizing using the belt sander.

Be seeing you

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

4 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9238 posts in 3278 days

#1 posted 07-28-2013 01:08 PM

The first thought that came to my head when I saw the pattern picture was “holy crap!” That’s a lot of precision cutting!

I love how you break things down into palatable pieces so even someone such as myself can understand the building process. I know that is a lot of extra work on your part and I really appreciate it. There is so much thought that goes into creating your boxes and thinking through all the pitfalls is only part of the process. Execution is the other part. You seem to have both down to a science. That’s what makes this difficult task look almost easy.

You are a great teacher Martyn! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us all! :)


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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18544 posts in 4034 days

#2 posted 07-28-2013 10:53 PM

Very informative blog. Thanks for posting.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Roger's profile


21001 posts in 3162 days

#3 posted 07-30-2013 10:59 AM

Gr8 stuff Martyn

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

View sras's profile


5058 posts in 3487 days

#4 posted 07-31-2013 12:33 AM

Glad to see you are back at it! Should be a fun show.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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