Just for Fun... #83: Where did all the Fun go?

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 05-12-2014 01:43 AM 2354 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 82: Well, Looky Here!! Part 83 of Just for Fun... series Part 84: Square Wood from Round Branches... »

With all the down time this winter, I began to second guess myself, wondering what exactly my “Goals” were (or are) playing around with this Woodworking stuff…
When my shop was in a single bedroom in my old apartment I used to have a ball, finding and using old furniture wood, and developing work-arounds for my lack of the necessary machines and tools to do desired functions…
At one point I recall thinking, if all else fails, that I would just make boxes, until I ran out of Wood!

Times are better(?) now, I’ve gotten all the machines I ever needed and even most that I wanted… But it seems like all I ever get done is processing Lumber, getting it ready to be used, never clear about for what…
And it’s too much like Work!!

So anyway, that was (and has been) on my mind, when I decided to build yet another box… The Goal, this time (and hopefully henceforward) is to simply have some Fun… for me…

I have had some fine Rosewood and Curly Maple ready and waiting since last month…

I had plenty of time to experiment with scraping too, while getting it ready, using a Dough Knife purchased for about $3.00 at one of the bargain places…

Yesterday I cut the Rosewood to length for the four sides… The Maple will be used for the top and bottom panels so the size of the box was predetermined…
Masking tape is used whenever I’m working with Dark Wood… There’s no need to be careful putting it on, a file removes the excess in a couple swipes…

Then the marking was done for the finger or box joints… I use a stack of small blocks to mark the spacing and the Sides themselves to mark the depths…

Those are ready to cut, but I first wanted to plow out the dadoes to accept the panels… My thought was to do stopped dadoes this time… To that end, a temporary fence and stop-blocks were attached to the drill press so that holes could be drilled at the stop points…

To transfer the fence and stop-block settings to the Router, I simply put a wooden dowel in the Router first and then set the piece on it… A little fussing was involved (only because I can’t find my open-end box wrenches!) but it worked out smartly… Happily, the Drill, Dowel and Router Bit are all 1/4”...

After that it was off to the Scroll Saw for some joint cutting, except… I picked up a new-to-me DeWalt over the Winter… No time like the present to see how it runs…

Well, run it does! It seemed to hold the blade a lot steadier, which made for some nice smooth cutting… Nice having a light on the subject too! :)

Then came the usual file-to-fit exercise… until…

And so ended yesterday…


This mornings work went fairly quickly, the Panels were cut to size, the edges trimmed to thickness (where necessary), and I even took a few minutes to round over their corners…

After fitting those in, the Box was “pinned” together (dowels in the corners, down through the finger joints)
and then it was clean-up time, box and shop both…

It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates making a small project, and that’s not even the half of it!
The Box is ready for the lid to come off… and the Band Saw just got cleaned off…
But I was going to call it a day…..

Oh, what the heck…

I was going to use tape to mark the line on, and was thinking of how hard it would be to draw the line where I want, concealed by the tape as it would be…
In one of my rare flashes of realization, I thought, “Hey, why not use the tape as the line?!”
And so I did…

Sure beats Re-sawing and Planing in the Fun Department…
And I still get to make some Hinges and a handle or clasp or something for the front!

Can’t forget to Wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mom’s out there too, hope it was a Great Day for You! :)

11 May 2014

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

15 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3232 days

#1 posted 05-12-2014 02:16 AM

That box is off to a great start. Thanks for taking us along. And glad you are having fun.

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

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3845 days

#2 posted 05-12-2014 02:18 AM

that is some beautiful wood, and nothing like doing something that is for the fun.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View patron's profile


13658 posts in 3883 days

#3 posted 05-12-2014 02:28 AM

another funbox for sure michael
and you are innovating new and exciting methods

it’s all good

this should look great with your hinges
and the wood combo

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18709 posts in 4218 days

#4 posted 05-12-2014 02:30 AM

Glad you are back to the fun part. I can relate to the “it is too much like work getting the ship in shape and the material lined up” part ;-)

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23554 posts in 3648 days

#5 posted 05-12-2014 03:19 AM

Thanks for the the progress report on that box. It is a fine one in the making!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Boxguy's profile


2859 posts in 2810 days

#6 posted 05-12-2014 04:38 AM

Mike, when I felt the fun had left, I quit taking orders and just made boxes that suited me. I also invited friends to the shop to make boxes with me. I too had a long lay off during part of the winter. Every Saturday I take time to maintain tools and make a fun project…anything that will help the shop…like a rack, storage unit for tools, or a quick box to store parts. The goal is to make something that is useful to me. This winter I spent a couple of months yoking two table saws together. They make different sizes of dados and I have less set-up time. It gave me a change of pace.

-- Big Al in IN

View lew's profile


12883 posts in 4297 days

#7 posted 05-12-2014 02:04 PM

Great to see the new saw in action! Looks like it is a fine step up from the old scroll saw.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4044 days

#8 posted 05-12-2014 02:25 PM

Thanks Guys…
It was good to get some time back in the shop again
Idle hands and inactivity always lead me to Goofy thoughts!
Boxguy: Those are good, practical suggestions Al, and I appreciate them, Thanks!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2834 days

#9 posted 05-12-2014 03:04 PM

Beautiful beginning! Your work really displays a fine level of craftsmanship. Thanks for the write up and great photographs. Don’t forget to let us see the finished product.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3529 days

#10 posted 05-12-2014 05:22 PM

I’m glad you’re having fun again Mike. I like your method of routing the grooves for the top & bottom panels on your project and I’m going to try that when I start my next box!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View stefang's profile


16821 posts in 3876 days

#11 posted 05-12-2014 06:15 PM

Nice work Mike and a great new box on its way! I know what you mean about how the work can become a chore instead of a joy. A great time to prioritize the things that are important and satisfying to you. I think this happens to most of us occasionally and we have stop and figure out how to get back on the right track. I like your new scroll saw. It works a lot like mine with those small arms at the front and with very smooth vibration free cutting. I know you will be getting a lot of fun out of it, yes…...FUN.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3733 days

#12 posted 05-12-2014 11:36 PM

Dewalt scroll saw…big league stuff!!!! Watch out Scroll Girl:)

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View BigDumbAnimal's profile


65 posts in 2348 days

#13 posted 05-13-2014 04:32 PM

The box looks great, glad to hear you’re finding the fun again.

-- Semper Fi BDA

View Roger's profile


21013 posts in 3346 days

#14 posted 05-21-2014 02:39 AM

Thnx for the pictoral build. I like it.

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

View mafe's profile


12144 posts in 3631 days

#15 posted 06-16-2014 09:18 PM

Love to see you found thee spark.
The dough scraper is too cool. ;-)
Looks like you are finding joy in the new shop and at the end of the day, that is what it is all about.
Seems to become a beautiful box, I always get impressed when you saw the fingers on the scroll saw, when I use mine I never seem to be precise enough.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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