Secrets of the String Box Revealed

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Blog series by newTim updated 08-31-2010 04:30 AM 7 parts 54112 reads 48 comments total

Part 1: Intro and Invitation

08-25-2010 07:10 AM by newTim | 15 comments »

This summer’s projects have been boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. Somewhere along the way I got the idea of combining the wrapping technique with a simple inlay to see how hard it would be to align the lines all around the box. In other words, at the corners. Turns out it is not that hard to do. So I’ve been experimenting. I’ve posted the first completed boxes as a Project and will post more upon completion. The photos below give an overview of this technique and the pi...

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Part 2: Laminate The Strings

08-26-2010 07:42 AM by newTim | 6 comments »

I’ve prepped over thirty pictures so far so I tried to break them up into logical groups. The first part is to laminate the strings. For this box I’m using the re-saw technique and start with a thick piece of wenge (8/4) milled flat and square. I re-sawed some strips of maple and ran them through the drum sander for thickness and to remove any larger saw marks. I made a single rip cut on the wenge with a gentle random curve on the bandsaw and glued a thin strip of maple in bet...

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Part 3: Resaw & Bookmatch

08-27-2010 06:09 AM by newTim | 7 comments »

Last blog was too long on words. Pictures tell the whole story. Mark the wood with triangles to keep them aligned, resaw a little over the thickness you desire, run each through the planer at the same thickness and bookmatch the parts. Note: if you are using real thick wood like 8/4, you can slice four pieces and have enough material for two boxes.

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Part 4: Here's the good part: wood wrap

08-27-2010 06:48 AM by newTim | 3 comments »

Here’s where the magic happens. After all the milling and ripping and glueing and re-sawing, we finally get to see if we can really match the lines all around the box. Sure we can. After planing each piece to thickness and ensuring the ends are square, open them up in a book-match. Draw a chalk line at the approximate width of each of the boxes’ ends from opposite ends (this is just to identify the parts). The pictures below explain it better than I can in words. I like to l...

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Part 5: Cutting Corners

08-28-2010 04:48 AM by newTim | 5 comments »

Now that the sides are cut to length all we have to do is put a 45 degree angle on each end. The idea is to preserve the face of each side to ensure the lines come together at the corners. I just screw a board to a miter square to prevent tear out and to clamp a stop. The pictures below show that the lines not only match on the outside corners, but also the inside. Be sure to save the cut off corners. They will match the lines on the inside of the box and can be glued to reinforce the co...

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Part 6: Secret Soss

08-30-2010 05:15 AM by newTim | 6 comments »

While I still plan to do a series on my experiences with various box hinges, I thought I’d go ahead and post how I installed Soss hinges on the current string box project. I plan to include the usual step-by-step process, but I think most folks will get the idea from these pictures. The sides of this box are a little over 3/4” wide so I’m using the Soss 203 hinges which are 1/2” X 1 3/4. These hinges require eight, count ‘em, eight! mortises. And they all h...

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Part 7: Oh No!

08-31-2010 04:30 AM by newTim | 6 comments »

I wonder if the Mona Lisa’s smile was a cover up for a mistake. Seems like I’ve gotten pretty good at making mistakes in the shop. Hopefully, I’ve gotten just as good at fixing them. It wasn’t the Mortise Pal’s fault. I was getting so wrapped up in my photo journalism that I made a common mistake. I lined the centerline of the jig with the wrong line on the target! As you can see from the pictures, instead of lining the jig up on the center I lined it up ...

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