A Box For A Competition (Opera House)

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Project by Gumnut posted 07-08-2012 08:59 AM 3433 views 13 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As with my previous post (Pyramid Box), the same rules for the competition applied to this one as well.
Firstly, I made a mould from pine using an Arbortech Wood Carver to get the general shape, then I used a sanding disc on the angle grinder to smooth off the final shape of the mould.

I coated the mould with dental wax sheets, to prevent the finished Opera house sticking to the mould.
To get the wooden wedges to curve from top to bottom, I cut a kerf in the underside with a 0.2mm blade on a PROXXON saw. (Totalling 1,400 cuts) These were almost cut right through to the surface which allowed for easy bending! As it turned out the cuts made an impresion of tiles on the Opera House.

Each wedge piece was then pasted with two-part resin glue on the underside and wired into place on the mould in stages until full coverage was completed.

A thin jarrah strip was laminated onto the top ridge before sanding of the outside surface was carried out. I then placed the whole lot in the oven (without my wife knowing) to warm up the wax enough to then separate the Opera house from the wax-coated mould.

The inside of the shell was then cleaned and sanded to a point where I painted on an automotive acrylic primer filler, giving a smooth surface for the paint, being 3 coats of Midnight Blue Pearl Metallic automotive paint. 6 coats of acrylic gloss was then applied, with the aid of my wife’s hair dryer (again without her knowledge!) to heat up the paint and the shell surface for a very consistent gloss finish.

The outside of the shell was coated with 8 layers of acrylic gloss which was smoothed down with wet and dry between coats and finally polished with carnuba wax.

The base, the door, handle and the magnetic catch were made up of the left over 5mm planks and finished in satin estapol, then glued into place with the resin glue.
If you are going to try this, buy your wife a new hair dryer first!

It came first place in the competition!
I had intentions of giving it to Oprah (As Oprah’s Opera House), when she came to Australia but missed my opportunity!
It could be used for her remote control in her home theatre :)

The wood is Oak and Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata).

Hope you enjoy the pics.

-- Peter, member of the Fine Woodwork Association

26 comments so far

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3583 days

#1 posted 07-08-2012 10:45 AM

clever construction..ssweet

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2792 days

#2 posted 07-08-2012 11:07 AM

A very impressive box. And the story of the making is greatly appreciated. Congrats on the win!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2976 days

#3 posted 07-08-2012 11:24 AM

W O W !

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View aviad mishaeli's profile

aviad mishaeli

119 posts in 2976 days

#4 posted 07-08-2012 11:28 AM

this is a beutifull shape and very intresting , i love it

View Arthouse's profile


250 posts in 3218 days

#5 posted 07-08-2012 12:01 PM

Innovative construction and design. I love it . You could be a model maker for Architects. Have you thought about using foam for you glue forms? A little easier to form. I just love the design of the opera house. If I may take the liberty and add to your thinking and say Instead of cutting to bend core because I think the cut lines detract from the total piece get wood and sand it thru a drum sander then slowly bend the pieces using a steamer until they bend into shape to hold for the wire. Still incredible piece hope you win your competition .

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

View Spoontaneous's profile


1337 posts in 3897 days

#6 posted 07-08-2012 12:06 PM

Outstanding !!!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Roger's profile


21021 posts in 3372 days

#7 posted 07-08-2012 12:14 PM

Wow! That’s amazing..

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

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 2840 days

#8 posted 07-08-2012 01:06 PM


Congratulations on your First Place Honor with this one (and 2nd place with your Pyramid box).

Your Opera House box is about 10 miles north of Incredible. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View a1Jim's profile


117803 posts in 4145 days

#9 posted 07-08-2012 01:19 PM

Shee Zam that’s and amazing box and fantastic technique, you’ve got a winner there for sure. GREAT JOB!

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3686 days

#10 posted 07-08-2012 01:53 PM

Very Unique Box, Congratulations for the first place, Great job, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Gumnut's profile


95 posts in 2725 days

#11 posted 07-08-2012 01:55 PM

But wait there’s more to come!
Will post some newer boxes soon!

-- Peter, member of the Fine Woodwork Association

View WRAAdesign's profile


46 posts in 2966 days

#12 posted 07-08-2012 02:56 PM

Impressive, thanks for sharing your process; it reinforces the appreciation of the project and the time invested.


View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3876 days

#13 posted 07-08-2012 03:02 PM

Very excellent and unique. I can tell alot of work went into it.

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4449 days

#14 posted 07-08-2012 04:11 PM

That is just fantastic. I love it.
And thanks for the step by step. fun to see it develop.

Good job, and congrats.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Ivan's profile


15313 posts in 3435 days

#15 posted 07-08-2012 04:26 PM

Congratulations,wonderfull job

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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