Workshop ideas that failed #: A weekend of making fancy timber for the Otto bin

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 05-21-2017 05:25 AM 7183 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I couldn’t help myself I had to copy this (see acknowledgements below) ...And how many projects can a person screw up in one weekend? I am up to one. The Air Dragon box is the only one I attempted and achieved a 100% failure rate sadly.

I had been watching Boxguys video on how to make nice boxes with splines, so I set out with the intention of doing one to post.

My mate asked me to make a box for his Air Dragon Air gun, a funny looking bit of kit at first I thought it was a battery drill, wrong, then thought it was a heat gun wrong again, thermal sensor was the third guess and you guessed it wrong again, its a Auto Battery tire inflator.

Maybe that’s set the scene for screwing up big time.

He has always telling me to tone down the “Bells and Whistles” on my boxes, so I thought I will fix him and use some recycled timber .

Its a bit of wood left over from some sign making work.

Now having a weird sense of humour I decided to route the outside just to spite him.

I made a template from some plywood using my beam saw and pull saw.

I cut the insert out with my pull saw

Set it all up and set to work routing the profile

Made a couple of errors, nothing some wood filler would not fix

Pleased with my results cut the individual sections out ready for glue up.

Only to find I had measured the insert and not added the timber thickness to the final dimensions.

Heading for the Otto bin I had second thoughts and decided to keep the pieces until I calmed down, may be I could use it for something else later.

Where is oldguy2 when you need him, he would have spotted the obvious mistake before cutting!!

Standby for version 2 its underway already…. OMG what a screw up!!

Acknowledgments: The plagiarized text is from oldguyt2s original blog post

-- Regards Rob

12 comments so far

View crowie's profile


3372 posts in 2557 days

#1 posted 05-21-2017 07:29 AM

Come Rob, Just cuts the side at halfway make and add an inch ….problem solved and all good…

Just a thought…that’s my lazy way of making the sides longer…

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Boxguy's profile


2864 posts in 2873 days

#2 posted 05-21-2017 07:41 AM

Rob, I wish I could say I have never done something like this, but of course any one who has make lots of boxes has made lots of mistakes. I have made lots of boxes. It is fun for us to follow your woodworking adventures and misadventures. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the mention of the video too. If anyone else wants to see it, here is the link. Let me know how you do adding splines to a box…a slightly larger box. The adage, “measure twice…cut once” comes to mind. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2696 posts in 1669 days

#3 posted 05-21-2017 09:05 AM

I measured twice, I cut twice. It’s still too short.
Rob, a while back, someone (JoeinGA, I think) posted a turning he’d done that was nigh unto impossibly holey and punky. He added wood by gluing in a bit of shavings at a time til the offending space was filled. I, myownbad,stupendouslyineptself, once “put wood back” where I’d taken too much off. Just a thought. This looks to me like a design opportunity.

-- Mark

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2810 days

#4 posted 05-21-2017 10:05 AM

Hi guys, just read your comments, so some feedback.

You know Peter that’s a very good suggestion, and if I used some contrasting timber I could say “Its the design”

Its odd you should mention the M2 C1 adage as I checked my notes after I calmed down and the correct measurement was there only I had the 45 deg bevel incorrectly marked on the cut line, lesson learned.

I have already started on MkII only this time its plywood and matching 45 deg joints, no fancy embellishing routing (at the moment).

Hey check out your custom design red ratchet straps on the left! Cheap as chips and still going strong!

Mark Wilson:
The putting wood back is a neat way to fix bloopers/Opps s all the way from the humble tooth pick in screw holes to grafting chunks back in huge spaces cracks knot holes etc. Agree its good thing I decided to save them for “Ron”.

Rest assured they will reappear as a completed project somewhere later.
Had to post it even if only to get a few silent smiles and nods and yep done that thoughts!!

-- Regards Rob

View EricTwice's profile


248 posts in 1139 days

#5 posted 05-21-2017 10:22 AM

It happens to us all. (sigh)

The standard joke at the shop is.

“cut it off some more until it’s the right size”
“OK, but I already cut it off (pick a number) times”

Sorry you had brain farts. the MK2 look nice.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10864 posts in 4658 days

#6 posted 05-22-2017 05:19 AM

Hey! It’s not all THAT bad!

Look at those perfect miters! ... The perfect square! ...

You STILL had fun! Didn’t you?

Measure Twice, Cut Once… the good ole standby rule… you have learned… yes?

Now, you can just get some more crappy scraps and make a good ole box for that Tire Inflator…. :) )

Now, we can wait for the Final box! :)

Have fun!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3118 days

#7 posted 05-26-2017 10:59 AM

Robert, you can fix that, just lengthen the boards. Cut them in half and splice in a different species of wood to lengthen the boards. I will look as though you meant too.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3410 days

#8 posted 06-03-2017 12:51 AM

Good suggestion by Randy, above. Don’t feel bad, the measure twice, cut once saga continues.. you have to smile about it. We’ve all done it once, (or maybe more) times.

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

View Tony Slattery's profile

Tony Slattery

88 posts in 1701 days

#9 posted 07-12-2017 10:00 PM

Just a thought – like the idea of cutting the boards in half and adding a piece, why not just add a piece into the miter joint? using contrasting timber of course, leaves the option of different treatments like rounding it over or trimming it flush, or even making little feet by letting project past the edges.

The possibilities are endless. In life there are never any mistakes, just unexpected outcomes, always an opportunity to learn, maybe discover something new etc.

-- Tony, Australia,

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2810 days

#10 posted 07-12-2017 10:30 PM

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions everybody.

I continued with the assembly in its current dimensions and experimented with a few processes
1. Stains to simulate contrasting panels.
2. Magnets to hold the lid closed and removing the need for hinges latches and handles

1. Here it is completed.

2. The magnetic catch setup

-- Regards Rob

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2810 days

#11 posted 08-11-2017 07:12 AM

Wow thats a a pretty big list of stuff you have there Audiogats, I just wondered what was it that you wanted me to look at in particular to my post?

Otherwise Too much information for me to digest in one go!

-- Regards Rob

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2810 days

#12 posted 08-25-2017 06:41 AM

Wow thats a a pretty big list of stuff you have there again Audiogats, I just wondered what was it that you wanted me to look at in particular to my post?

Otherwise Too much information for me to digest in one go!

—Regards Robert

-- Regards Rob

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