From log to box in less than a month #4: Progress ... and disappointment (but not disaster ;)

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Blog entry by sras posted 05-03-2013 03:08 PM 1948 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Shaping & Lower interior Part 4 of From log to box in less than a month series Part 5: Wrapping up construction (almost) »

Last night started with working on the top tray. I cut the strips to length, mitered them and cut a rabbet for the floor. This is a really close shot – the rabbet is only 1/8” tall.

I then cut the floor to fit and glued up the corners. I did not glue the floor, but used it to hold the frames square. I need to install the floor at the very end of the process. I used tape on each corner to hold the miters tight.

With the tray outer frame setting up, I turned my attention to cutting a rabbet around the ironwood lids for the lower level. I like to use a router bit as it gives a smoother cut and cleaner finish. But …

here is where the disappointment shows up …

I was setting up a zero clearance fence since my router table has a large hole to clear my biggest bits. I chose to move the bit into the fence by raising the motor with the bit spinning. However, as I adjusted the bit height, the motor came clear of the base (the bit was taller than what I normally use for this process which set the motor low in the base). I shut the motor off and started to lower the motor to clear the base. BUT – I should have waited for the motor to stop. I didn’t and the bit caught the side of the base. I ruined one of my best bits and chewed up my router base.

I have been woodworking long enough that I am used to setbacks. Yeah, I lost a bit and maybe the router, but that is just a project for later. What hurts a little is that I have had that router for ~20 years and have grown attached to it. I had a knot catch on a bit and bent the shaft a few years ago. Rather than get a new router, I had it rebuilt. It was a little cheaper, but the real motivation was that I didn’t want to part with my router.

Oh well – I needed to change my plans and use the table saw for the rabbets.

Sorry about the poor focus on that one.

After making a few passes to get the fit right, the lids now sit flush to top of the frame.

This morning, I pulled the tape off the corners. Everything looks fine (except my router base – that’s still ugly).

I then cut strips to length for the tray dividers. The plan is for 12 compartments.

However, I ended up setting the slot position for two short strips, not three. Another small setback – no big deal, the top trays have 9 compartments now! I meant to do that ;)

I have just a little more fabrication to do – then hardware and finish. Saturday is taken up with other plans, so we’ll have to see how much time I have on Sunday. Stay tuned!!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

13 comments so far

View Albert's profile


545 posts in 4647 days

#1 posted 05-03-2013 04:16 PM

Good job Steve
Too bad about the router mishap. Good things take awhile, bad things happen really fast!


View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3112 days

#2 posted 05-03-2013 04:40 PM

On the bright-side, the router didn’t cut flesh.

-- Joel

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4392 days

#3 posted 05-03-2013 05:08 PM

It is all looking very good Steve. It’s too bad about your router. Unfortunately those kind of things happen sometimes, just good you didn’t get hurt. The good Luck part of the bad luck!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View sras's profile


5966 posts in 4187 days

#4 posted 05-03-2013 05:36 PM

You’re right guys, at the time I told myself “It’s just a router, not my finger”

After this project, I might take a stab at cleaning up the base and seeing if the router is OK. If so, then the base will have more “character”.

And you’re right Paul – it does happen fast ;)

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3539 days

#5 posted 05-03-2013 07:26 PM

I really like this, you are doing a great job, awesome work. The dividing trays are very fine indeed. Have you ever used box joints for the corners of the trays? Or other techniques? Thanks.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View sras's profile


5966 posts in 4187 days

#6 posted 05-03-2013 07:32 PM

Thanks! I have used box joints in the past, but lately I have been focusing on miters. In this case, where the wood has so much character, I would rather let the joint blend in than stand out – but that is a question of preference.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4940 days

#7 posted 05-03-2013 10:44 PM

Looking good Steve.

Your rebuilt router reminds me of my old axe. It has had 7 new handles and 2 new heads. Boy I love my old axe.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shipwright's profile


8705 posts in 3855 days

#8 posted 05-04-2013 12:34 AM

Oooooh, bad …. Steve (P) That is soooo old.

Steve®, .... looking really good. As far as the trusty old router goes, it’s just another story to tell like the one about the knot and the bent shaft. This router will be your companion for a few more years I’ll wager.

This is going to be a really nice box.

Blog on.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3748 days

#9 posted 05-04-2013 01:20 AM

Box is looking great!

I feel your pain with the router. I too get attached to some of my tools and continue fixing them long after their “best by” date has passed. My DP is older than my grown daughters and we are attached to each other. A little bondo or liquid steel/alum should fix those gouges!

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

View sras's profile


5966 posts in 4187 days

#10 posted 05-04-2013 02:14 AM

Thanks guys! I am working out a few rehab options. For the most part, getting a smooth inner surface should help a lot. Might need to fill a few of the gouges – liquid metal is a good idea. I might get the shaft checked out first …

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View justoneofme's profile


856 posts in 3537 days

#11 posted 05-04-2013 03:16 AM

I’ve been enjoying your blog Steve … and watching this box take shape. Seems very involved! But there again I don’t build boxes … so … What do I know?!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View sras's profile


5966 posts in 4187 days

#12 posted 05-04-2013 12:45 PM

Thanks Elaine – I’m not sure either since I don’t build boxes much, but I have a tendency to go to the “very involved” side of projects. I just keep thinking on details I can add. Need to draw the line on this one since is does have a due date.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4061 days

#13 posted 05-04-2013 03:44 PM

Well, nice looking box, you had a lapse of thought and no human injury, tools can be replaced

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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