From log to box in less than a month #5: Wrapping up construction (almost)

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Blog entry by sras posted 05-06-2013 04:51 AM 1908 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Progress ... and disappointment (but not disaster ;) Part 5 of From log to box in less than a month series Part 6: Becoming (almost) unhinged over hinges »

Time to cover Friday evening’s and today’s work.

The next step was to notch in the ends of the strips to fit in the upper tray frame. Things went okay for the most part. Except for one piece…

The top strip was my first attempt at this piece. I had already done the short ones and knew the long ones were to be cut different. That did not stop me from doing it wrong anyway! On my second attempt, I got the outer notches on the correct side, but mis-located the inboard notches! Sigh … On my THIRD attempt I got it right. Which was a good thing because I was running out of spare strips (always cut a few extra…)

When I cut the notches on the frame, I ended up with a couple that were extra wide. This happened when I pulled the frame back over the saw blade after making the cut. I stopped doing that after I noticed.

I cut a teeny tiny piece of fill wood and sanded it to fit.

I then spread a little glue and tapped it in place.

After I sanded it smooth, it blended in well.

I had another repair to make. I had a little chip-out when I cut the relief for the lid. This is a shot of my fill piece.

Actually, a shot of my FIRST fill piece. When I put this up to my disc sander, it popped right off. Sigh … again … ;) I adjusted another piece to fit. The first one was not that good of a match.

I then sanded it closer to the final shape before gluing it in place.

I then hand filed the piece down before I used a sanding block.

After sanding it flush, it’s a pretty good match.

You know how the camera adds 10 pounds – well it’s the same way with showing patches. If you backup a bit, it completely blends in.

Next up was to create a way to remove the inner lid. I worked through several recessed handle options in my mind, but the ironwood is so nice looking that I did not want to break the surface up. I finally decided on a simple relief in the frame surrounding the lid. I used one of my small drum sander pieces.

I ground the relief flush with the inner support.

The end result gives just enough room to lift the lid up (without any features on the lid itself).

I then smoothed the outer surfaces of the second box (same technique as the first one)

I polished the outside to 800 grit (smooooooth)

Next up was a finger relief to open the lid. Back to the drum sander attachment…

I ground the relief down to the bottom of the rabbet.

I then ground a similar relief on the underside of the lid.

While this was going on, I polished a piece of ironwood and started to test out the finish. I am going to use a de-waxed sanding sealer and a water based polyurethane. I put a different number of coats of sealer on each of the three sides and a different amount of sanding on each end. It looks like any combination will work, but more coats and less sanding look to help a little.

I spent almost half of the afternoon polishing each surface to 800 grit. Everything looks ready for finish – except for the hinges. They are supposed to arrive tomorrow…

It looks like I will make it in time, but I plan on several coats of finish which will take most of this week and some of the next.

That’s all for now!!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

12 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8705 posts in 3855 days

#1 posted 05-06-2013 05:20 AM

Really nice Steve.
Close up photos really aren’t fair. They show things that no one would ever notice without a magnifying glass. When I take close-ups of my marquetry and look at them on the computer I see gaps that I had never seen when assembling with really good glasses.
I love your subtle lift accesses.
These are going to be very lovely little boxes.

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

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4392 days

#2 posted 05-06-2013 09:10 AM

Excellent work Steve. It’s looking awfully good so far. I think a kerfmaker might have been a handy tool for this box. You did some great small fixes and I doubt anybody but you and 60,000 LJ members will ever know they even exist. I’m excited to see it with them with the hinges and finished.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bill_N's profile


238 posts in 3336 days

#3 posted 05-06-2013 10:34 AM

Very nice
I do like how you show some defects and the way that you correct them
That can help a lot of people in the long run

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View Albert's profile


545 posts in 4647 days

#4 posted 05-06-2013 12:16 PM

Excellent box Steve, will you enter it in the county fair?

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3862 days

#5 posted 05-06-2013 12:51 PM

Very spiffy fer sure

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

View lew's profile


13340 posts in 4813 days

#6 posted 05-06-2013 01:19 PM

These are looking fantastic! Can’t wait to see them with the finish.

Great save on the corner and notch!

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

View sras's profile


5966 posts in 4187 days

#7 posted 05-06-2013 01:42 PM

Thanks guys!

Paul – I thought that close up as going to show a perfect match. You’re right – it works better than a magnifying glass. In fact I might just take a close up shot the next time I need to see fine detail …

Mike – You think I can get 60,000 members not to tell anyone else?

Bill – Thanks – I think that correcting defects is one of the best skills to share as a woodworker.

Paul – I don’t know – the judges can be a bit unpredictable ;)

Roger – Thanks!

Lew – I am really interested to see how the pear changes color with the finish. I just need the hinges to get here.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4940 days

#8 posted 05-06-2013 02:09 PM

Very nice Steve.
Love the little recesses. And you flared them out a little bit too – cool.

800 grit- zowey

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View sras's profile


5966 posts in 4187 days

#9 posted 05-06-2013 02:32 PM

Thanks Steve! I’m happy with the recesses too. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do there, but I like where I ended up.

I bought several sheets of fine grit paper (up thru 2000) when I did a little body work a few years back. Since I have them, I might as well use them!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3748 days

#10 posted 05-07-2013 01:11 AM

Those are looking great! I like that you showed the fix on the chip out (happens to all of us but you did a great repair).

Love your tag line. Truer words were never spoken!

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

View justoneofme's profile


856 posts in 3537 days

#11 posted 05-07-2013 03:04 PM

You’ve managed to get so much done Steve! Even those little set-backs (frustrating for sure!!) have given this blog of box building a very ‘human’ aspect :). Realistic enough for me to know errors in this venue can be corrected!!

A few blogs back I noticed that you used masking tape to hold your corners together … probably while in the gluing stage, but I wasn’t quite sure. Well Steve … for this gal who uses masking tape so much (piecing Marquetry together) you’d think I would have figured out all the tricks, eh?! The other day in my shop, struggling to hold some mitered corners (obviously in my learning stage here!) together while cutting another section … I suddenly thought of how you used the tape. That helped become my extra fingers! Just wanted to say thanks!!

Both of these special boxes are coming together beautifully … can’t wait to see that finish hit the surfaces!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View sras's profile


5966 posts in 4187 days

#12 posted 05-07-2013 03:45 PM

Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy the fixes – I think it is where creativity comes in handy>

Elaine – I knew about taping mitered corners for a long time – I had seen it used in magazines and on woodworking shows. BUT – for years I would insist on clamps thinking that I was somehow delivering critical clamping pressure and that tape was just a trick not worth using. It wasn’t until a couple years ago I finally tried the tape and – What do you know! – all these tips were right. It works great!

I am anxious to get to the finish as well. Right now I am working through getting the hignes fitted. It’s taking longer than I hoped, but not a bad as I feared…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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