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Making Indented Finger Lifts

How To Make An Indented Finger Lift

In short, you use an oscillating spindle sander set on an angle to sand away the center indent, and a spacer jig set over the locking guide to sand away the two smaller indents.

If you are just making one or two boxes, at the end of this tutorial I will make suggestions for how to do this same task much more simply if you don't want to make the jig, modify the table top, or buy a locking straight edge.

Rectangle Wood Material property Box Hardwood


Thanks to Maplerock aka Jerry for coming by the shop to help me with these pictures.

This year I have been using a three-part finger indent for my boxes. As requested, this is a how-to tutorial for how I make these lifts in my shop. Skip to the end if you want a scaled down version of this technique. When this process is finished, it looks like this.

Brown Wood Amber Gesture Wood stain


The Goal: We want to cut a centered finger lift in the front of the box. The process starts with an Oscillating Jet Table-Top spindle sander like this.

Like some of you, I bought a spindle sander some time back for another project. It has been just sitting around the shop with nothing much to do since. So once I came up with this design for my boxes it had a job, and we both were happy again.

Modifications: If you are just making one box, you could use the original top of the tool, but there is not much room to work. The same steps are used if you are working on the original tool's top.

Since I make a lot of boxes, I modified the tool. I added a bigger, half inch plywood top. On the back side of the top, it has a frame around the tool's original metal top and is fastened down securely with a tapped-in threaded knob. I also added a line drawn from the center of the spindle down the board.

Wood Floor Wood stain Flooring Hardwood


There is a removable cleat on the left hand side that comes in handy when the table is slanted. The next modification is a clamping straight edge. I would also recommend an accessory such as a wide jaw or added squaring attachment. (Pictured below) It helps to keep the clamping edge square to the line and will add accuracy.

Wood Finger Rectangle Material property Wood stain


Measuring For The First Cut: Now lets get to the actual work. Find the front-center of your box. Marking is more accurate than measuring. So, use a combination square to do that job. (We need to set the square's blade to the box's center anyway for the next step.)

Make a guess at the center of the box and hold the combination square on one side of the box like this. Mark the end of your blade.

Watch Hand Tableware Wood Finger


Now flip the combination square to the other side and mark the end of the blade. Like this.

Wood Watch Finger Wood stain Guitar


It is difficult to judge the center of a 12 inch box. It is easy to judge the center between two marks an inch or so apart. (This method works if your guess is long or short.) Move your blade to the center of the two marks (the center of the box) and draw a dark mark at the center. Be sure your blade is set at the center mark. Keep your blade locked down and use it for the next step.

Using the spindle center line as a base, and your combination square as a guide, set and lock the straight edge so the spindle will cut right at the center of your box-front.

Table Wood Wood stain Hand tool Hardwood


Making The First Indent: Slide your box up the guide being sure it is touching all along the guide and is square to the center line. Lightly touch the box to leave a small mark. Check to see if it aligns with the center mark you added to the box.

Brown Wood Amber Flooring Wood stain


If the spindle is not aligned with the mark, you can still make changes and sand away your mistake at this point. Now sand your center finger lift. A steeper angle on the sander will give you a shorter, deeper lift. A more shallow angle will give you a longer lift. There is no formula here, but bigger boxes generally look better with longer lifts. Don't sand so deeply that you go through the thickness of your box.

Hooray! The center cut is complete. You can stop here or you can add the two small indents at each side.

Cutting The Flanking Notches:

I use a simple jig to space the three notches evenly with no measuring. Look closely at this shot of the jig that lays over the guide.

Wood Hardwood Wood stain Varnish Plywood


The right-hand walnut spacer is 5/8 inches wide.
The light maple wood spacer is 1 1/4 or 10/8 inches wide.
The center piece is as wide as the guide.
So, the maple spacer is twice as wide as the walnut spacer.

How The Jig Works: We can use this jig to move the box into three positions. When the narrow spacer is between the guide and the spindle, the box is centered on the spindle. When the wide spacer is between the guide and the spindle, the box is moved 5/8 of an inch further from the guide. When we take the jig off the guide entirely, the box slides 5/8 of an inch toward the guide. There is no measuring and the three notches are in the right place every time.

Doing These Steps In Pictures:

Remove the spacing jig from the guide

Wood Guitar accessory Wood stain Musical instrument accessory Finger


Add a steeper angle to the table top, move the box over to the bear guide and slide it to the spindle. It just takes a slight touch here, and it will look like this.

Wood Finger Wood stain Flooring Hardwood


Now, put the thick side of the spacing jig over the guide and make sure the thick side is facing the spindle.

Wood Gesture Wood stain Flooring Varnish


Bring your box up to the spindle for another quick touch. It should look like this.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Table Plank


As long as you don't move the guide fence, you can go back and re-sand any of your lifts and make them even or deeper by using the spacer jig.

Added Hints:

I use a 1" spindle with a 100 grit sleeve for sanding these. You may be happier with a larger or smaller spindle and a rougher or smoother grit. I find it is quicker to use the rougher grit and do just a bit of hand touch up when I am done.

Rolling pin Wood Finger Musical instrument accessory Table


A wide variety of shapes and sizes can be achieved by changing the angles and the depth of the notches. Have fun with that. I also sand the outside edges of the notches, the top lid edge above the lift, and the internal ridges of the lift so it feels good to the touch when you open the box.

Brown Rectangle Wood Wood stain Box


Even with the set-up time, I can create a three part finger lift for most boxes in about 5 minutes…certainly less time than it takes to explain how to do it in this forum.

A Simple Method: If you are just making a box or two I have a less elegant, but accurate way of doing this. I used this method while I was developing what I have shown above.

Draw a line on your sander table from the spindle center down to the front edge of the table. (No spindle sander? With some set up, you could use a sanding drum in a drill press to do this job as well.)

Use a combination square to set a locking or clamped straight edge as I described above, but tape a 5/8 piece of wood to the side of your guide before you set your guide in place.

Slant your table and cut your center indent.

Remove the tape and 5/8 strip and cut the new indent at a steeper angle.

Add a 1 1/4 inch spacer taped to the side of your guide. At the same angle as the last cut, sand out the other indent on the side of the center cut.

This method uses no jigs, no table modifications, and you don't have to have a clamping straight edge.

Rectangle Wood Hardwood Varnish Wood stain


Comments:

As always, thanks for looking and all comments and suggestions are appreciated. Keep boxing and keep posting.
Great info Al. Thanks for taking time to post your tips, tricks and expertise. I know I will use much of it on future projects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #182 ·
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
 

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·
Registered
Joined
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477 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
Another gem in a series of gems. Thanks so much Boxguy, your blogs are very helpful, and you are a great contributor on this site. When I first got here you helped me out a lot. Your work is inspiring.
 

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Registered
Joined
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131 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
Thanks for the tutorial, u are very good at making boxes!
 

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Registered
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Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
Thanks for the tutorial!!

Thanks for sharing!

Chuck
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
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1,695 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
Awesome idea! I never thought of using venetian blinds…
I do have one additional comment - when I make my tea boxes, I leave the inserts loose so they can be removed and the box cleaned. I find that tea has a way of escaping even in those nice packets! The trick is in knowing how to get them back together.
Great tutorial… it shall go into my favorites.
Ellen
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
Thanks for taking the time to share, we all learn something from each post; so keep up the good work.
 

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·
Registered
Joined
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2,581 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
This is helpful information. Thanks for sharing with us. I will save for the next build.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
great tutorial, a lot of good info.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,124 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
You're putting those teaching skills to good use! :) This blog took some time to put together. Well done.

I'm actually getting to the point where I will be making a box or two soon. Got to do some major maintenance first.

will be coming back to use your blogs.

Ever consider putting this into a book form?

Wabe Sabi
 

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28 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
Where do you find the nice WOODEN Venetian blinds? Seams most of the blinds you buy now a days are plastic.
 

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·
Registered
Joined
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308 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
Thanks for tutorial. Your effort to put it together is appreciated.

I have been wanting to make a display case for my shot glass collection. Your methods would work well for that project. Wood slats would be strong enough. Now to find a blind in the dumpster or something. Might take a few calls to retail installers.

Another example: Some ladies collect sewing thimbles…
 

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·
Registered
Joined
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1,349 Posts
Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
.
.
Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

.

Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


.
.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
.
.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
Wow, what an amazing blog post! Thanks for this. I have one question, or maybe it's just a musing. I was thinking that if you didn't glue the grid into the box, that it could be re-purposed at any given time, but that's just me :). Beautiful tutorial Boxguy.
 

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Making Tea Box Dividers Of Venetian Blinds

How do you install a grid work inside a tea box so it looks like this?

Rectangle Wood Box Bag Cosmetics


Here is what the lift-out grill work looks like inside the tea box.

Wood Art Creative arts Triangle Table


This is what the lift-out grill work looks like outside of the box.

The small compartment to the left makes a chain pocket so the stop chain doesn't get tangled with the teabags.
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Why use Venetian blinds for lift-out dividers?

By the time you plane, sand, and finish slats to make dividers inside boxes you have a lot of time and effort invested. Discovering that I could make my dividers out of recycled wooden Venetian blinds took most of the drudgery out of the process of adding dividers to my jewelry and tea boxes. Please don't use the plastic type of blinds. They are not stiff enough and are really ugly in a box.

A special thanks to Josh for helping with the pictures for this tutorial.
,

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Overview: I will explain the general process in the two languages all Lumber Jocks speak: words and pictures.

First, we'll see how to build a box the right size to hold teabags, and then we'll see how to make the grid.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


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.

The Process in Words

Build a box the right size for teabags.

Remove all the strings and metal from a WOODEN Venetian blind.

Trim the slats to fit inside the box. Two for the length and several for the width.

Use the wooden teabags to space the width pieces.

Use a compass to space the length pieces.

Cut all the pieces half way through with a 1/8 inch blade.

Put some aluminium foil in the bottom of the box.

Dry fit the grid inside the box.

While the grid is in the box, remove just one piece.

Apply glue with a syringe into the half-lap slot and glue the grid together.

Wipe away excess glue.

Let the glue set while grid is in the box.
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.
The Process in Pictures
.
.
First you need to make the tea box the right size. This method keeps measurements to a minimum. That means there is far less to go wrong.

Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Font


The key to making this system work is making some teablocks and having some scrap pieces of Venetian blind. Here I have organized seven blocks and some blind scraps in their own small cherry box.

Rectangle Packing materials Ingredient Wood Packaging and labeling


Make 6 or 7 wooden blocks as wide as a teabag and a little taller. I am going to call these "teablocks" in the rest of this tutorial. You are going to use these for the layout of both your box and your grid work.

Wood Rectangle Flooring Floor Table


Here you can see the layout for the box. Before you do anything plane down a board to about 5/8 of an inch. Add the bottom groove for the bottom board of the box.

Cut two small slices from the actual board you are going to use and place them on the outside of the layout. Then place some scrap 1/8 inch pieces of Venetian blind between the tea blocks. Three of these scrap pieces between gives plenty of room for teabags to slide into the compartments easily. Add a small scrap to use to space out for the chain pocket. You can see that spacing on the left.

If you squeeze all these parts together you can measure from end to end and it should give you the exact size for the boards you need to make the front and back of the box. Don't fight this. If it is close, round up to the nearest 1/4 inch. You can always make your chain pocket a little larger. If you make your tea box too small and the teabags don't fit…then you have a problem. Round up.

Brown Rectangle Wood Luggage and bags Bag


You can make the depth of the box any size, but if it is less than 6 inches it tends to get tippy when you open the lid. Too much over 8 inches wide and it is getting to be a really big teabox.
.
.

Summary so far:

We have the the width and depth measurement for our box. So 2 times the width plus 2 times the length makes the length of the board we need. Lets say it is 8 1/2 inches long and 7 inches wide. We would need a board (2×8 1/2 + 2×7=17+14=31) 31 inches long. Add 1 inch for the cross cuts you will make on the board and you now need a board 32 inches long. If your board is slightly less, make your box a bit more narrow. If your board is much too short, start over with the layout and take out one or two teablocks.
To figure out the height of the box, set a teablock on the top of your groove for the bottom board and measure where you want to put the groove for the top of the box. Remember: You will need some extra room inside the box. The inside front of the hinged box will hang up on the top of the teabags as the lid closes if you don't have that extra 3/4 of an inch or so of room. When you cut the lid off this box, use a slat plus at least a quarter of an inch to mark a line for your saw cut to slice the top off.

So you have a box the right size, how about the lift out dividers? This system makes the dividers into a unit, but the whole unit can be lifted out of the box if the buyer wants to re-purpose the box.

Hand Wood Tool Eyewear Bumper


Cut away any slots or notches in the blinds so you don't accidentally put them in your work.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Kitchen appliance


Re-assemble the teablocks and spacers inside the box.

Brown Wood Amber Publication Hardwood


Make sure your slat is squared. Hold the slat across the inside of the box and mark the end.

Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Varnish


Fit the slat into the box. Don't make it so tight that you can't get the grid work in and out of the box.

Watch Wood Finger Musical instrument Human leg


Here is a short cut. Make the second slat the same size by putting the ends even, laying it on top of the slat you want to cut, and then bumping the top board on the blade of the chop saw while the bottom board slides under. Without removing the top board, cut the bottom board. If you take the top board off, you are going to move something.

Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood Rectangle


Okay, we now have the two long slats cut to the correct length. Now, put a small pencil mark on the slat where it crosses the middle of the three spacers between the teablocks. This is to mark where you want the dividers to cross inside the box.

Hand Wood Wood stain Finger Tableware


Mark and cut the shorter cross pieces to length. Don't fit them too tightly.

Wood Finger Thumb Wood stain Hardwood


Tape your two long pieces together. Tape all of your short pieces together making sure all the ends are even.

Hand Wood Sleeve Finger Gesture


A compass is a quick and easy way to be sure your compartments inside the box are all the same size. On the top slat of your taped up short pieces, just step off three equal steps and adjust the compass until they are equal. When you have it right just bear down on your points and make some small dents that will show you where to cut your half slots.

Hand Wood Finger Bumper Gas


Since I know my slats are 2 inches wide, I keep a small spacer in my teablock kit. The spacer is one inch wide plus a 32nd. With the saw turned off and unplugged, bring your spacer next to the saw blade and carefully use your fingers to tell you when the top of the spacer is even with the top of the blade.

Hand Wood Gesture Tool Flooring


Set your miter fence at 90 degrees to the blade. Being very careful to keep your fingers well away from the blade, cut the slots at your compass indents in the short pieces. Don't drag the slats back through your blade. Make the cut and lift your work away before you pull it back. With a single pass you will get just the right width and will have a nice tight fit. Hint: You want to cut very slightly past the halfway point of your slat width. This extra space makes sure your pieces will all fit flat on the bottom of your box and it gives the extra glue a place to go.

Wood Flooring Floor Rectangle Wood stain


Now use this same technique to make the half lap cuts in your longer slats. This time cutting where you marked the lines using the re-assembled teablocks.

I didn't picture this step, but usually I put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the box to protect the finish from glue squeeze out. The foil doesn't have to fit tightly around the whole bottom, it only has to be under the places where the slats cross.

Musical instrument Wood Rectangle Tool Hardwood


Dry fit your slats inside your box. Make sure they don't fit too tightly. Hint: I find it is easier to first put the long slats inside with the slots facing upward. The I can fit the short slats in quickly since I am just aligning two slots.

Hand Wood Finger Microphone Thumb


You can use a glue bottle, but I have found this is a great time to use a glue syringe. It allows you to put the glue where you want it and not make a complete mess of it.

Watch Wood Rectangle Wood stain Cuisine


This is another reason to put the short pieces in with the slots down. You can remove just one slat from your dry fit and leave the rest of the slats in place while you apply the glue.

Finger Wood Paint Flooring Wood stain


I use a thick glue so it doesn't run. Apply just a little glue on both sides of the slot. It really doesn't take much.

Hand Wood Finger Rectangle Wood stain


When you re-insert the short piece, be sure you push it down all the way so it touches the bottom.

Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Varnish


No matter how careful you are, you are going to have some squeeze out with the glue process. I use a small bladed screwdriver and a paper towel to remove the glue.
Hand Wood Finger Wood stain Hardwood


Since slats are prefinished, you are bound to have some slight chip out with your cuts even with the best and sharpest blades. Little things make a difference in your work. The big box store sell furniture markers that are made much like a magic marker or felt tipped pen. They come an an assortment of colors. It is easy to match these to your slat color and just take a minute or two to color any chips.

Wood Wood stain Flooring Hardwood Varnish


Probably no one will care but me, still I take a little time to color the ends of the slats and apply one quick coat of finish to them when I am working on the next box.

Hand Light Wood Finger Wood stain


Leave the grid work inside the box until the glue sets. That way you can be sure it will fit the box.

Ta-Da! You now have the right sized box and a grid that separates the tea box into several neat compartments. Once it is glued, assembled, and set inside the box it is surprisingly strong and durable though it is made of fragile material.
What a great write up Big Al, I didn't make it all the way through but am saving it for later because I know I'm going to need it at some point.

I've already purchased a set of blinds so I have tons of slats.

Right now the men's valet box design that I've been making as become a huge hit and selling like hot cakes no more then I get one made and posted they are sold, I've even tried raising the prices to slow sells down just so I can breath but all that's doing is making my pockets larger LOL and still receiving orders for them, my problem is I don't want to make it a job, I want to keep it fun and I've taken your advise I'm not taking on any more special orders, just what I am currently making.