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Intro and Invitation

This summer's projects have been boxes. Lots and lots of boxes. Somewhere along the way I got the idea of combining the wrapping technique with a simple inlay to see how hard it would be to align the lines all around the box. In other words, at the corners. Turns out it is not that hard to do. So I've been experimenting. I've posted the first completed boxes as a Project and will post more upon completion. The photos below give an overview of this technique and the pictures at the bottom show the idea taken to the extreme. I plan to expand on these in future installments. But in the meantime, and since I love to learn and 20,000 or so of you know more than me, I'd like to extend and invitation to give this a try. I don't have time to experiment with all the combinations so between me and a few thousand friends I'm sure we can come up with a few creative options. One idea is to combine this technique with the carved art box construction. It might render some real interesting and creative results.





wow now that is an awful lot of work, but it is worth every minute of it.
 

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Resaw & Bookmatch

Last blog was too long on words. Pictures tell the whole story. Mark the wood with triangles to keep them aligned, resaw a little over the thickness you desire, run each through the planer at the same thickness and bookmatch the parts. Note: if you are using real thick wood like 8/4, you can slice four pieces and have enough material for two boxes.











the book matched pieces make a nice box too.
 

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Cutting Corners

Now that the sides are cut to length all we have to do is put a 45 degree angle on each end. The idea is to preserve the face of each side to ensure the lines come together at the corners. I just screw a board to a miter square to prevent tear out and to clamp a stop. The pictures below show that the lines not only match on the outside corners, but also the inside. Be sure to save the cut off corners. They will match the lines on the inside of the box and can be glued to reinforce the corner. For this box I used #20 biscuits.

On the bottom picture you can see how two of the lines do not quite line up when they cross on the face. This is because I didn't correct enough for the two parts slipping in the clamps. I've since learned to use a long clamp to keep them aligned.

Next blog will focus on some tips and lessons learned. I sure hope to see some more string boxes on LJs. Thanks for all the kind comments.









Cool stuff
 

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Oh No!

I wonder if the Mona Lisa's smile was a cover up for a mistake. Seems like I've gotten pretty good at making mistakes in the shop. Hopefully, I've gotten just as good at fixing them.

It wasn't the Mortise Pal's fault. I was getting so wrapped up in my photo journalism that I made a common mistake. I lined the centerline of the jig with the wrong line on the target! As you can see from the pictures, instead of lining the jig up on the center I lined it up on one of the outside lines, with predictable results. Oh well, time for a design change. Fortunately I had not yet made the lid's handle so I could still shape it to fit. First I had to fix the mortise. For this error I decided that two mistakes are better than one and simply cut another mortise centering the jig on the other outside line. This gave me a larger mortise than I had originally planned but it seemed to work out. You be the judge.





Aaaaaaaaargh! The Mortise Pal does give a clean and accurate cut, at least when you line it up correctly to begin with.



No worries.



Not shown in the picture below, I first used a dado set (actually box joint blades), to trim the edge of the handle to fit in the mortise. You can barely see this on the bottom of the piece following. Then one of several dry fits before cutting, shaping, and sanding. This is the shape I had had in mind from the start. Just a little wider than I had planned.





I did draw a couple of arcs using a pie tin, but ended up using these as a rough guide and drew a shape free hand. I used my eye to do the rough shaping with a rasp before fine tuning the shape with the spindle sander. It is remarkable how accurate your eyes can be. Especially with bifocal contacts.







simple fix, to a little problem.
 
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