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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting Started

A while back, my Son and and his fiance' commissioned a "Treasure Box" to hold the best wishes of the people attending their upcoming wedding and receptions (yes 2, 1 in the Seattle area where she is from and 1 in So Cal where He is from, small wedding ceremony to be held in San Francisco)

That is the why, now for the what.

I'm using Plum wood. Why Plum? It's what I have on hand. I harvested and processed what I could of a tree 2 years ago. Tree died of natural causes (Read Heavily pruned and never came back) I blame the nit wit owner attempting to prune stone fruit trees by himself (me).

At any rate I manged to get some scales, pen blanks and enough boards to make this treasure box. Originally I was going to use most of the trunk for Turning Blanks but then I was commissioned for the box, so I processed the turning blanks into boards.

The grains is a bit tricky and i experienced a lot of tear out when planing down the boards Plum is also fairly hard with a Janka rating of 1550 according to the wood database. For comparison Sapele shows as 1500, White Oak is 1333 and Sugar Maple is 1450, so yeah pretty hard stuff.

Here is what the wood database has to say about plum wood
Color/Appearance: Plum heartwood can exhibits a cornucopia of colors, ranging from a yellowish brown, with streaks of pink, orange, red, purple, olive, or gray mixed in. Because of the small size of plum trees, swirled or irregular grain, as well as knots and other defects are common.

Workability: Areas with straight and clear grain are easy to work with hand or machine tools. Care must be taken when surfacing irregular grain or knots to avoid tearout. Plum glues, turns, and finishes well.

I highly recommend a very sharp high angle smoother for smoothing this wood. A good amount of lubrication (wax, grease, oil, whatever you prefer) is also strongly recommended as the sole of the plane likes to grab the interlocking grain. I don;t a High angle smoother and purchasing one is just not an option so I did the next best thing. I ground a 10 degree back bevel on a spare 2" plane iron giving me an effective attack angle 55 degrees and this significantly reduced the tear out.

Here is a sample as it came off of my Band saw.
Table Wood Rectangle Hardwood Gas


The bowl blanks I processed into boards were 11 or so inches long the tree diameter was around 6", so I had to be very careful processing this to limit the waste as much as possible. Even being careful I still had a hard time getting enough stock wide enough for the box sides and tops. I still have some smaller stock which will be used in other projects as accents or small pieces.
Wood Saw Hardwood Wood stain Concrete


I now have 5 plum boards prepared for use in the box. The box dimensions are approximately 10" long, x 6" wide x 5 1/2" material thickness is approximately 3/8" thick.

I have tried full blind dovetails in material of this size and my skills just aren't there yet and I'm not convinced there is enough material for a good joint anyways. I also built a prototype box out of cherry using glued miter joints and that joint is just not strong enough. I have decided to attempt mitered dovetails as described in this video series from Fine Woodwoorking.

I had to glue up a panel for the top as the stock I had remaining would not be wide enough. I also dis not have enough stock for the bottom panel so I used some Poplar that was left over form a project my son and his Fiance' did a while back.

The Panels and boards are all at final dimension, cut to length and ready for the hard work to begin.
Wood Rectangle Natural material Wood stain Hardwood
So far the only power tool I have used is the bandsaw for resawing the trunk into boards.

The bottom panel will be a raised panel the box will actually sit on the raised panel lifting the box slightly and creating a shadow line. You can see I have started the layout for the bottom raised panel I'll cover that in the next blog entry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Getting Started

A while back, my Son and and his fiance' commissioned a "Treasure Box" to hold the best wishes of the people attending their upcoming wedding and receptions (yes 2, 1 in the Seattle area where she is from and 1 in So Cal where He is from, small wedding ceremony to be held in San Francisco)

That is the why, now for the what.

I'm using Plum wood. Why Plum? It's what I have on hand. I harvested and processed what I could of a tree 2 years ago. Tree died of natural causes (Read Heavily pruned and never came back) I blame the nit wit owner attempting to prune stone fruit trees by himself (me).

At any rate I manged to get some scales, pen blanks and enough boards to make this treasure box. Originally I was going to use most of the trunk for Turning Blanks but then I was commissioned for the box, so I processed the turning blanks into boards.

The grains is a bit tricky and i experienced a lot of tear out when planing down the boards Plum is also fairly hard with a Janka rating of 1550 according to the wood database. For comparison Sapele shows as 1500, White Oak is 1333 and Sugar Maple is 1450, so yeah pretty hard stuff.

Here is what the wood database has to say about plum wood
Color/Appearance: Plum heartwood can exhibits a cornucopia of colors, ranging from a yellowish brown, with streaks of pink, orange, red, purple, olive, or gray mixed in. Because of the small size of plum trees, swirled or irregular grain, as well as knots and other defects are common.

Workability: Areas with straight and clear grain are easy to work with hand or machine tools. Care must be taken when surfacing irregular grain or knots to avoid tearout. Plum glues, turns, and finishes well.

I highly recommend a very sharp high angle smoother for smoothing this wood. A good amount of lubrication (wax, grease, oil, whatever you prefer) is also strongly recommended as the sole of the plane likes to grab the interlocking grain. I don;t a High angle smoother and purchasing one is just not an option so I did the next best thing. I ground a 10 degree back bevel on a spare 2" plane iron giving me an effective attack angle 55 degrees and this significantly reduced the tear out.

Here is a sample as it came off of my Band saw.
Table Wood Rectangle Hardwood Gas


The bowl blanks I processed into boards were 11 or so inches long the tree diameter was around 6", so I had to be very careful processing this to limit the waste as much as possible. Even being careful I still had a hard time getting enough stock wide enough for the box sides and tops. I still have some smaller stock which will be used in other projects as accents or small pieces.
Wood Saw Hardwood Wood stain Concrete


I now have 5 plum boards prepared for use in the box. The box dimensions are approximately 10" long, x 6" wide x 5 1/2" material thickness is approximately 3/8" thick.

I have tried full blind dovetails in material of this size and my skills just aren't there yet and I'm not convinced there is enough material for a good joint anyways. I also built a prototype box out of cherry using glued miter joints and that joint is just not strong enough. I have decided to attempt mitered dovetails as described in this video series from Fine Woodwoorking.

I had to glue up a panel for the top as the stock I had remaining would not be wide enough. I also dis not have enough stock for the bottom panel so I used some Poplar that was left over form a project my son and his Fiance' did a while back.

The Panels and boards are all at final dimension, cut to length and ready for the hard work to begin.
Wood Rectangle Natural material Wood stain Hardwood
So far the only power tool I have used is the bandsaw for resawing the trunk into boards.

The bottom panel will be a raised panel the box will actually sit on the raised panel lifting the box slightly and creating a shadow line. You can see I have started the layout for the bottom raised panel I'll cover that in the next blog entry.
Planing the plum is very tricky. Here are some additional pointers I can pass along.

I found I had to work the boards with knots from different directions as the grain direction does change. One side planing great the other popping and tearing (against the grain) Once I figured out what was happening and where the approximate change line was it was a matter working both side from different directions and when I had to straddle both directions SKEW THE PLANE!

Keep the sole well lubed, this cuts way down on the rubbing (which feels like chatter but isn't really. It's just a dry plane sole rubbing against the fibers, a wood bodied plane may reduce this as well)

Skew the plane to the direction of travel this helps to slice the shavings off, reduces tear out and reduces the amount of effort to drive HA plane a little bit.

Working with small stock is a challenge, be patient!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Raised Panel Bottom

I've done a couple of raised panels now using hand planes. There are a couple of videos if you google raised panel with hand planes. One form Paul Sellers and one from Stumpy and basically they describe the same process.

Unfortunately, I have discovered a couple of issues with this process that I did not care for.

1. The raised panel itself is not cleanly defined.
2. The rabbet used to go into the sides of a frame or box are more wedge shaped and the panel does not seat claenly in the groove.

Here's an example from my prototype.
Brown Rectangle Wood Hardwood Gas


So I decided to try some additional steps and fix these issues.

To start with I laid out the raised panel and scored the lines. I scored the lines with marking knife (Thanks TerryR) and colored in with a pencil so they would show better.
Wood Rectangle Hardwood Flooring Wood stain


Next, I scored the height of the rabbet edge that will fit into the groove.
Wood Wood stain Gas Hardwood Electronic instrument


Using my Stanley 45 with 1/8 cutter set to 1/16 depth
Automotive tire Wood Gas Auto part Machine


I broadened and deepened the score lines on the raised panel. Remember to start with the end grain sections first!
Wood Rectangle Flooring Hardwood Plank

Now the raised panel is clearly defined.
Wood Rectangle Wood stain Font Gas


The next step is to start raising the panel. For this I'm using my 60 1/2 (My Number 3 sucks and I felt that my larger smooth plane would be too large for this operation.) Cut a steep bevel on the end grain side eventually working down to the Rabbet score line
Furniture Table Wood Wood stain Hardwood


Now to make sure that the raised panel stays defined I used my skewed MF 07 (Stanley 140 equivalent) with the side removed. You could also use a shoulder plane, or some other rabbet plane just as well here. This allows the point of the blade to ride right up against the raised section while planing away the waste material. Eventually you work the to bevels into each other.
Wood Metal Fashion accessory Still life photography Pollution


Repeat for the other end grain side. and the 2 long sides. Raised panel mostly complete. It still needs some clean up before finishing, but the hard part is mostly done.
Wood Gas Auto part Engineering Machine


All that remains is to clearly define the rabbet that will slot into the grooves on the box sides.
Back to the 45 I adjusted the fence and depth to approximate a 1/8×1/8 rabbet all around the panel.
Wood Rectangle Gas Transparency Plywood


Here is the completed panel with the planes used.
Wood Gas Machine Metal Automotive lighting


In the next entry I'll use my 45 again to cut the grooves for the box top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Raised Panel Bottom

I've done a couple of raised panels now using hand planes. There are a couple of videos if you google raised panel with hand planes. One form Paul Sellers and one from Stumpy and basically they describe the same process.

Unfortunately, I have discovered a couple of issues with this process that I did not care for.

1. The raised panel itself is not cleanly defined.
2. The rabbet used to go into the sides of a frame or box are more wedge shaped and the panel does not seat claenly in the groove.

Here's an example from my prototype.
Brown Rectangle Wood Hardwood Gas


So I decided to try some additional steps and fix these issues.

To start with I laid out the raised panel and scored the lines. I scored the lines with marking knife (Thanks TerryR) and colored in with a pencil so they would show better.
Wood Rectangle Hardwood Flooring Wood stain


Next, I scored the height of the rabbet edge that will fit into the groove.
Wood Wood stain Gas Hardwood Electronic instrument


Using my Stanley 45 with 1/8 cutter set to 1/16 depth
Automotive tire Wood Gas Auto part Machine


I broadened and deepened the score lines on the raised panel. Remember to start with the end grain sections first!
Wood Rectangle Flooring Hardwood Plank

Now the raised panel is clearly defined.
Wood Rectangle Wood stain Font Gas


The next step is to start raising the panel. For this I'm using my 60 1/2 (My Number 3 sucks and I felt that my larger smooth plane would be too large for this operation.) Cut a steep bevel on the end grain side eventually working down to the Rabbet score line
Furniture Table Wood Wood stain Hardwood


Now to make sure that the raised panel stays defined I used my skewed MF 07 (Stanley 140 equivalent) with the side removed. You could also use a shoulder plane, or some other rabbet plane just as well here. This allows the point of the blade to ride right up against the raised section while planing away the waste material. Eventually you work the to bevels into each other.
Wood Metal Fashion accessory Still life photography Pollution


Repeat for the other end grain side. and the 2 long sides. Raised panel mostly complete. It still needs some clean up before finishing, but the hard part is mostly done.
Wood Gas Auto part Engineering Machine


All that remains is to clearly define the rabbet that will slot into the grooves on the box sides.
Back to the 45 I adjusted the fence and depth to approximate a 1/8×1/8 rabbet all around the panel.
Wood Rectangle Gas Transparency Plywood


Here is the completed panel with the planes used.
Wood Gas Machine Metal Automotive lighting


In the next entry I'll use my 45 again to cut the grooves for the box top.
Man I didn't even think about my MF 85. That would have made short work of the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Raised Panel Bottom

I've done a couple of raised panels now using hand planes. There are a couple of videos if you google raised panel with hand planes. One form Paul Sellers and one from Stumpy and basically they describe the same process.

Unfortunately, I have discovered a couple of issues with this process that I did not care for.

1. The raised panel itself is not cleanly defined.
2. The rabbet used to go into the sides of a frame or box are more wedge shaped and the panel does not seat claenly in the groove.

Here's an example from my prototype.
Brown Rectangle Wood Hardwood Gas


So I decided to try some additional steps and fix these issues.

To start with I laid out the raised panel and scored the lines. I scored the lines with marking knife (Thanks TerryR) and colored in with a pencil so they would show better.
Wood Rectangle Hardwood Flooring Wood stain


Next, I scored the height of the rabbet edge that will fit into the groove.
Wood Wood stain Gas Hardwood Electronic instrument


Using my Stanley 45 with 1/8 cutter set to 1/16 depth
Automotive tire Wood Gas Auto part Machine


I broadened and deepened the score lines on the raised panel. Remember to start with the end grain sections first!
Wood Rectangle Flooring Hardwood Plank

Now the raised panel is clearly defined.
Wood Rectangle Wood stain Font Gas


The next step is to start raising the panel. For this I'm using my 60 1/2 (My Number 3 sucks and I felt that my larger smooth plane would be too large for this operation.) Cut a steep bevel on the end grain side eventually working down to the Rabbet score line
Furniture Table Wood Wood stain Hardwood


Now to make sure that the raised panel stays defined I used my skewed MF 07 (Stanley 140 equivalent) with the side removed. You could also use a shoulder plane, or some other rabbet plane just as well here. This allows the point of the blade to ride right up against the raised section while planing away the waste material. Eventually you work the to bevels into each other.
Wood Metal Fashion accessory Still life photography Pollution


Repeat for the other end grain side. and the 2 long sides. Raised panel mostly complete. It still needs some clean up before finishing, but the hard part is mostly done.
Wood Gas Auto part Engineering Machine


All that remains is to clearly define the rabbet that will slot into the grooves on the box sides.
Back to the 45 I adjusted the fence and depth to approximate a 1/8×1/8 rabbet all around the panel.
Wood Rectangle Gas Transparency Plywood


Here is the completed panel with the planes used.
Wood Gas Machine Metal Automotive lighting


In the next entry I'll use my 45 again to cut the grooves for the box top.
Next time. This panel is actually the bottom of the box. It will lift the box sides of the surface it's sitting on creating a shadow line making it look like the box is floating a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Top Panel and mitered dovetails

So,

I thought I wood try my 45 for making the top panel. Now I fully understand Roy Underhill's and Patrick Leach's comments and concerns regarding the 45. While it is a versatile lane. It does not do well when the grain is interlocked and/or the wood is hard. Coupled with the narrowness of this stock. It was not looking good.
Wood Wood stain Table Plane Hardwood


So, time to burn some electrons.
The down side of power tools are:
setup time
adequate time for testing
you make mistakes faster.

Table Rectangle Wood Floor Flooring

I did not spend enough time testing the setup and it wound up blowing out part of the panel.

Fortunately the panel was longer than I needed so I was able to trim this off adjust the setup test again and redo the cut.
Wood Rectangle Hardwood Wood stain Plank


I used the same setup to cut the dadoes in the top an bottom of the box sides.

Wood Hardwood Electrical tape Gas Rectangle


You can see in the photo above that I also started on the dovetails. Of note are the scribe marks on the right side of the panel running along the face of the front panel. Those marks delineate the kerf of the table saw blade that will be used to separate the top of the box (right side of line)

I positioned the front and back pieces together and cut the dovetails at the same time. To ensure the opposite sides were lined up correctly I flipped the board and used the same kerfs as a guide. Note the orientation of the dadoes

Wood Tool Wooden block Workbench Hardwood


Waste was cleared as usual for dovetails (Not doing a DT tutorial here)

Marks tranfered to pin side and saw cuts made. Here is where things get interesting and deviation from normal dove tails begins to show up.

Wood Wood stain Tool Hardwood Office ruler


The saw cuts need to be performed on miter as the waste is removed on a miter. Hence mitered dove tail.
Mitering the waste removal will leave a nice mitered corner on the top and bottom of each peace.

I used a mitered piece of stock to serve as a miter jack and guide my chisel in the waste removal.
Wood Wood stain Plank Hardwood Composite material


One down, three to go. You can see I'll need to adjust the top and bottom panels as well.
Wood Flooring Hardwood Wood stain Plywood

Wood Rectangle Automotive exterior Bumper Wood stain
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A little more on the mitered dovetails

When I left off I had completed the first of four for this box.

I thought I would share a little more on the process of the mitered dovetails and update the progress on this project.

Something I have learned about dovetails in general is to clearly mark the waste sections to be cut away. It only takes a few seconds and really makes the difference when clearing the waste. I can't tell you how many times I have cut on the wrong side of the line. Marking them clearly is the answer.

Additional tips for successful dovetails.

A sharp true saw is a must.
Sharp chisels with a really flat back are an absolute must. Take the time to strop often and don't resist going back to the stone for a touch up.

Be aware of the hardness and grain properties of your wood. Poplar tools really easily compared to this plum which is very hard, brittle, and wears the tools much faster.

Wood Hand tool Wood stain Hardwood Tool


On the mitered dovetails DON'T cut all the way through like a standard dovetail cut on the waste side of the line at a 45 degree angle.

Table Wood Wood stain Floor Flooring


With the cuts complete you can resume excavating and paring the joints as described in the previous blog entry.

With all four dovetails cut I found I had to re-size the top and bottom panels. Nothing a few minutes on a shoot board could not handle.

The reddish curlies are from the plum top panel, the lighter curlies are from the poplar bottom. You can see the top panel in this photo.
Wood Table Hardwood Flooring Wood stain


Another tip. Leave any precise router table setups in place until you know the project is complete or you no longer need it. I had to re route the grooves on the trimmed side of the top and had to reshape the raised bottom panel. I used the very same router setup to cut the rebate on the bottom panel. Having the setup in place saved me a ton of time.

Now all of the joints are cut, and I'm dry fitting.

Sides, Back Top and Bottom are complete. I need to finish dry fitting the front (It's still a little too tight)

Wood Gas Hardwood Thickness planer Machine tool


Wood Hardwood Plank Gas Composite material


I need to patch these joints as they aren't as precise as I would have liked. Each one gets better though.

Once that is done, I can do the initial finishing (Finish the inside pieces BEFORE glue up!) and then proceed to glue up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A little more on the mitered dovetails

When I left off I had completed the first of four for this box.

I thought I would share a little more on the process of the mitered dovetails and update the progress on this project.

Something I have learned about dovetails in general is to clearly mark the waste sections to be cut away. It only takes a few seconds and really makes the difference when clearing the waste. I can't tell you how many times I have cut on the wrong side of the line. Marking them clearly is the answer.

Additional tips for successful dovetails.

A sharp true saw is a must.
Sharp chisels with a really flat back are an absolute must. Take the time to strop often and don't resist going back to the stone for a touch up.

Be aware of the hardness and grain properties of your wood. Poplar tools really easily compared to this plum which is very hard, brittle, and wears the tools much faster.

Wood Hand tool Wood stain Hardwood Tool


On the mitered dovetails DON'T cut all the way through like a standard dovetail cut on the waste side of the line at a 45 degree angle.



With the cuts complete you can resume excavating and paring the joints as described in the previous blog entry.

With all four dovetails cut I found I had to re-size the top and bottom panels. Nothing a few minutes on a shoot board could not handle.

The reddish curlies are from the plum top panel, the lighter curlies are from the poplar bottom. You can see the top panel in this photo.


Another tip. Leave any precise router table setups in place until you know the project is complete or you no longer need it. I had to re route the grooves on the trimmed side of the top and had to reshape the raised bottom panel. I used the very same router setup to cut the rebate on the bottom panel. Having the setup in place saved me a ton of time.

Now all of the joints are cut, and I'm dry fitting.

Sides, Back Top and Bottom are complete. I need to finish dry fitting the front (It's still a little too tight)





I need to patch these joints as they aren't as precise as I would have liked. Each one gets better though.

Once that is done, I can do the initial finishing (Finish the inside pieces BEFORE glue up!) and then proceed to glue up.
Going with the mitered dovetails for lots of reason.
I wanted to make a stronger joint that a plain miter. The prototype was plain miter and I still need to repair the miter joints on the lid.

I really did not want to build a box holding jig for splines and I also wanted to stick mostly to hand tools. Running up the power tools at 7-8 AM is pretty discourteous to my neighbors. So spline or lock miters were out as well.

I have tried full blind dovetails but that experiment was more of a you need way more practice before you can do this successfully project.

This material is also quite thin at 3/8" and there really isn't enough for full blinds with my current skill set.

Wedding is at the end of this month so I had to get on it.

If I were to do this design again, I would put the tails on the sides so they don't show on the front and rear sides. I would also practice a heck of a lot more before committing to these. Oh Well, I'll make what I have work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Dry fit and glue up

In the last segment I explained a bit more about the process for creating the Mitered Dovetails.

Using that process I continued to refine the fit by repeated dry fittings.

A couple of words on dry fitting and dovetails.

The more you fit those joints, the looser they become. I had heard this before. The reality is the more you fuss with it the worse things get. Eventually you need to gain enough confidence in your skills (both in the initial cutting and clearing of the joints and what you will do if the joint is not what you expect)

I don't have any pictures of the joints during the fitting process mostly because with each fitting the sloppier the joints got, the frustration increased, and thinking about taking photos was not on my mind.

Eventually I decided enough was enough and any further working of these joints short of starting over was just wasting time. Starting over is not an option for 2 reasons. 1. The wedding is less than three weeks away and I still need to turn 2 pens and write a speech. 2. I don't have enough of this plum wood to make a box this size.

I'm trying a new to me glue and going with the Liquid Hide Glue from Titebond. I used this on the prototype that kept breaking apart and it held great. Much better than the regular yellow glue I typically use.

Liquid Automotive tire Fluid Bottle Drink


I was very pleased with the longer open time as it gave me time to apply glue to all facets of each pin/tail combination on all corners and still have time for clamping which is important when the joints start getting sloppy.

Wood Floor Hardwood Flooring Machine


We'll see how it comes out when I get home tonight. BTW doing a glue up before you leave for a while is a great way to make sure you leave it alone for several hours.

Automotive design Motor vehicle Office equipment Engineering Wood


After the glue dries I'll have to see how the joints turn out and what I'll do with any gaps. Anyone ever use the sawdust and glue trick with liquid hide glue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Dry fit and glue up

In the last segment I explained a bit more about the process for creating the Mitered Dovetails.

Using that process I continued to refine the fit by repeated dry fittings.

A couple of words on dry fitting and dovetails.

The more you fit those joints, the looser they become. I had heard this before. The reality is the more you fuss with it the worse things get. Eventually you need to gain enough confidence in your skills (both in the initial cutting and clearing of the joints and what you will do if the joint is not what you expect)

I don't have any pictures of the joints during the fitting process mostly because with each fitting the sloppier the joints got, the frustration increased, and thinking about taking photos was not on my mind.

Eventually I decided enough was enough and any further working of these joints short of starting over was just wasting time. Starting over is not an option for 2 reasons. 1. The wedding is less than three weeks away and I still need to turn 2 pens and write a speech. 2. I don't have enough of this plum wood to make a box this size.

I'm trying a new to me glue and going with the Liquid Hide Glue from Titebond. I used this on the prototype that kept breaking apart and it held great. Much better than the regular yellow glue I typically use.

Liquid Automotive tire Fluid Bottle Drink


I was very pleased with the longer open time as it gave me time to apply glue to all facets of each pin/tail combination on all corners and still have time for clamping which is important when the joints start getting sloppy.

Wood Floor Hardwood Flooring Machine


We'll see how it comes out when I get home tonight. BTW doing a glue up before you leave for a while is a great way to make sure you leave it alone for several hours.

Automotive design Motor vehicle Office equipment Engineering Wood


After the glue dries I'll have to see how the joints turn out and what I'll do with any gaps. Anyone ever use the sawdust and glue trick with liquid hide glue?
Thanks Paul! I was hoping you would chime in. I'm running an experiment now with the glue I have to see how things come out. I don't have a hot hide glue setup yet and this is my first time with any hide glue product. So far I'm very impressed.

Fortunately the finish has been decided and it will be straight shellac so I don't have to worry too much about different absorption rates like I would with any kind of stain or oil. The glue up worked very well. I took the clamps off last night and this box is very solid. My next blog entry will be the clean up process and cutting apart the top from the bottom.

Then cut the mortises for the hinges and lock, then final sanding and finishing. I'm not in the home stretch yet, but the end is in sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Clean up and First Look at what finish will be.

Previously I completed the glue up.

After the glue cured, I removed the clamps and got started cleaning everything up.

I trimmed off the excess material on the pins using my 60 1/2 LA Block Plane which worked great.
Plane Wood Gas Automotive exterior Bumper


I did notice a small crack in the top panel (Which I already knew about before the glue up. And with the pins cleared off, gaps from poor fitting began to show. I experimented with a couple of adhesives and saw dust as gap fillers. I tried the hide glue with saw dust and felt the result would be too dark. So I went with Sawdust and CA Glue to fill the gaps.

First fill the crack on the top panel. I'm using straight CA for this. Starting with this as it will take a couple of applications to fill completely and it needs time to cure in between applications.
Wood Table Workbench Hardwood Flooring


Lets look at what we have to work with so far.

Front Panel Gaps on the dove tails and some tear out from the plane.
Table Wood Gas Wood stain Hardwood


right Panel (Looking pretty good)
Wood Wood stain Gas Hardwood Workbench


Back Panel Even larger gaps a knot and some tear out.
Wood Gas Hand tool Workbench Engineering


Left panel some small gaps around a previous repair where I accidentally cut all the way through instead of mitering around the pins. Visible lower left.
Wood Workbench Wood stain Gas Hardwood


Bottom Panel
Wood Rectangle Creative arts Art Hardwood


Top Panel
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Gas Composite material


The next day I sanded the CA from the crack on the top.
Wood Wood stain Rectangle Material property Hardwood


And then applied a second coat of CA to the crack
Wood Office ruler Wood stain Hardwood Plank


Now for those Gaps around the Dovetails on the back panel
Wood Beige Hardwood Tints and shades Plywood


Helpful hint: Make sure to trap and save some of the saw dust or sanding dust from the same wood you're working with. I just took it off my miter saw after cutting the panels and put it in a dixie cup.
Tableware Dishware Drinkware Ingredient Wood


I smashed and tamped sawdust into the crack using my finger and small stick.
Automotive tire Wood Yellow Finger Crankset


Then applied some CA Glue
Wood Wood stain Gas Hardwood Plank


Did this to all of the cracks and gaps yu can see the first one on the bottom right is already starting to lighten up.
Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Gas


Let sit over night.

Before:
Wood Rectangle Wood stain Gas Hardwood


After: I Hit it with 120 sand paper to remove all of the proud material and excess CA.
Wood Gas Wood stain Hardwood Plywood


After all of the gaps are filled.
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Before I left for work this morning, I hit it with some dexawed shellac
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Gas Plywood


After initial drying and just before I left.
Front
Table Wood Wood stain Hardwood Gas


Back
Wood Table Wood stain Gas Hardwood


Rear Oblique Left side of Box
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Front Oblique Right side of box
Wood Wood stain Rectangle Varnish Hardwood


More finish to come. This is just a first coat and will mostly get sanded off. I was just impatient to get an idea of how the finish would look and how the filled gaps would look.

It's looking much better now than I was originally dreading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Clean up and First Look at what finish will be.

Previously I completed the glue up.

After the glue cured, I removed the clamps and got started cleaning everything up.

I trimmed off the excess material on the pins using my 60 1/2 LA Block Plane which worked great.


I did notice a small crack in the top panel (Which I already knew about before the glue up. And with the pins cleared off, gaps from poor fitting began to show. I experimented with a couple of adhesives and saw dust as gap fillers. I tried the hide glue with saw dust and felt the result would be too dark. So I went with Sawdust and CA Glue to fill the gaps.

First fill the crack on the top panel. I'm using straight CA for this. Starting with this as it will take a couple of applications to fill completely and it needs time to cure in between applications.


Lets look at what we have to work with so far.

Front Panel Gaps on the dove tails and some tear out from the plane.


right Panel (Looking pretty good)


Back Panel Even larger gaps a knot and some tear out.


Left panel some small gaps around a previous repair where I accidentally cut all the way through instead of mitering around the pins. Visible lower left.


Bottom Panel


Top Panel


The next day I sanded the CA from the crack on the top.


And then applied a second coat of CA to the crack


Now for those Gaps around the Dovetails on the back panel


Helpful hint: Make sure to trap and save some of the saw dust or sanding dust from the same wood you're working with. I just took it off my miter saw after cutting the panels and put it in a dixie cup.


I smashed and tamped sawdust into the crack using my finger and small stick.


Then applied some CA Glue


Did this to all of the cracks and gaps yu can see the first one on the bottom right is already starting to lighten up.


Let sit over night.

Before:


After: I Hit it with 120 sand paper to remove all of the proud material and excess CA.


After all of the gaps are filled.


Before I left for work this morning, I hit it with some dexawed shellac


After initial drying and just before I left.
Front


Back


Rear Oblique Left side of Box


Front Oblique Right side of box


More finish to come. This is just a first coat and will mostly get sanded off. I was just impatient to get an idea of how the finish would look and how the filled gaps would look.

It's looking much better now than I was originally dreading.
Thanks.

It is starting to look much better. I was freaking out a few days ago before the glue up.

The plum is pretty and I like the look of it. But it's very hard, very brittle and a just a PITA to work with, lots of tearing even with the sharpest, high angle, mouth as tight as I can get, skew the angle of attack, none of it helps. It tears some where on the pass.

Chiseling even paring caused the opposite side to break no matter how little pressure or how backing support was there. The chisel gets close to the edge and there's a 50 505 change it will break. Very Brittle.

Good learning experience. But very difficult to make it look pretty in the joints.

I'm much happier now.

I'm limiting my tooling to sanding now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
separating the top from the bottom.

With all of the outer surface cleaned up, it's time to separate the top from the bottom.

On my prototype box I used only a handsaw to separate the top from the bottom. My saws are not sharp or true enough and I had to trim way too much afterward. So I decided to use the table saw function on Shopsmith instead.

I made sure the fence was adjusted o match the scribe lines on the box. and adjusted the depth of cut that ti would NOT cut all the way through the side wall.
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First cut the short sides
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Then cut the long sides
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Now the top can be separated from the bottom using a hand saw.
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Then use my block plane to trim off the flashing.
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Looking good so far
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Varnish Creative arts

Wood Wood stain Flooring Floor Hardwood


Now to install the hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
separating the top from the bottom.

With all of the outer surface cleaned up, it's time to separate the top from the bottom.

On my prototype box I used only a handsaw to separate the top from the bottom. My saws are not sharp or true enough and I had to trim way too much afterward. So I decided to use the table saw function on Shopsmith instead.

I made sure the fence was adjusted o match the scribe lines on the box. and adjusted the depth of cut that ti would NOT cut all the way through the side wall.
Wood Stairs Wood stain Plank Hardwood


First cut the short sides
Wood Wood stain Floor Flooring Hardwood


Then cut the long sides
Table Wood Rectangle Natural material Wood stain


Now the top can be separated from the bottom using a hand saw.
Blue Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood


Then use my block plane to trim off the flashing.
Wood Gas Communication Device Machine Metal


Looking good so far
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Varnish Creative arts

Wood Wood stain Flooring Floor Hardwood


Now to install the hardware.
Actually I find the hardware fitting to be much more aggravating and fretful. This step was pretty painless for me.

But yes, as work progresses in this project and the time gets shorter (9 Days to be done - 1 day of travel, so 8 days) the fear factor is ratcheting up. Add to this the fact that I have no more of this material so a catastrophic failure at this point would be a hard pill to swallow.

Oh well, I muddle on. I have to finish fitting the hardware, final sanding, and then the finishing. I hope to complete this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Hardware fitting

Let me start with a rant.

Specialty woodworking stores are quite a drive for me so I don't get to go very often. I chose to go to Woodcarft because it's a more enjoyable drive. Upon arriving I found out that the supply of small box hardware on hand was terrible (almost non-existent) many items were out of stock and my choices were severely limited. the size of my stock also severely limited my choices.

Why does Woodcraft not stock the same metal finish for their small box locks as they do for the hinges?? This makes no sense, but I'm kinda stuck at this point. Next time I'll try Rockler or order on line. By the way none of the small box hardware has any instructions or tips so fitting everything has been trial and error.
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End of Rant.

I'm finally getting the hardware attached.

I started by cutting the rabbets for the hinges
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I don't have many pics of this process. I initially marked the height of the plate as the depth of the rabbet.

I then used a brad point drill to cut the curved bit for the hinge. Then pared down to the line I marked previously. The hinges I chose have the arch support that keep the lid from opening too far and I had to make a mortise for those to go into. I drilled the mortise for the hinge support and attempted to clean it ups as best I could. I need to get a 1/8" chisel for sure, it would have helped out greatly for this.

Initially I wasn't too happy with the result so I set it aside to work on the pens instead.

I tried fitting the hinges and found out that using the thickness of the plate was a mistake I need to use half the height of the hinge. I was also hampered by the narrow stock of the material. I tried leaving a sliver of wood to hide the hinges but the wood was just not cooperating.

Several test fits later I managed to get both hinges attached only to find out that the alignment of the top and bottom are off. Off with the hinges Here's a tip. Keep a supply of wooden toothpick handy for filling holes as re-drilling for proper alignment is a common thing. At least it was for me.
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If you look carefully on this you will also see a repair to the sidewall I wasn't paying attention to the angle of the chisel while clearing the mortise and wound up slicing through the side of the box.
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More sawdust and CA to fix my own error Hopefully this hides a bit more once the final finish is on.
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Fortunately removing the material for the lock mechanism was much more successful. I found the center of the front panel and marked out the dimensions for the lock.
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Notice the knot and swirled grain. This is gonna be slow and go.
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Then I started clearing away material. Have I mentioned that this wood is VERY Hard and VERY brittle? Especially in this kind of swirl.
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I had a hard time getting tools inside the box to work. and the changing grain and knot also really slowed progress. All of my handles are too lung to fit so I had to get creative. I wound up using the blade out of my 12-101 block plane to clean the lines and keep them straight.
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Before getting too carried away with stock removal I figured I should get the holes drilled for the key.

I measured and marked carefully to determine the location to drill through.
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I actually drilled two holes to accommodate the shape of the key.
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Close enough for now. I'll clean this up with files one the rest of the stock is removed.
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With the stock removal complete and the hinges re-position a second time. Here is where I'm at.
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I need to adjust the height of the lock mechanism (the mount screw hole is drilled a bit high)
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And I need to adjust the top hinge attachment a bit more.
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Plank Tints and shades


More Toothpicks and CA
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Wood Gas Hardwood Wood stain Plywood


This is where it was at when I left for work this morning. All I need to do now is the final hardware fitting and then it's on to sanding and final finishing.
 

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