Monday, February 25, 2013

The Dawning Of A New Box

OK, so here is the latest project in the WV Woodshed. It is my first attempt at creating an inlay/intarsia type of project. I admit there are more issues than I can count, but hey, its just part of the learning process and daggonit at least I am trying to improve and broaden my horizons.

The project consists of locally cut cherry, curly maple, red oak and walnut. On the exotic side; I've incorporated bubinga and purpleheart just for some additional color. The box will end up approximately 4 1/2" square by 3 1/2" tall. The walls of the box are about 3/8" and the bottom and top are made of 1/8" luan plywood. Originally I was going to keep my stock at 5/8" to 3/4" but the curly maple had other ideas after the initial milling. After seeing the lighter appearance of the 3/8" material I am actully very please the stock had a mind of its own.

Techniques I'm using include splined mitred corner for the box, grooves for the box top and bottom, the previously mentioned inlay/intarsia, a rabbeted lid and for the first time I am using boiled linseed oil (BLO) and shellac for the finish. I have used BLO with poly in the past but never shellac. After finishing the the inside of the box prior to glue up I have to say I could really learn to love shellac. It dries so quickly and secondary coats are very forgiving as the blend right into the initial coat. Nearly all these techniques are 1st attempts for me so I expect some challenges and less than perfect results.

Couple of things I've learned along the way, curly maple is more difficult to smooth and flatten than I actually thought. I do not have very good hand planes and I am not the greatest at sharpening the irons either, so tear out has been a significant problem. Cutting small inlay pieces with a 1/2" resaw blade on my 14" Rikon bandsaw is not ideal either. The advantage of a well tuned scrollsaw for this type of work became immediately obvious as I struggled to cut curves. While I made it through the ordeal unscathed there were a couple of moments where I had to remind myself to; Keep My Mind On My Fingers & My Fingers On My Hands.

So far I've really enjoyed this project and think I will most likely try another similar, all be it more challenging, project in the near future. Below are a few pictures for your snickers and giggles. Please let me know what you think and offer any advice you may have regarding design, materials, techniques or whatever. I will post additional photos once I have completed the project! Thanks!!!

Until my next post:



1 comment:

  1. Steve, Looking good.
    You like me --we are learning you in the valley, me on the hill.