Saturday, May 26, 2012

Another Box Design

     So this blog will be backwards!  I started it last night after figuring out how to design and make the top for what I'm calling my Elliptical Box.  Wanted to get that down on paper (so to speak) before those senior moments could erase them.  The process worked and here's the lid for the new box concept.  This is somewhat backwards too since now I'm building the box to fit the lid!

It Worked

     Now that the Slanted Dovetail box is complete and I know the basic design and construction is what I was hoping for there's another design that's been floating around in my head.  Rather than make a series of the Slanted Dovetail box (4 boxes total) I'd rather work on this new design.  I think I'll name it the Elliptical Box since the main design theme will be an ellipse of sorts.  Years ago I did an experiment where two different species of wood were cut out together and then re-joined.  If you're familiar with intarsia this is a very elementary form of it for lack of a better term.  My goal is to combine two pieces of curly Maple with a piece of Cherry, both of which have some interesting grain, for the lid to this box.

Sketching in the Arc

     The Cherry will be the center of the lid so I needed to establish an arc.  This can be done by clamping the piece to the bench with the bench dogs, they are at the same distance from the center.  The thumb of my right hand is pushing this slat towards a mark I'd made to show the top of the arc.  All that's left was to draw the line.  Here are the two pieces of Maple I want to use for the lid:

Marked for Grain Direction

     Whenever you laminate boards together you want the grain direction to be the same on all of them for when you plane the board.  This holds true whether you're using a power plane or the nice, quiet work of a hand plane.  You can see the basic design on the Cherry.  Next was joining the pieces together.

Temporarily Hot Glued Together

     In the picture you can see how I laid this out, marks were made on the Maple pieces that corresponded with the end of the design on the Cherry.  Using a hot glue gun, they were temporarily held together and then cut out on the bandsaw.  Once they were pried apart with a dull screwdriver and a mallet they separated without any problem for reassembly.  What you see on top below the clamp is a piece of 1/4" thick polyethylene.  I use these whenever I glue up because nothing sticks to them and there is no possibility of the clamp bar reacting to the glue and causing stains.
Together Again!

     Now it's just a waiting game to see how they will turn out.  For laminating panels together I prefer to use Gorilla Glue because it has never failed me and is easy to clean up.  It was a little tricky aligning the three pieces and I guess we'll see once it's dry how well things went.  Another new thing I'm using is the glue brush, the large black and blue thing next to the glue.  It's made from silicon and glue will not stick to it, at least that's the claim!  This brush is available from Rockler Hardware and after using it a few times my only complaint is that it's rather large but glue does peel right off of the bristles as advertised!

P.S.  The brush isn't quite what I expected.  It is extremely large and with the polyurethane glue it still hasn't fully cured in between the silicon bristles.  Matter of fact, my fingers are now permenantly stained!  Gorilla glue is about the only thing I used disposable gloves for because of that.  Anyway, not a fan of the brush; I'll probably stick with the little acid brushes. 

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