Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's All About the Wood

     The last couple of days have been hotter than it should be for this time of year here in Las Vegas.  Been putting away literally gallons of water in my attempt to keep thinking straight as I continue to work on the boxes.  The lidded finger joint boxes are turning into much more of a challenge than I thought!  I'll get into that in a bit but between times the Curly Cherry boxes have received their final coats of finish. Since in my work I want the wood to be the star take a look at these photos of the boxes:

     These are about 3" tall and 5" by 7". The handles and splines are made of African Mahogany.  It's difficult to see the chatoyance of the wood in pictures but take my word for it -- it's there!
     Sometimes when a project is in the planning stages, whether it's in your mind or carefully drafted out; everything is not as clear as you think.  The lidded boxes are proof of that.  I'll need to put the front, back, and side pieces together and  insert the bottom plus the lid and hinge pins at the same time!  Seemed pretty straight forward in my mind at the time but now that I've been working on it it's becoming somewhat daunting.  The lid will have to be pretty much pre-finished before assembly.  To add to the complexity of them, the Satinwood boxes will be pegged with Walnut dowels.  The Macacauba boxes will have a brass screw driven into each finger which will then need to have the head cut off and filed/sanded smooth for a decorative touch.  I've always liked Art Carpenter's saying that Time = Care.  He contrasted that to the Time = Money and these boxes are definitely not a huge money maker.  I've always enjoyed the process of woodwork so not complaining.  Just hope I can pull all of this off.
     The lids were fitted to each box, this was accomplished using the small scale shooting board and a block plane:

Shooting the Brazilian Satinwood Top to Size

     One thing I'm really thankful for is that since the boxes are so small it'll be no problem assembling them in the cool, air conditioned confines of the kitchen on the island.  The past few mornings it's been in the mid to upper 80's when I start around 7am and temps only go up from there.  Creates a serious problem for gluing up since the glue will set quickly.  When I student taught in San Bruno in we used radio frequencies to excite and warm the glue during assembly -- sure don't need that now!

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