Friday, June 22, 2012

Whatever Was I Thinking?

     The morning started off with some pretty cool temperatures in the shop -- 83 degrees.  Because of that I figured if I got right on it at 7 am I could assemble the finger jointed boxes before the heat set in.  Here's the results:

75 % Isn't the Best Results!

     Unfortunately the Brazilian Satinwood box at the lower left isn't going to leave the shop.  During the assembly process, one of the Walnut pegs hit the groove the bottom sits in and went off by about an eighth of an inch.  That resulted in the box being out of square the same amount -- bummer.  I'll cut it apart to save the top piece and repurpose it for another box in the future.  I attempted planing the side of the lid but it's not up to my quality standards for leaving the shop.  The lid has some red coloration in it so hopefully I can design a different box for it.  Lots of work left to do on these though.
     For starters, each finger of the Macacauba boxes in the background will need to be pre-drilled for a brass screw.  Once that's done and the screw is inserted, the head of it will be cut off and then filed and sanded level with the sides for decorative accents.  Total of over 60 screws between the two boxes!  The Satinwood box will be somewhat easier, all that it needs is to have the Walnut pegs cut flush, planed, sanded, and finished.
     Here's what I started the morning with:

Yeah, What Was I Thinking??

..... and this is only for the Brazilian Satinwood boxes.  The insides of the each edge was taped to make any glue squeeze out easier to remove.  Almost wish I was an octopus for this assembly job.  The sequence was to apply glue to the fingers for the back and it's corresponding side.  These were assembled and the bottom was inserted into the groove.  Next, a brass pin and washer was put into place and the lid attached to the one side.  Now comes the fun part, gluing the remaining joints, fitting the hinge pin and the fingers in their proper place and all the time trying to be expedient so the glue won't set up in the heat before all's assembled.  I started with the smallest box and worked my way up.  For work like this I prefer to use Liquid Hide Glue as it allows more open time than other glues do.  Plus, it is reversible by soaking the joint with water.  I'd considered doing that for the box that went astray but decided not to. I've spent an incredible amount of time on these so far so if I want to make at least welfare wages on them it's not worth saving at this time.
     You may notice that the lids of the boxes have a different look than the rest of the box does.  That's because they are pretty much finished prior to assembly.  The way things go on this design with the hidden hinge pins once it's glued together that's it -- no more adjustments or fixes.  I'm pleased with how they feel when you open/shut them and hope they'll be a project someone will want.

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