Monday, November 19, 2012

Contour Lines Emerge!

Kodapup Box at Top
     One of the things that appealed to my clients for this box was how the lid of the box resembled the lines you'd find on a contour map to indicate the terrain.  Matter of fact, the box that initiated this order was one in a series I had titled Contour Lines.  This picture illustrates how those lines emerge when you begin to cut the wood at an angle.  Selecting the material was the key, notice the difference between the two lids?  The one on the bottom has more of the curly effect instead of the bold grain pattern for the custom box.
      Making this lid is similar to raising a panel for a door.  The center section is first outlined  with a shallow cut on the table saw.  I have a panel raising jig I made that holds the piece at 15 degrees.

Panel Raising at 15 Degrees
     When doing this it's important to cut along the end grain first.  That way any tear-out should be removed when  you finish the operation by cutting with the grain.  I'm cutting the last long edge here.  This is followed by smoothing things out and removing any tell tale saw marks or burning with a block plane.  That's what's shown in the first picture.
     Before I began making the lid I needed to smooth out the fingers on the corners.  Remember the box was assembled last week but since we were out of town for a few days I didn't get to that until yesterday.  Some would be tempted to hit this with a belt sander but I prefer the polished look a good, sharp plane gives to the end grain instead.

Planing Joints Flush
     The difference between the surfaced and unsurfaced fingers is pretty obvious.  Looks like today will be a good day to begin applying the many coats of shellac to this project.  All that remains to be done is the final fitting of the lid so if the weather warms up and I can get to the side of the house before the sun does we'll be in good shape!

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