Saturday, January 12, 2013

First Look!

Pieces Mitered, Corners Match
      Seems like you're sitting in the theater and they do their First Look clips while you're waiting for the feature presentation doesn't it?  It's funny, I drew the case out to scale to get a sense of the proportions but now that I see the actual box it seems larger.  Notice a couple of things, you can see inside that the grid work I previously made does fit in.  Kind of felt like I was burning the candle at the wrong end by doing the grid first and then building the box around it.  Worked out fine though, I left just shy of 1/16" to allow some play in the dividers.  There's bound to be some humidity changes in Washington D.C. where this project is headed compared to my bone dry desert!  The other thing to notice is how the grain pattern continues around the box.  That's always a concern when doing boxes.
     The over-all height of this box is 6 3/4" which is pretty wide to cut miters on.  I double-checked the squareness of my jig before starting to cut the pieces, seems as if it always needs a bit of adjustment before a new project.  Notice the bolt head at the right side of the fence in this picture?

Cutting Short Sides
     When I built this jig I made it adjustable.  You can see the red mark which is an arrow.  There's an oversized hole for that bolt which allows me to pivot the fence as needed for square.  The critical part when building boxes is that the opposing sides have to be exactly the same length.  For the short pieces I used a large combination square held against the edge of the table as a reference point.  If you do this it's wise to mark where to hold the square just in case the edge isn't parallel all the way across --- it should be but why take chances.

Cutting Long Sides
     For the longer sides I used a small combination square as a stop block.  In case you're wondering why to use this method keep in mind that you want the grain to continue around each corner and the entire box.  This means you need to cut the pieces in sequence, i.e.; short, then long, then short, and finally the last long.  It would be easier to set a stop block, cut both long pieces then reset the stop block for the two short pieces but now the grain pattern has been ruined.
     See that heater close to me?  It's been extremely cold the past couple of days and that's supposed to continue till mid-week.  Managed to get my little work area up to 52 degrees, early morning temp was in the upper 30's in the shop so it's definitely time to bundle up.  I finished todays work time up by cutting the dado's for the top/bottom panel and cutting those panels to size.  Tomorrow after Church I'll cut the joinery on them and then use a scraper to smooth the surface.  I always finish the panels before I assemble a box which may be a challenge with our current cold snap.  Don't want to use the propane heater while I'm finishing.  My plan is to put the oil in the house tonight to warm up then take it out to the shop to apply it.  I'll be able to bring the pieces into the laundry room to dry, sure am glad Diane likes the smell of fresh oil!  Have to check specifications for shellac which I what the interior of the box will be.

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