Work has begun on Packing Box #2. It starts with gluing up boards to make them wider, although this is not part of the project in the book. I simply could not get ahold of 9" boards like I needed, so I have glued together 2-3 smaller boards. This is standard (and is done in the School Box project) but it bears mentioning that isn't properly part of the Packing Box project.
The glue-up starts off by ensuring the edges of the boards are square and true. I didn't bother to photograph it this time. Next, they receive a bit of glue and are laid side-by side in the clamps:
There they rest a few hours. I like to leave them at least overnight, to be sure the glue has fully cured. This becomes an issue when there are not enough clamps and the boards are needed quickly.
Once the glue is dry, there can be a bit of "squeeze out" remaining. Its visible in this image. A little run down the seam with a chisel removes most of it, and the planing will get rid of the rest. The boards are not exactly in line with each other (one is slightly higher than the other), as can be seen in this photo. This will soon be corrected with the planes:
The now-single board is then traversed with a jack plane, fitted with a curved iron. This allows it to take deep scoops out of the board, quickly bringing it all to the same level, though it leaves a gently undulating pattern which has been likened to Atlantic Ocean waves. They feel great, simultaneously smooth and broadly rippled. They do not show up well in this photo, but a keen eye can see some diagonal lines around their edges:
This process generates tons of curls. Treating 3 boards like this involved sweeping the workbench several times, filling large tubs. The shavings look like some kind of pasta, or maybe I was just hungry:
When complete, it is very difficult to tell where the seam is (unless the differing grain pattern gives it away). I like to check the whole seam with my eyes closed to find tell-tale gaps or ledges. The scallops mostly go away also, using the jointer plane and a bit of the jack with a straighter iron, a sortof improvised smoothing plane. The insides of the box won't get any more attention, so the echos of the ripples will be there for someone to discover. The outside will be smoothed after assembly, ideally bringing them totally smooth to the touch.
With the board flattened, its edges are trued, and some of that new width glued onto them comes right back off. Its marked to its new width, and the waste is ripped off with a hand saw. I've been trying all kinds of various positions on the sawbenches, they all work equally well so I move around to keep from fatiguing the same muscles. I'm still very impressed with the Wenzloff and Sons panel saw - its not difficult to track the cut line and its relatively fast.
The board is then marked into the seperate pieces for the ends of the box, and cut. A second board is ripped, and both are planed to re-true the edges and ensure they are of the same width. Then, the 2nd board is marked and cut to produce the sides of the boxes. The sides marked to indicate the position of the end boards, and its all nailed together. This process is a bit of work which I failed to photograph. Maybe on box #3. Here's the results of today, the shell for Packing Box #2 is complete. Soon the bottom and lid will be assembled, and the box will be done (but unfinished!).