Saturday, April 7, 2012

[Schoolbox] Done and Finished

The schoolbox from Joiner and Cabinet Maker is complete! The one in the book is made of "deal" or soft pine, this one is all alder from a tree on my road. Its fairly heavy, and I suspect fairly indestructible.

3 coats of BLO-Varnish-Thinner, and I couldn't really tell a difference between coat 2 and 3. I might put on one more just to verify that 3 was plenty, but I think we can call this one finished.

In other news, a neighbor gave me some incredible quilted maple from a tree in his yard. It is going to be a real challenge to work with (as you can see from the tearout on this little sample board) but what figure! Its almost too much... I am not sure what to do with it, although box lids seem like an easy choice. This is after some very quick planing to see what it looked like. The boards were given to me in the rough, and the fish-scale shaped figure was just barely visible.


  1. Congratulations! The box looks fabulous and the maple looks a real treat.


  2. Thanks Tim. I suspect the next ones will go much more quickly since so much of the process was figuring out what to actually do.

    What would you do with the maple? I have about 7 pieces of it, roughly 8x10 little boards. Seems like a bit of a waste to make entire boxes of it. It would probably best be resawn. I am in no rush.

  3. Nice work! School box looks awesome - Looks like all the dovetail practice paid off. You must be itching to get started on a tool chest soon?

  4. The box looks great! And that maple is drop dead gorgeous. I can't really add to what you said though. Box lids? Resawn? Good ideas. I wonder if it would look good as drawer pulls, or other small objects? Or would there not be enough surface area to really show off the figure? I suppose a bunch of small pieces could be drawer fronts, if the drawers were fairly small. That could be a lovely contrast, with a "regular" maple carcase and quilted maple drawer fronts.

  5. Nice job on the box - it looks great. Nice to see your whole project here bearing such lovely fruits, huh?

    That maple is really remarkable stuff. I'd actually suggest you try to resist the urge to figure out what to make out of it. In general, you can either

    a)let the wood call for the project
    b)let the project call for the wood.

    Personally, I've always found the latter ends up being better use of materials (and better results as well). Personally,I'd stash that maple in the wood rack next to the other exceptional stuff you'll come across. After a while you'll have a nice little selection of fantastic materials, and as new projects pop up, you'll have more and more choices.

  6. Beautiful work and thanks for sharing your process and technique. Having followed your progress, it makes us feel like we are part of it somehow. Roy would be very impressed.

  7. Thanks Raney - that is my approach, but I do like to think about what types of use will most suit wood (as well as the opposite). As I said above, I am in no rush to use it, and I have a long list of other stuff to be building in the meantime.

    Ches - glad you have followed along. More is on its way! I am considering making another one of Douglas Fir... it is not as difficult to work as I had thought, but it is not all that attractive. It might work very well as a painted box. Up next, though, is another alder box.

  8. That's a beautiful box, Rob! Congratulations on finishing it!.

    Is the maple Western Bigleaf? We don't see much of it out here on the east coast. My uncle (a luthier) makes guitars out of it and it's gorgeous stuff. I bet you could make a fancier version of that school box and use thin slices of the maple on the inside of the lid and for the drawers. The outside would remain plain, much like old joiner's chests were very plain on the outside but featured beautiful woods on the inside.

    Again, congrats on finishing the project,


  9. Wow. I have nothing more to add than that :) Wow!


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