Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Recent Doings

With the flurry of interviews and other off-topic stuff posted lately, one could get the impression that I am not Joining a whole lot, but that would be untrue. While I have been doing a great deal to prepare my home for sale, I have also been working on the school boxes, a special box, and even more.

Here's some of what's been happening:

This is a schoolbox variant with a couple big differences. The "partition" in this case is a tray which spans the whole top. In this box, its made of incense cedar. You can also see that some very simple box hinges are used instead of the huge strap hinges. The lock is the same Squire that I have been using all along. This box is also a bit smaller than the school boxes.

The above image shows the tray taken out, and the fingerholes visible. The tray is dovetailed with a single tail, and the bottom is shiplapped (2 pieces). I resawed this cedar by hand, and it was not fun.

The other hallmark of this little box is that the top is made of maple and has a live edge ((bark is still visible). This is the slab before finishing with oil:

Also, while the school boxes have a bottom nailed on and concealed with moulding, this box has no moulding and the bottom is held in place in a groove, much like a drawer would be. In this case, the bottom is douglas fir.

I've also completed another school box. This one is made of alder with a douglas fir partition (the same board as the bottom of the above box):

Here are the two boxes together, showing how the new box is a little smaller. A single coat of oil has been applied, so the grain in the maple is starting to show:

It is certainly a change from the ordinary lid:

In other news, I've been scoring more rough-milled douglas fir from my neighbor. Here's a plank as it came:

And after a day planing and rough-dimensioning some panels:

4 long and 4 short panels, that is just enough to make a double-tall box... yes there are a few knots but "disobey me" is an order to take seriously.

The above shows 2 of the short pieces, jointed and dry-fitted, ready for gluing. If you cannot easily see the line where the two boards meet, I did something right!

I've started to really use and enjoy the try plane shown above. I do like my Stanley #7 and have it tuned quite nicely now, and am feeling pretty familiar with it both as a shooting plane and as a jointer/try plane. The more I use this wooden one, though (no maker mark present), the more I like it. It allowed the above joints to seat together like that within just a few minutes.

If it is not obvious, these boards are intended for a tool chest. I will still be working on the school boxes, and more detail about the small box (and its soon-to-be-made successor) will come soon. As a back-burner project though, the tool chest will continue as I have any time to spare in the shop. I've been increasingly annoyed with my current shallow toolbox, though I have to say for the price and availability, it is still a great option for someone starting out with little time or budget.


  1. Those boxes look really nice, and I like what you've done with maple lid. Nice figure in that piece. Your work makes me want to buy the book!

    Wild Rose Woodcraft

  2. Im loving that Live Edge Lid ... it makes the piece unique!

  3. Thanks for reading! I'll soon be making another one, this was a bit of an experiment to work out some problems; the "real deal" will be next up!

  4. Wow! I really like what you did with the school boxes. It was a project I wasn't really inclined to do until I saw what you did with it. They're both really nice pieces.

    PS. Wave as you go by. I'm in Seattle. Don't know much about where you live now, but Bellingham is a great place.

  5. sheworkswood- thanks for stopping by! I have spent 8 years living in Seattle and still have family on Mercer Island. My mom is in Bellingham. We're looking to return to the area, perhaps a little town on the peninsula known for its woodworking.

    I strongly suggest making a schoolbox! Learning how Thomas did it has been quite eye-opening for me, and it makes the project so much more rewarding.


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