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Decorative Box: My First Attempt at Box Joints

It's funny, the day that I'm going to post about the decorative box I just made, Tom Iovino over at Tom's Workbench wrote a post about why you should make a decorative box. OK, so there are tons of woodworking blogs and other sites on the net and many of them make projects like decorative boxes, so it really isn't that surprising.

I decided to make the box about a week ago. Buoyed by my success at the pencil box, I wanted to experiment with some more joinery. This time I chose box joints. I didn't start out with any plans or even a rough sketch, my only requirement was that I the depth of the box couldn't be any wider that the 1/4" and 1/2" maple I had on hand. I just chose a length that looked proportional. Read more »

Tools: router

Tags: box joint

Materials: maple, tung oil

Notes From the Workshop: 20110206

Pencil Box Finish

I haven't been able to spend any serious time in my shop since last weekend, so decided to finish the maple pencil box with some tung oil. After gluing it together, I hit it with some 100 grit sand paper to even out the joints. After the glue dried, I applied some tung oil with a clean cloth, let it sit for 15 minutes, then wiped the excess off. I have to say that there wasn't much of a color change after that first coat. Read more »

Tools: air compressor, router

Tags: Bosch, notes, Pencil Box, Sanborn

Materials: tung oil

The Different Grain Patterns of Mahogany

Seeing Stuart's pictures from his A Few Fun Tool Closeup Photo's Post, inspired me to take the DSLR into the shop to try and capture some of the really incredible grain finishing has brought out of the mahogany blocks.  Usually I just use my Canon SD1000 point and shoot camera into the shop; it takes pretty good snapshots without fiddling too much and is cheap enough that I don't care if something happens to it.

Read more »

Tools: DSLR

Tags: Canon, finishing

Materials: mahogany, tung oil

Notes From the Workshop: 20101114

It's been a little too long since I've posted something. I'd like to blame it on the cold I'm finally kicking, but I've been fighting another sinister foe:


I didn't have enough energy to actually work on a project this week, so I figured I'd pick up the shop a bit.  It's been a little while since I last went on a cleaning binge and the shop was due.  I had let a lot of old material accumulate around the edges of the shop and it seemed that the walls were closing in on me.

Picking up a scrap of plywood off the floor I noticed a musty smell.  Of course there was a nice little mold colony growing underneath the plywood.  I've had problems with mold before, my shop is in the basement after all, but I hadn't had any flooding in my shop since I fixed the crack in my Wizard of Oz style portal doors.  No, I think this time it was just due to the ton of rain we've had this past year, which brought the water table almost up to floor level.  That and the damn humidity...

I decided that I'd scrub the shop floor with some bleach and let that sit over night with the air cleaner fans and dehumidifier running.  The next day I hit the floor with some Concrobium and let that sit another day.  It's the first time I've used the product, so we'll see how well it works.

Blocks and Marbles Read more »

Tags: cleaning, finishing, mold, notes, sanding

Materials: tung oil

Notes From the Workshop: 20101109

End Grain Burn

Even though, the mahogany fuzzed quite a bit when machining, at least it didn't burn, that is until I tried routing the end grain.  Yeah you can burn just about any wood, but some woods are more prone than others.  Evidently end grain mahogany falls into the former category.  I ended up turning down the router speed to about 1/3 of full.   In the above picture, the block on the left was run though at full speed and the block on the right at the reduced speed.  There's still a bit of burn, but at least it's something that a light tough of sanding should take care of. Read more »

Tools: Handi-Clamp, router

Tags: burning, end grain, Irwin, notes

Materials: bloodwood, mahogany, tung oil