Thread: W.I.P. - Building Basic Boxes
29th May 2011, 08:17 PM #1
W.I.P. - Building Basic Boxes
I find I quite enjoy following others WIP's so I thought I would try my own.
I need to make a large batch of boxes in three sizes. Except of the size I am just planning as I go along. Unfortunately I don't have my camera at the minute so I will just take phone shots when I remember. Well the first weekend is over ..... I am lacking workshop fitness as I feel sore all over! It has also been difficult as I have yet to set up the shed so I spend a lot of time looking for tools in boxes, sometimes wondering if I even have them, and then there is the issue of having to move everything around. Oh well sometimes it is best just to get on with it.
Anyway recap of days 1 & 2.
Take recycled floor boards to the tablesaw. Slice off the tongue and groove. Run boards through thicknesser to dress both sides. The jointer hasn't been restored yet so I will have to just get by and play it by ear.
Next step is the bandsaw to resaw the stock into two to produce roughly 10mm boards. I put in a new blade and spent some time setting the bearings up ..... time well spent as it actually cut very well. Image 1 shows the result of re-sawing some black box which was unfortunately joined before I purchased it which resulted in me cutting through some biscuits (this was posted yesterday).
Image 2 shows a collection of boards already re-sawn. Species include black box, jarrah, silver wattle, Kapur and Kauri. The jarrah splinters sure like my hands!
Image 3 & 4 is a quick little stop I whipped up for the SCMS to enable repeatable cuts without having to measure. I have a Rockler flick stop that I intend to fit to the saw but I need to work on the project so this will need to take a back seat. Very simple idea, setup the distance from the blade to the bolt. Drop the bolt and line up the stock. Remove the bolt so that the off cut isn’t wedged in place and rinse and repeat. I was fairly pleased with the results and made repeatable cuts easily. Look forward to a more permanent solution in the future.
Image 5 – Using the stop block above I cut all the side components for each of the three sized boxes from the same length of re-sawed stock to ensure same thickness and colour. From bottom to top is small, large and medium. Shortly following this shot I put rubber bands around each set so they wouldn’t get mixed up. To the left is the rest of the re-sawn timber which will be for lids and possibly spare if I stuff any up.
Image 6 – More time wasted having to setup the Incra in the router table after the move. The stock was taken to the template book to decide which joint to use. I like the look and the ease of box joints so it was just a matter of selecting spacing and bit size.
Image 7 – First set of joints cut. It was a new router bit and I am not 100% happy with the fit yet, or lack of. I will need to look into it further but it may be the case that the bit is slightly under size and as the Incra is so accurate it doesn’t take much. It may also be the case of using the 3/16” bit, I normally do 1/4". It was getting late in the afternoon so I didn’t feel like spending any more time on it today. I had planned on using the Incra hold down to secure the stock to the right angle fixture. In the past I have had issues trying to use g-clamps due to the twisting action when tightening (throwing the stock out of square) and I have never been too happy with the timber handscrew clamps due to their size. As I couldn’t find the Incra hold downs I tried the Lidwig X4. It was actually very convenient. As the size is set it is quick and easy to swap over the stock without having to readjust the clamp. The size of the clamp is small enough not to try and tilt or twist the right andgle fixture and given it is a pinch action, not twist, the stock stays nice and square.
Image 8 – As the boxes are going to be fairly similar I thought I will mix the details up a little to add interest. I loaded two of the 3/16” templates into the Incra so without having to change any setup, with the exception of the template being used, I tried a different spacing of the joint.
Well that is all for the time being ….. back at it again next weekend.
P.S. Sorry about having to host the images off site .... I was getting an error when using manage attachments.Now proudly sponsored by Binford Tools. Be sure to check out the Binford 6100 - available now at any good tool retailer.
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29th May 2011, 08:27 PM #2
Good progress, I can see all of the pictures.
30th May 2011, 08:57 AM #3Intermediate Member
- Join Date
- May 2011
Man, I need to get me some of these box making tools!! Nice looking work so far!
30th May 2011, 09:05 AM #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
- Eatons Hill Queensland
Great WIP, keep it coming.....how many boxes are you planning to make? KC
30th May 2011, 10:02 AM #5
Great work Stinky cheers NF.
30th May 2011, 04:35 PM #6
Nicely done Stinky, great first WIP.Reality is no background music.
31st May 2011, 10:14 PM #7
That's a lotta boxes oh smelly one. Nice work so far.
I'm watching.Those were the droids I was looking for.
1st Jun 2011, 07:04 AM #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
- Lone Tree, Colorado, USA
Very cool! Now that's a lot of boxes!Pete
The Second Wind Workshop
3rd Jun 2011, 07:53 PM #9
KC at this stage it will be 20 .... I will make a few extra so I can do some quality control and only pick the good ones. It also leaves me with a little error room so if I don't think it worth while tweaking the finger joints I will just dump those ones and move on .... actually I will just cut off the joints and make a smaller box for another use!
Anyway now that it is public I will have to keep at it. I had hoped to get some shed time after work this week but I was working into the nights on a presentation. Back at it tomorrow though!Now proudly sponsored by Binford Tools. Be sure to check out the Binford 6100 - available now at any good tool retailer.
4th Jun 2011, 05:56 AM #10
Thanks for the W.I.P , very enjoyable read and looking forward to the rest of the show.
4th Jun 2011, 09:18 PM #11
Well I don't think I am going to set the box making world on fire with this WIP but I will continue anyway.
Day 3 .....
After not being 100% happy with the fit of the finger joints from day 2 I swapped out to a 1/4" router bit that I have had used previously. First box .... success. The others can work with a little adjustment but I wouldn't want to do it for 20 boxes .... I did tweak the Incra a little when installing the 1/4" bit so perhaps that has helped and the smaller bit would be ok if I tried again.
Much better fit. It is sitting a mm or two high but I am happy with this. If it was too much its just a simple matter of adjusting the bit height. I like it a little proud so I can sand flush following glue up.
It was a bit of an up and down day. I still haven't found the best solution to clamping onto the incra right angle sled (I need to find the Incra hold downs!). The Lidwig X4 worked well on occasions however I found different results depending on the length of the timber. To speed things up a little I pulled out the big guns and did two boxes at once.
I am not sure if it is quicker or not as I find it takes three times longer to ensure the clamp is right (sorry about the lack of light ..... I need an electrician to fit some more lights in the shed).
As I don't really have much of a plan I thought it worth while giving the stock a quick sand. I still need to route a groove to accept the ply base but I thought I would clean the sides up a little so I could work out which sides will make better externals.
Ideally I would use a drum sander for this task ..... but I don't have one. I fitted the Shopsmith with the disk sander and worked through 80g and 120g. The disk sander is not idea due to the circular scratch pattern however working up the grades is quite quick and I will pull out the ROS at higher grits to give them a good finish.
The Jarrah and Silver Wattle were a dream to work with but I did get some breakout on the Kapur and Kauri despite having used a front board and backboard on most occasions when routing the fingers. A dry fit tomorrow will help work out the best arrangement to make sure any break out can be dealt with, either hidden internally at the right angle or be able to be sanded out on the external face. If it is too bad it will be scrapped.
Finally after a long day all of the fingers are done. It would be easier to do a mitre joint however as the box is a fairly simple design, and the timber fairly conservative (Kapur & Kauri more so than the Jarrah), I think that the finger joints add just the right level of visual interest without being overpowering. The ones to the left have been sanded to 80g the ones on the right to 120g.
So back at it tomorrow. I think the next step is to route the groove for the ply base. I would prefer a groove over a rebate so that is what I will try. Due to the finger joints the groove will need to be stopped before the ends so that will be fun
Ideally tomorrows update will see the grooves cut, bases cut, boxes glued and lids glued. Perhaps a little ambitious but its best to set the bar high.
M.Now proudly sponsored by Binford Tools. Be sure to check out the Binford 6100 - available now at any good tool retailer.
4th Jun 2011, 09:28 PM #12
4th Jun 2011, 09:33 PM #13
That's cool. Setting the bar high as long as you do not let yourself down if you go over or under the bar. Works for me as well when I have a few things to get through, including work.
4th Jun 2011, 09:33 PM #14
Looking good so far.Those were the droids I was looking for.
5th Jun 2011, 09:13 PM #15
Well I did set the bar high today and whilst I may not have been able to get over it I was still happy with the progress.
As I have no real plans with only the required steps in my head, I thought that it would be worth while fast tracking a little to see if there were any issues on the horizon.
First set for the day was to route the groove to fit the ply base. The first attempt on some scrap worked well.
Due to the finger joints it was necessary to have the groove stop short on at least two of the sides. If the groove isn't stopped on the two sides it breaks through the end of the box. The image below shows the result (only on scrap).
If it were a mitre joint then the groove could simply be cut full length on all sides .... making it a little easier.
So this was the set up. First run the two sides through without the stops and then install a start and stop block. The stock is lowered onto the running router bit and then stopped at the other end before it breaks through. (sorry about the light ...... the router fence casts a shadow).
The next image shows the results. In this case the stopped groove was not quite long enough. There are a few options, cutting it a little longer, using a chisel to remove the excess or trimming the corner off the ply insert.
After one or two I worked out the best position to set the stops so this didn't happen from this point on. The groove is more work than a simple rebate and will most likely go unnoticed but it will add a little more strength and lets me try something new. After a few I decided to move the groove up a little so that the ply was sitting about 1/16" from the bottom. The earlier ones have the ply on only a few mm from the base. This will give me a little more meat to be able to level the base if needed.
Next up was a few quick calculations to get the maximum number of bases from the ply before cutting,
and then it was off to the table saw and mitre saw to cut out the rough bases.
All done with a few dry fit boxes.
To fast track a little I took one box and sanded the inside with the ROS to 240g. This was quite quick thanks to the previous sanding on the disk sander. The 240g removed all of the scratches from the disk sanding and as the boxes will not be opened I do not see the need to go any higher than 240g. The ply also got a sand as it would be difficult to get to from this point on. I am quite happy with the finish of the ply. It seems to be more of a veneer than the standard ply so it will actually look good on the boxes.
Next up was a little glue on the fingers. If I was the Woodwhisperer I would have used a little brush but for me just a little dab was all that was needed. Any more and you just have to clean it up again.
Then finally clamping up ....
There were a few finger joints that I wasn't happy with either due to breakout or bad alignment (which was my fault). I have chopped them all off and will go back to step one and start again. I also cut up some more stock for some more spares ..... now up to 26 I think
I have finished the grooves on the other boxes that survived so with any luck during the week I will be able to get out and sand the interior, fit the ply insert and glue a few up in preparation for next weekend.
So four days in and I am starting to see the light ..... it still amazes me how simple the process is but how long it takes to implement it.