Cherry Box Project

 

 

Design

Wood Selection, Milling Wood and the Box Joints

Dado for Bottom of Box

Sanding, Finish Application and Final Product

 

 

Design

This is a multi box project with box joint joinery...some napkin boxes for Renee and Aimee and a letter tray for my office...

 

The letter tray will have cherry sides with an MDF (1/4 inch) bottom...sides are 3/4 inch thick, 3 inches tall with dimensions of 14 x 11 inches...
The napkin box for Aimee will be rectangular...it will hold folded cloth napkins...it will have cherry sides with an MDF (1/4 inch) bottom...sides are 3/4 inch thick, 4.5 inches tall with dimensions of 12 1/2 x 8 3/8 inches...

The napkin box for Renee will be square...it will hold paper napkins...it will have cherry sides with an MDF (1/4 inch) bottom...sides are 3/4 inch thick, 4.5 inches tall with dimensions of 8 3/8 x 8 3/8 inches...

Wood Selection, Milling,

Box Joints

 

Found some cherry slabs in the attic...ripped them on the bandsaw so that they could be run across the jointer...

At the jointer...one face and one edge were jointed to establish a square corner...

Bandsaw blade set at 3/4...
Jointed face to the fence...jointed edge to the table...boards resawn on the bandsaw...

The 3/4 slabs were set aside for planing...the 1 1/4 cutoffs were taken to jointer and faced...then all were ready for surface planing.

 

 

After planing down to ~3/4 inch...
...sides were ripped and then chopped...12 sides for the three boxes.
The layout marking pattern of one side...
Typical marking pattern for all four sides...
Sides for all three boxes laid out...

The Infinity blade height was set at slightly above the thickness of the material.

This will make the finger ends slightly proud.

   

Finger cutting at the box joint jig...the width of the cut is 1/4 inch which is the thickness of the Infinity blade.

The height of the cut is slightly higher than 3/4 inch.

Critical to always make sure the top marking arrow is pointed to my right.
When setting up the next piece...the spacer piece arrow faces away from the fence...but the work piece still points to the fence...
Test fitting...the fingers are not as proud as I had anticipated...the PM66 blade height might have lowered...
...full box dry fitting...
Dado for Bottom

I created a 1/4 inch groove to accomodate a piece of MDF for the bottom.

Through grooves in all four sides would show...so I made a 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch groove at the router table (with an up-down spiral bit). I took the two sides and aligned the groove to be in the middle of the bottom socket...These two sides can both be done as through router passes. The through pass is made very simply...just held down to the fence and pushed...

However, the two sides can not be done this way...a through groove would show as a void in the box joint.

So I created a stop dado...by dropping the piece down onto the bit to start the groove at the appropriate location...

...and by having a stop block to halt the dado at the appropriate location on the other end of the dado.
Here is an example of the stopped dado (top)... and the through groove on the bottom.

The stopped grooves had rounded ends that fell short of making a square corner in the grooves...so I removed the appropriate amount of the finger chopping with bench chisels......and leveling out with paring chisels and the Veritas medium router plane with a 1/8 inch blade.

 

After chisel and router work...the notches...
The joint dry fit test...
After the grooves were all finished, I had to deal with the fact that 1/4 bit cuts a groove so tight that 1/4 inch MDF would have to be pounded into the groove...this will not do so I made a pass on the underside edges of the bottom panel.

This rebate was let in about 3/16 inch and the depth of cut was only about 1/32 inch.

 

 
Dryfit the bottom to make sure that the notches that I had chiseled worked well...
Dry fit with the bottom panel...
 
During dry fit one of the fingers that had a notch put in it popped a piece off...some glue and a clamp put it to right...
Glue Up and Finish Work

Cindy helped me with the glue up...there were so many glue surfaces that by the end of the glue up some of the fingers had expanded and it was hard to put in the last piece.

Such a small box...so many clamps.

After the box was pulled out...joints looked pretty good, box pretty square, fingers slightly proud...ready to plane.

Put into the bench vise...

Block plane to knock down the proud fingers...
Smoothing plane to finish off the joint.
Cabinet scraper...
 
Ready to sand...
   
   
Sanding, Finish Application, Final Product
Sanded the inside surfaces before glue ups...used Rotex 120x, 220x to 400x.
After sanding, cleaned with acetone and covered fingers with tape to prevent future glue surfaces from getting shellac on them...padded on amber shellac...a two pound mix of shellac crystals and 190 proof Everclear.

Finished box exterior...same sanding protocol as above...removed dust with acetone...rubbed on a coat of shellac.

3 coats of shellac...
Finished boxes...on the table.

 

 

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