Friday, August 7, 2009


Joinery has been done, now it's time for this box to get some grooves. Dry assemble the box then flatten the bottom (and top if desired) before you get to the shaper/router table. The dovetails didn't happen to line up very well for me so I had to use the "double stop drop" method. I used to cut my joinery more based on the grooves that were going in, that was at MCTC where we used an overhead router for stopped grooves. I really did not like that machine so I tried very hard not to use it. I found that the normal table is much more comfortable for me.

Grooves acomplished. The bottom will trap the bottom panel and the top one is for the sliding lid.
This is where I have gotten very frustrated... I lack a router bit that I need to make the bottom panel. It's not just any bit though, I need a straight bit modified. I visited a couple places that said they wont do it and was refurred to one who would. The problem is I haven't heard anything from him in at least 2 weeks >:( I emailed him again, gave him a call and left a message. Nothing. So I "stalled" on the box for a couple very frustrating days. Nothing like being helpless to work due to poor customer service.

Before all that I found a little piece of Sycamore that I hope will work for the bottom panel and lid panel. It has colors that range from a bit "dirty" cream to pinks.

Still stuck without that router bit and I'm getting stir-crazy and about ready to start punching myself in the face for fun. So I decided to work on the lid frame. I normally don't like to do something like this until the box (or what ever) is assembled. But, listen up Craig, I left myself extra breathing room in the demesions of the lid ;).
So here using the band saw with that new bi-metal blade to cut the open mortise.

And here are the tennons after shoulder cuts on the table saw and lots of test cuts to get a close fit off the saw. You can see the the blade is cutting pretty clean though all those little teeth cause more heat so I'm getting some burn marks.
This frame has three different sized parts so I needed to take extra care not to cut the right piece the wrong size!

After a little bit of fitting, here is the rough frame dry fit. I don't really know the size of the tenon, I didn't really measure. I just drew marks that looked good to me but I think it's somewhere around 1/8" thick, more little joints!
Well, I'm still stuck without a bit... waiting, I'm sick of waiting!


Nick Brygidyr said...

that blade looks pretty crusty! cut some pine or something? hah, that box is gonna be cute. i actually started on the stand today, off square joinery...oh really not sure about anything with the stand, how the curves will relate to each other or even the size of it...but the way i see it, theres no right or wrong, just certain degrees of correctness

na.nelson said...

Heh yeah the problem with such a high tooth count is that there isn't much room for swarf to "escape". Oh yes, the leg system of my last piece had no relative right angles, not even the back! defiantly was an extra challenge to fit but it was engaging to say the least heh.
Ha I like that "degrees of corectness" good call. I first tried to see if I could reach a conclusion based on geometry, but then just played with some cut offs and went with what looked all right. If it looks like it makes sense, it does. heh will that be quote-able?

Nick Brygidyr said...

i actualyl got it done today, wasnt so bad! about your cabinet, i know the legs are M&T together with the stretchers and doweled into those veneered panels...but what about the stretchers? are they just glued to the bottom of the cabinet?

mike said...

Im wondering what type of finish you are planning on using for the box?? I am in the process of building a small box myself and I am torn about what I should use. Im using a nice piece of salvaged cherry... Could I also ask what you have done to your router bit? Thanks

na.nelson said...

Nick, Yes the stretchers are just glued to the cabinet bottom, though if possible I might suggest some kind of locating "joinery". Even a small dowel or two... That is if you are gluing. I actually would prefer not to glue. The only reasons I did is because there was no way to have a tightly fit capturing stand, and it is a veneered piece. If it wasn't a veneered piece I couldn't have done the legs the way I did, let alone glue them to the cabinet.
Rule of thumb... if the cabinet is solid wood DO NOT glue the stand to it!

Mike - I'm planning on using the good old shellac and wax. At the school we are taught to mix our own shellac which I much prefer to the store bought stuff. Yes the store bought stuff can be thinned and a bag of flakes looks kind of spendy but it goods a LONG way. I bought a pound of both blond and orange flakes for about $25 each but I don't know if I will ever need to get more! Well maybe 30 years from now heh.
The router bit I myself am not modifying as the cutting edges are carbide and I would like these to be of machinist accuracy. I'll post a pic when I get them. It's actually a very small modification but produces a very nice detail. The corners are to get a very small radius. That's it :)
So Mike, are you going to show us this box???

mike said...

the only shellac that i have used was mixed from flakes. i am planning on purchasing some from ron hock soon. i only have experience with the blonde. this is probably a silly question but do you mix the orange and blonde together for some kind of secret krenovian blend or are they for separate use? i always think that you IP and CR guys have some deep skull and bones kind of shit going on! do you have a particular wax that you would recommend? i have used liberon black bison wax and thought it was nice but i dont have anything to compare it with. i would be happy to show you some pics of the box. its in the very early stages. i have just completed dovetails and im getting ready to rout gooves to accept the bottom panel. the box is inspired by the one that appears on the cover and in the of copy of "a cabinetmakers notebook" that i have. i have an old hardcover that looks different than current copies. also i plan on stealing some details from your arbutus box. im working up to the curved dovetailing but not quite yet. im not sure what the etiquette is but i am planning on stealing some ideas from you!


Jacques does grinds for those router bit profiles. He did Nick B's for him. Robert just did his at the school. No machinists need be involved.

na.nelson said...

Mr. Godfrey, That's interesting. I remember Robert saying he gets them done by a sharpening service. When I asked about them later on he said I should try to find a service to do them. Welp what's done is done they are ready for me.

Mike - On shellac, yep I have the Hock flakes too. Heh there aren't a lot of secrets going on at the school but maybe the information isn't spread? You can mix all you want, there is no specific blend Jim or the schools use. The main difference I think is how much we thin out the shellac. I tend to mix the blonde and orange but not as one middle shade. What I have done is keep the blonde and orange separate and as I'm finishing I might decide to put on some orange coats here and there. This allows me to adjust "on the fly" as it were.
Wax, yes. I have used a few waxes but was introduced to Clapham's Beeswax Polish at the school. I prefer the Clapham's for what the school is doing. It depends on application. I have used some paste wax and the Black Bison but that is too thick... but it is nice for lets say a table that will receive a lot of use. Then Williamsville Wax (beeswax, lemon oil...) is too thin, but if you were using it for "maintenance" of oil treated surfaces, it does the job.
Be careful of oil based waxes on material you may not want oil on! Test strips! Use them. It's not a nice thing to spend so much time on a piece just to make it look blotchy in the finishing process.

Ha I'm not sure what the etiquette is either. Of course we are all inspired one way or another. I can no where near say that box is completely original, but it is nice to know that some work we've done is appreciated and perhaps inspiring to some others :)
As far as "copying" I think for the "hobbyist" it's one thing to "copy" a piece, but it's another for a "professional" to do the same.

Nick Brygidyr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Brygidyr said...

I've actually got to get my bit sharpened, i wonder if a sharpening place will keep the radius mr.breau put on just just tell me to buzz off?

i've used Clapham wax and i donno, it's like yogurt, im really not used to it! i've used Liberon beeswax and it smells like awesome lemony candy, until you get a headache from the turpentine they put in it...

and about the copying, i see it that krenov started this kind of style, very streamlined and very mild curves and no loud contrasts. i wouldnt mind if all my stuff looked like his.

na.nelson said...

Yeah, one can work with-in a style that's all well and good. I guess when I say "copy" I mean a direct duplicate... or at least as direct as one can get. Even when taking inspiration from a piece(s) in our craft it's quite unlikely that it will turn out exactly the same as one before it :). Yes, my pieces are going to "look like" Krenov pieces more or less, but this also has to do with the way of working.
What I'm trying to say is that I shouldn't have opened my "mouth" about the subject HA.

桂綸鎂Diana said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.