Woodwork #2

I’ve been working on a new box – something I’ve been calling my “Swear Box” – since it has seemed to become the repository of a fair amount of mental anguish on my part.

It’s a basic hinged box with a veneered lid and base. The lid is 6mm MDF with a blackwood iron-on veneer bottom (from Otto’s) and a Huon Pine veener top – in which I cut and placed a rather nice elliptical inlay.

Why The “Swear Box” – well basically the timber came straight from the furnaces of Hell – it was reasonably figured – very attractive – however it soon became apparent that it was very unstable – you cut it, it warps; you plane it, it warps; you put it down nice and square, a week later it’s a rocking horse.

Deep breath, throw it in the jig and cut the dove tails – God knows if it will mate up afterwards. Well, it did after a fashion – it wasn’t a great match up but hey, it could be made to.

OK – glue that puppy up and see where we’re at.

Reasonable but a lot of massaging to do – the joints need finishing; the base needs squaring; a fair bit of sanding, the usual sort of messing around.

OK – deadline pproaches – Leanne’s birthday – don’t get worried – see what we can do…

To be honest – it looks great – I love the way the Red Gum finished – a beautiful deep red, with the front a very special figure indeed – lovely colour and an interesting defect to highlight the wood. The lid also looks nice – the golden yellow of the Huon Pine matches the red of the Red Gum just superbly. The disappointments are in the details – the joints aren’t as well cut as they could be, warping wood not withstanding; I rushed the hinges in the lid – causing the lid not to sit perfectly – fixable when I recover the will to do it. The inlay in the veneer is a rather tricky skill that I’m still developing – precision cutting and gluing is required – and I do mean precision – a small fraction of a millimieter defect is highly noticeable and deeply disappointing. All in all – a reasonable third box I guess. My fourth box is in the works – similar design, made from Jarrah with a perhaps a more interesting lid – I haven’t chosen the exact lid yet – I have a few in production. We’ll see – blog to follow I guess!

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