Category Archives: Woodworking

Stories of Shane’s experiences learning how to craft wood.

Woodwork #3

OK – built another box. This one is very like the last one in Woodwork #2 – same dimensions and design, but made from Jarrah and a highly figured veneer for the lid – I don’t know what type – Myrtle perhaps?

This time the dovetailing was much more precise – very little filler was needed to hide the gaps. Jarrah cuts very nicely too unlike my red gum experiences – very little fussiness at all.

The veneers caused some problems – I used Tightbond II yellow glue for the upper part of the lid, and I simply used my iron-on blackwood veneer for the lower side. Result: The Tightbond glue, being very strong, warped the board. It took some effort for it to go in. The fix is to use the SAME glue top and bottom – that way the forces are evenly matched and no warping should result. Oh, and I managed to glue the top to the MDF press as well – now that was fun trying to seperate the board from the press. Some damage to the pretty veneer but not so visible because the figure is so detailed.

The hinges went better this time – I took my time – no birthdays to make. Still, it’s not perfect – the front of the lid is off by about 2mm – just enough to annoy me, but not enough for me to fix it. I think that one hinge must be out by about 0.5 mm to cause this sort of error – a lesson here about the kind of precision required. Leanne thinks that one of the hinges may just need to be rotated a few degrees anticlockwise and it will come good – something worth trying.

Well, I’ve been asked to put some pieces in the Mt Barker show, so I think I might put this one in – I can put also try to sell it at the show as well, though I wouldn’t have a clue what sort of market value to put on it… do you?

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!