Friday, 11 July 2014

Box design and clamp

Hi all,
I was pleased with the box that I showed you in my last post and thought I would do another one with a couple of modifications. I also wanted to pass on any bits of knowledge that I learnt from the process.

The first thing I would say is that making the sides from pine is no good for pyrography because it is too difficult to burn with any accuracy. The second, is that once you have a design that you are happy with, make sure you get it down on paper. I have repeated the last box I did and before I glued it together I drew around each piece for future reference. I then scanned it and put it into my design files for future use.

Here are the parts cut out. The dark wood is walnut and the light wood is obeche.
And here is the design after drawing around the parts.

One of the main things I have learnt from making boxes is that they need to be square, especially if you want the lid to fit properly and look good to the eye. My early attempts at box making were good, but because they weren't exactly square they weren't good enough.

Anyway, here are two hints on making a box square. The first may seem obvious, but it didn't dawn on me straight away. To make a box square, the front the back and the sides must be exactly the same length so they are best cut in pairs.

I use clear parcel tape to bind the two sides of the box together before cutting them, this ensures that they are the same length. Likewise, I also cut the back and front of the box as a pair for the same reason.

You will probably notice that in my design, the back of the box isn't as tall as the front, but I still cut them out as a pair to make sure they are the same length, then afterwards remove 3mm from the back piece.

If you want to try building one of these boxes using my design please feel free and send me a picture of the results.

Besides making sure the parts are all cut to the same length, another thing you can do is invest in a box clamp. The one I purchased, pictured below, cost me £4.99 from Aldi when they were having a special's day.
It is very easy to use and a vast improvement than the quick release clamps that I used previously.
The box is held at the corners between the brackets as you can see with my box above and can be finely adjusted. I still can't believe how easy it is to use.

Finally, the box I made last time had pyrography on the lid and the sides and I was wondering if it was too much.
So, I am making the same box again, but this time with walnut sides that won't need any pyrography.
I hope to finish it soon and will show it to you in my next post

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