Basic Box Times Two

The practice piece of walnut is well on it’s way to becoming, not one, but two boxes.   The board, from which I cut the practice piece, is on the left.  The two pieces which I will turn into box sides are next to it.

When I set the boards on Teri and Tracy the saw horse it was surprising to see how much I had planed the board down.  The original piece was around 19 inches long and almost an inch thick and it has some twist to it.  Now it is two 17 inch pieces which are square and have a lovely 1/4 inch dado cut in them.

Before I started to blog, before I decided to build a work bench, before I had begun my journey, I had magazines.  I remember reading Router Table Secrets, which talked about all the useful things one can do with a router table.  I read that magazine cover to cover several times.  All the tricks and tips seemed so very clever, I couldn’t wait to try them.

Tonight I got to use the router table, which I built, and am immensely proud of, to cut a 1/4 inch dado.  The cut went just as the magazine said it would.  My 1/4 inch Freud straight bit cut though that walnut like a hot knife though something which ‘I can’t believe it’s Not Butter’.

I decided to cut the dado in the long pieces before I divided them up into their respective box sides, as it seemed like a safer option.   In my book, ‘Basic Box Making’, they cut the pieces first, then cut the dado with their table saw.  Since I am using the router table, I liked having a longer piece to push  through.  Also it meant two cuts, versus eight.

After I got the dado cut, I sanded the piece, again figuring it would be easier if I did it first, before I quartered it.  This is where I went a little bit astray.  The edges, because I sanded them with my mouse sander, didn’t stay exactly flat.  So I think I will need to give it a pass with my router to flatten it again.  It was a very slight set back, one which is easily fixed.

I have also decided to make the 45 degree cuts with my miter box.  In fact, I did one cut, on the end, just to see how it would go.  I would say it went swimmingly.  There is very little else to report from today’s box building.  So I will say good night and go back to the shop and do a little more work.


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