Following the lead of the one and only Roy Underill: http://video.pbs.org/video/2263884494/ I have been building 11 groove boxes. Dude, this box is hard to do – cutting mitered end grain with a plow plane is no joke. Again, I focused on hand tools for this project. For step by step directions check out the wordpress blog by wb8nbs. I bought this wood with the incredibly patience Dan de Katt; he followed not only my figured eights in a woodcraft store in Cambridge but also my diatribes about wood and tools last February. The corners are cut at 45 degrees, typically a fairly weak joint, but in this case a small sliver of wood runs through each joint ensuring that everything stays together and the same spline comes up into the lid to provide a cool visual feature. The grain pattern runs consistently from the lid into the box, because they are assembled together and then, in a leap of faith, sliced open. All these boxes were assembled for a busy wedding season – for all the couples I know who are never square but always tightly joined together. It is amazing how small projects like these require a larger feat of workmanship and time than many of the elaborate projects that I have recently completed.
Rocked the Eleven Groove Box – Walnut, Cherry and Tiger Wood – 2013
The contrast of the walnut and tiger wood is more subtle but I think still hints at what a pain these boxes are to do. Note, the awesome grain of the walnut and how the grain follows around the miters. Check out the spline that goes through the center of the corners. I infused the tung oil finish with ceder oil. Congratulations John and Nirmita.
Rocked the Eleven Groove Box – Ash and Zebra Wood – 2013
I love the colours in this box – after I failed to get the last box totally square I decided to use a strap clampe to apply equal pressure on all four sides. Congratulations Melissa Sands and Daniel .
Failed Wedding Box – Walnut and Zebra Wood – 2013
The box ended up less then square. Amazing how some people appreciate the beauty in things, even if they are a little quirky. Thanks for your help Nandini.
Wedding Box – Mahogany and Padauk – 2013
Dovetailed box – with amazing grain pattern on the top of the box. I gave this box to Jennifer Davis and Luke Malone at their wedding in Pendleton. About an hour out of town I decided that I didn’t like the finish – so I added a brimwax in the hotel five minutes before the service :. So much for all the cedar oil I added to the original oil finish – this thing stank when I gave it to them- but boy did it glisten. Congratulations guys
Making an Eleven Groove Box
Yup, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what I am doing. Here I am sketching out the measurements on my whiteboard and deciding how much space I need to keep the floor and lid safely secure. Planning ahead
Using the plow plane to cut the first two grooves. These grooves will hold the lid and the floor. The plane references a straight groove along a fence – things got a little wacky after I dropped the plane but alas.
Groove three: holds the lip that will ensure that the lid is secured. I cut this groove with a rabbet plane. Nandini is cleaning it up with a chisels to ensure that the groove is totally square (pending she is holding the chisel square)
The shavings as I carefully fit the lip into groove three.
Placing the lip in the box before I cut the miters. Blue tape the secret weapon of woodworkers. Grooves 4-11 are cut on the face of the miters.
Yup – the fanciest of tools to slice off the splines.