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Boxes for Gifts

Here are some boxes that I built based on the Gary Rogowski design from Fine Woodworking issue #139. Although the boxes are not big they still take awhile to complete (at least they did for my first time out). I built the first boxes out of cherry but I did not follow the assembly directions so that may have been why they seemed to take a little longer. The second two that I built were out of ash and I followed the assembly directions a little better and the whole project went a lot smoother. I decided to leave the pins out of my boxes and see if they perform well as far as the joints are concerned and so far so good. The finish that I applied is clear shellac by Zinsser. It was the first time that I had ever used shellac and at first I was a little discouraged. I own the Bob Flexner book but I consulted it after I applied the finish and read that I should have thinned the 3-pound cut to a 1-pound cut for my first layer of shellac and a 2-pound for all subsequent layers. The finish turned out alright but the next boxes will be better as I now have a good feel for the project and for working with shellac. I still have to complete a couple of business card holders that I will have to give out after the holidays. They are simple little scrap bin projects but people like to receive things no matter how small.
Have a merry Christmas and a happy holidays.

The Boxes

The Toolbox – Finished

It has been a long time coming but I am finally posting photos of the finished toolbox that I started in April. I took a week long course at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking with the instructor Chris Gochnour. When I left at the end of the week I had a completed box that needed some finish scraping, hinges, handles, and a finish. I intended to get on it right away but as life would have it I soon became consumed with the day to day tasks and the toolbox started gathering dust in the shop. At the beginning of the cool weather here I realized that I needed to get this done so that I can start using it. The first hurdle was to mortise the lid stay into the box. This was a daunting task as it involved getting a router to rest on a 5/8″ edge and not tip or tilt and also not take off and tear out the box side. Most nerve-wracking on a piece that you have over 60 hours in. I attached a couple of supports on either side of the box providing a good sized base for the router to rest on and the task went smoothly. Once that was done I was home free as I had already mortised for the hinges and the handles were to be simply screwed to the side once the finish was on. I used Minwax Antique Oil finish and put on two heavy coats using steal wool on the second coat. I am waiting until the end of the month and I will try putting the buffing wheel to it to give it a nice shine. I still need to make the tills that fit inside but I figure I can do that as needed because with my limited shop space this might become a small blanket chest for one of the girls.

Cherry Toolbox

Stickley Interior

Here is the results of a recent trim project on an original Gustav Stickley plan home. Lee built the home in 2001 from original plans with some modifications. At the time the client could not complete the trim the way the plan showed. The wanscotting is quartersawn red oak with a cherryesque stain and the trim boards are poplar with the same stain. It was a great project and the owner is really pleased with how it all turned out – as we are too.

The Closet

Here is a closet remodel that Lee and I just completed for a friend of mine. It took two weeks and involved everything except plumbing. We painted, installed new lighting, a ceiling fan, new flooring, new drywall, new trim, a new window, and of course the custom cabinetry. There was an added bonus of a hidden door bookshelf unit that we got to build. The project was a lot of fun and here are the results.