April 2017? bet you thought you'd never see this again.
I'm here to tell you that I finished the box and I'm very happy with it. I learned a lot from it, not so much Aspire (although it has a good amount of that content) but other woodworking elements. See, the box that I wanted to build was going to have a more rustic feel, because of the live edge cherry, and the hand planed lid, and the spalted maple. I had cut up a section of a log once to use in a project, but just once before. So, this spalted maple was a new experience for me. I saw it on the firewood pile and recognized and brought it down to my basement. After I let it sit there for a few weeks, I decided to put the 3/4" resaw blade in my bandsaw and give it a whirl. The cuts came out well, but the wood was still wet that I could feel with my hand. I separated the 7 small boards, 4 of them between 3/8 and 1/2 inch thick and 3 of them a little more than a 1/4' thick and let them dry a bit. After a few weeks, they felt a lot drier, but I saw a little cracking on the edges and I was worried about the spalting continuing. So I picked out the faces I wanted to show on the outside, hand planed them smooth and then put 2 coats of clear shellac on them thinking that if I cut off the oxygen the spalting action might stop.
The boards sat and sat while I worked on other things, many other things. Finally I moved these and other like projects of partial completion and good intention to a cleared off table in my shop. Some time shortly thereafter I gave my retirement notice as an Engineer and began working 3 days per week for the last 6 months of 2018 and suddenly finding more time to clear that table. But I didn't want to do what I had done before, which was to CNC cut box joints or dovetail joints. I wanted to teach myself how to hand cut dovetail joints, I wanted that look for this box. So I watched a lot of videos, challenged my mind to remember the one time that I cut one in 7th grade shop class, bought some nifty saws and marking gauges, found a whole bunch of beautiful calipers that were my Great Grandfathers, and finally started to cut dovetail joints. This "Winter Tree" box is the fourth project that I have done, all in the last 6 months, with hand cut dovetails.
If there is no pictures, it didn't happen. So here we go:
So that is the front view of the previously made top with a fresh attempt at a French polish for both the top and the spalted maple. Are the dovetails perfect? No, but I am happy they give the look I wanted.
But Bill, what are those little bits of dark wood at the back, is that walnut, what are those? They are Hinges, made out of wood, yes, walnut with a steel pin hack sawed from a rod to hold them together. This is the third set of wooden hinges I ever made and they are always a lot of fun. I'm never quite sure how they will work, and then they just do. But I recently thought long and hard on what they should be. And for the geometry I wanted them to be triangular and was going to make some sort of shapely triangle to please the eye, but think rustic, and tree, and man if that spalting didn't remind me of something Native American, ah! Arrowheads!