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Dovetailed Box

Today I finished a box I started yesterday that will hold my prints at art shows.  The box will be attached to my mobile walls with a French cleat, which is a strip of wood with a 45 degree bevel cut along one edge, which nestles into another strip with another 45 degree angle cut on it.  One strip is attached to the box and the matching strip is attached to the wall.  

The box is made of hard maple, which is a real pain to finish due to the changing grain direction down the length of the boards.  One either has to sand for hours or use a card scraper to smooth the surface, I usually opt for the second method.  The finish is shellac to seal the surface and satin polyurethane to provide the protective layer.  The bottom of the box is a piece of walnut plywood (1/4 inch).  

I cut the 1/2 blind dove tails with my dovetail jig and a router, which really speeds up the process.  This particular joint is usually reserved for attaching the front and back of a drawer to the sides.  One gets the strength of a dovetail joint while maintaining the continuity of the wood on the front of the drawer.  What took about 15 minutes would have taken a few hours by hand.  I have only made a few dovetail joints so far, but look forward to increasing their frequency in my work.  

I was surprised to find a small amount of figured wood in some of the boards.  I got this maple from a friend of mine and much of it was old and weathered, but I was pleased to find some curly figure in a few of the boards, which adds a good deal of visual interest to an otherwise run of the mill wood.

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
Posted by John Speier on June 7, 2012

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