Building Little Boxes
with David Knipfer
Part 3

This Part is Continued from
"Building Little Boxes with David Knipfer - Part 2"

Allright...   I snapped a few photos of the next steps to build some of those little boxes I'm making now...   they are a fun and simple design so I'll share the steps as best I can as I go thru this batch ...

Last you saw I had removed the bulk of the interior waste from the box bottom using my tablesaw/bandsaw technique.

The next step(s) is to finish removing the waste from the bottoms and lids,   drill the 5mm hinge holes,   machine the grooves for the inlays and shape the box exteriors ....

Your boxes should look like this when you have all that done.

To get to here...

First,   I went back to my table saw,   fitted with a dado blade,   and removed the rest of the interior waste.   Soooo...   my original   8/4   stock is now a box bottom and lid.

Then...   I located and drilled the holes for the   5mm hinges.   You can see photos of all the steps to do this very accurately in a previous post of mine.   (Part 2 of this series)

Then...   I routed a   1/4"   groove across the lid top to fit a piece of commercial inlay.

Then...   a chamfer on the back inside edges to allow the lid to open...   and roundovers on the top and bottom edges to give the exterior some shape.

I also like to rout a small chamfer at the front of the box where the lid and body join...   it just looks good to my eye to have a shadow line here ...

I also have a groove centered on the lid front where I'll inlay a piece of sterling silver for the thumb pull.

Note that the lids are now short of the box ends by about   1/32"   to allow clearance from the edges...   you cut them shorter AFTER locating the hinge holes.

If you did all this to here you'll have a rough box body/lid that opens on the   5mm   hinges and stops at the   95   degree open position...

I also take the time here to hand sand a radius on all the inside corners...   bodies and lids...   anywhere you fingers can touch.

Now...   it's onto the box ends...

But that's for later.



One last question I promise.   With the hinges installed, does the wood of the box come together or is there a gap due to hinge?   I am sooo close...

Thanks Knipfer,
I just didn't drill the hole deep enough because I wasn't sure if they should be buried.   I also appreciate the hint about the chamfer passing through to holes -   I would have spent along time on that one.

Here is the first attempt (less the remaining details).   Not enough room for the mortice at the bottom but what the hey...   Thanks Dave.   This was some scrap oak I had sitting around. See the results here.

Ask away Goodwood...   no worries I say...   if I was unwilling to share... well...   I'd just make and sell these things and you folks would never know about it.

About those hinges...   YES...   the box should close tight all around,   front and back,   when the hinges are dry fit installed.   Just like in my photo above.

There are three reasons I know of why there may be a gap somewhere ... DAMHIKT...

1.   Most likely ....   your lid-open chamfer on the back of the box is not deep (wide) enough.   The chamfer needs to pass through the centerline of the hinge hole plus a SMALL amount more...

If you leave the chamfer short of the hinge hole centerline...   then the leading edges of the box back will contact each other before the box swings fully open...   this will cause the dry-fit hinges to pull upward slightly and leave a gap at the back of the box when you close it again.

You will still have a tight gap at the front...   but the back is open a little bit.

If you epoxy the hinges in place without correcting this condition, then you'll end up with a box that opens to only   80   degrees or so...

2.   Less likely ...   Your timber is moving around on you.   I'm going to assume you are working with acclimated timbers...   but if for some reason you rushed making the box it's possible your top has warped.

Of course,   you can check this easily on your table saw top....   so I figure this is not your problem.

BTW...   when I first re-saw my   8/4 stock   to make a batch of these boxes...   I sticker all the parts for a month at least...   then I go to work on them.

3.   Even less likely...   one of your hinge holes is not at   90   degrees to the box edges.

Being out of whack at any angle less than   90   degrees will obviously tend to pull the lid in the opposite direction...   for sure this will leave a small gap adjacent to the offending hinge hole.

Again,   I am assuming you drilled your holes with a DP and are confident the hinges are sitting straight...   but it's worth a check.

Now...   I've made all these errors plus others...   trust me about that... it's all part of learning.

I hope that fixes you up Goodwood!


On to the next Part of the Series.

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