Mistake Retake

This weather makes it a whole other world outside. A little park time in the morning with Mabel before daycare. Skateboarding the dog around the block.  And then to the shop.

Last time I posted about this box it was just the empty bottom part.  Yesterday morning I did a quick compartment grid for the inside of half lapped sapele.  It’s removable,  but for now it’s all the right size to hold these cards for a game Amber and I have been getting to lately. Behind the grid you see the box with a piece of poplar I want to use for the top.  The box is pretty plain as far and grain and color, so I think this top could be cool. Also poplar takes stain horribly and all the neat definition is lost. At most, this box will just get some oil as a finish, so the poplar spalting  should still look neat.

A reminder – the box is made of the butternut tree I had taken to the sawmill. Basically I wanted to try making something small out of it to see how it works out. So far, mostly good.  It carves easily, which is nice, but that same softness won’t make it so great for high use tops on furniture, etc. I even noticed by table saw pushstick leaving a small  indentation. Plenty of opportunity available though. Basically, it seems like a less knotty pine with tighter grain.

I still have 5 or 6 boards at my neighbors too. One of them 2 inches thick, and 2 roughly 2×4″ pieces that are 9 feet long.

So this morning I started on the box top.  I didn’t want to lose too much of the top panel to it being in a grooved frame, and I didn’t want it recessed. So I got to use my new rabbet bit set. It’s made for handheld routers, but in the router table is does make it nice to not have to repeatedly measure and make test cuts and multiple fence adjustments.  One bearing makes it 1/4″, and you just worry about depth. Easy enough, and it worked great!

Of course, it’s round, so I chiseled out the corners.

I cut the width of the panel, popped it in, and then realized my mistake.  I cut the rabbets too long and had a bit less than 1/8″ on each end.  Of course, I did a retake, and realized this wasn’t a mistake at all, but an opportunity.  I can add something to match that compartment grid inside the box.   So I did this.

And then I rushed off to work.  I’m not so sure about the top yet.  That carving on the side of the box certainly now seems more ‘oriental’  in the context of this sapele on the top. Too skinny and breakable though. I’ll probably take more material off the sapele pieces to make them stand out less. Of course now I should add some sort of feet made of sapele to the box. It’s what you do when you keep interesting scraps.

All this because I did some practice carvings and thought I might as well make something out of them.


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