Woodnet Forums
letterbox - Printable Version

+- Woodnet Forums (https://www.forums.woodnet.net)
+-- Thread: letterbox (/showthread.php?tid=7372468)

Pages: 1 2 3

letterbox - BrokenOlMarine - 03-07-2023

I was planning on making a cane, just to pass the time.  But, when I started to plane the long piece of black walnut... 
Confused ... and planed off the discoloration from the four sides...
That's not walnut.  Mahogany. 

Another go to project on my list.... a letter box for the Leather Workbench.  I need a box to store the lettters neatly so when I need to stamp a name or logo on some project, or just initials, I can find them.  I also have some 3D stamps: Fish, Bear, Thin Blue Line stamp...  so I laid them out and shuffled them around to get them in some sort of organized set.  I measured.  The box would likely need to be about 5x15.


I planed the mahogany to get it as square as possible.  This didn't have to be perfect.  It's not furniture.  I am doing this as much by hand as possible.  But, with my arthritis, I will use the table saw for some.  


Before ripping, I made the passes over the saw to cut the dados.  Not worth digging out the dado blade. 
Laugh  I made passes over both edges on one side, then both edges on the opposite.  Then I ripped the dado'd pieces down the middle, creating two long pieces with parallel dados on one side.  


Careful measurement now, with the width established, showed me my width and length would be 13-1/8 x 3-1/2.  I cut those lengths.  Then on the miter saw, I cut the 45 degree angles.  I test fitted the pieces, and tested them over the stamp heads.  (using the leftovers, I cut a second box)


Next up, cutting the inserts for the top and bottom panels.  Using on hand luan, I carefully measured and cut the panels and fitted them.  Testing the fit, they look good.  I have stopped for the day and will work on the project again as arthur allows.


The Letterbox for the leather stamps, will get a carved/tooled leather inlay for the top.
The second box, which may become a possibles box for the wife's sewing shop, will likely get a spalted maple insert for the top.  I have some highly figured maple that will look good with the mahogany.

Plenty to do, they are only rough fit tested.  Still shaping and work with the molding planes to do.  Then the glue up and the inlays.  Will be fun.
Watch this space.  
Big Grin

RE: letterbox - Stwood_ - 03-07-2023

Lookin good.............

RE: letterbox - BrokenOlMarine - 03-08-2023

Out in the shop for a session this afternoon.  I used some time fitting and planing, fitting and planing, until I got the wife's box exactly right.  Then I pressure fitted it to insure all was right.  Since this box was made from the leftovers, the long sides were slightly thicker than the short sides since I had to cut those afterwards from a short block.  I had to plane them down to match the thicknesses.  The thing about handmade, especially those using hand tools, is that you often spend a lot of time hand fitting.  To me, it's part of the pleasure of the task.

[font=Roboto, "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][attachment=46663][/font]

The pressure fit checks are important because you must apply pressure during glue up to insure a proper hold. If you only hand check the proper fit of joints, when pressure is applied you may find errors in the joints when it's too late.  Then they don't look so great any longer.  Next up I applied the pressure test to the letter box, it looked pretty good as well.  I am only looked at the fit of the interior edges, the outside edges and the match of the top and bottom edges can be planed after glueup.  As you can see in the pic below, the right hand short side edge is a tad higher... that will be planed even after the box is glued up, clamped in the vise and stable.

[font=Roboto, "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][attachment=46664][/font]

Both boxes were broken down, and the pieces carefully laid out to maintain their relationship.  Glue was applied to all the contact points.  I also applied glue to ONE edge of both luan panels for each box.  They were then assembled, carefully aligned, and the band clamps applied with just enough tension to remove the slack.  The boxes were then adjusted one last time, with particular attention paid to ... you guessed it... the inside edge of the top of both boxes.  Now the band clamps were tightened until the strap could be plucked.

They'll be left to cure in the band clamps while I work on the inlays for each box.  Extra cure time won't hurt.  Once the inlays have be cut and fitted, the clamps can be removed and the real work will begin.

[font=Roboto, "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif][attachment=46665][/font]

RE: letterbox - BrokenOlMarine - 03-08-2023

Today's session was all about the wife's box for her She Shed... 
Smirk  I started by seeing which piece of wood called my name.  I found a burled piece and laid it aside, it would work.  I didn't want to settle so I kept looking.  Boom, a piece of spalted maple called out: "Use Me, Use Me."  It was perfect, I didn't need to look any longer.  


As you can tell by the pencil line down the side, the first step would need to be a straight edge to work from, so to the table saw.  Free hand, and working slowly, I ripped along that line being very careful.  It looked good.


But, as we all know, looks good doesn't mean it IS good; so I secured it in the Wood Vise on the bench and with a known straight edge I checked.  Off just a bit.  "Dah Plane, Boss, Dah Plane."  A couple passes, check. A couple passes, check.  Finally there was no light between the straight edge and the wood edge.  CHECK. 


All this work was to get that straight square edge to run on the table saw fence.  Now I had one.  I measured the width for the inlay, set the fence almost at the width, and made the first rip.  Just over.  Tap tap... another pass.  Barely over. Tap. Perfect.  Now length.  Measure, Use the miter and make the cut.  Just over, shave a bit, just a tad, one more pass, and BooYah.... We are mated.


Ran a pencil around the edges, and marked the reference to roll them.  Got the molding plane and with the inlay secured in the wood vise again, got at it.  Plane an edge to the reference line, rotate.  Plane, rotate... You get the drift.  Sand smooth when done.  I could have used the router, but I hate that screech.  Plus, they tend to grab the spalted wood and I'd have hated to tear up this highly figured piece. 


Of course there is still a lot to do here.  Sanding and plenty of forming on the mahogany box itself.
But... the next shop session will be focused on cutting the leather insert for the Letter Box and carving/tooling that.  Looking forward to that one....
Stay Tuned.

RE: letterbox - iclark - 03-09-2023

Looking really good. That spalted maple is spectacular.

A couple naive questions:

How do keep the letters from scrambling in the box?

How do you get the letter that you need out of the box?

RE: letterbox - BrokenOlMarine - 03-10-2023

(03-09-2023, 11:43 PM)iclark Wrote: Looking really good. That spalted maple is spectacular.

A couple naive questions:

How do keep the letters from scrambling in the box?

How do you get the letter that you need out of the box?

You may have missed the part where I will cut the boxes in half and they will open and close like regular boxes... but if it's a straightforward question:

The plan is to have the bottom divided by a narrow rail laterally between each row of letters so they will stay in line.  The top will keep them from moving UP.
Inside the top when it's open, will be a guide across the top that shows the position of the letters.  My plan is to make it out of leather straps, stamped with the letters, like the guide inside a "Box of Chocolates." That way you WILL know what your gonna get. 
Laugh  As long as I put the letters back in their proper slots, I'll know where to find them the next time.


RE: letterbox - BrokenOlMarine - 03-11-2023

My trip to the workshop yesterday was specifically to work on the letter box.  I started by measuring the space for the inlay in the top of the letterbox.  I measured twice and came up with 12-5/8 x 3 inches.  I found a nice piece of leather suitable for carving in the off cut box and using a box knife and my square made the cuts.  It fit perfectly.


After casing (wetting the leather the appropriate amount) I applied the design with the template in preparation for carving and tooling.  I chose a favorite, Oak Leaves and Acorns.  This design has appeared on saddles and gun belts for over a century.  Though the pattern template was much shorter than the leather, it is designed to flawlessly connect and run as long as need be as it's designed for belts.


Once the pattern was transferred, I used a swivel knife with a high angled 1/8" wide blade to cut the pattern in, as it had a large number of tight curves and sharp points.  Cutting in is the first step in bringing the pattern to life, transforming it from a flat two dimensional image to something that looks alive.  I'm not that good yet, but I'm trying. LOL.


Slow and careful, I cut in the major lines.  Today, I'll begin tooling, you'll see the difference.

RE: letterbox - BrokenOlMarine - 03-11-2023

A couple hours in the shop.  The first hour spent tooling to try and bring some life to the flat design.  Far from what is possible... but it is much better than I used to do.  I am learning.  It will draw attention to the box.


Another hour with a detail brush and various shades of dye to add some color.  When the dye has dried for a couple hours, I'll go back out and put a resistance coat on the piece, let it dry for a while, then antique it to bring out the depth and detail


By antiquing I will also tone down the colors and bring in a richness.  Oiling will also add to that effect.  This should look pretty good when it's done.  Then a final touch will be a couple coats of finish and waxing. 
Smile  Yup, still a ways to go, but it should look okay.

RE: letterbox - grwold - 03-11-2023

(03-11-2023, 03:56 PM)BrokenOlMarine Wrote: By antiquing I will also tone down the colors and bring in a richness.  Oiling will also add to that effect.  This should look pretty good when it's done.  Then a final touch will be a couple coats of finish and waxing. 
Smile  Yup, still a ways to go, but it should look okay.

Jim, have you finished the top's frame yet?  If not, will oiling the leather leach into & darken the wood?

RE: letterbox - BrokenOlMarine - 03-11-2023

(03-11-2023, 06:24 PM)grwold Wrote: Jim, have you finished the top's frame yet?  If not, will oiling the leather leach into & darken the wood?

The inlays have not been glued in place in either box yet so all the work is being done to BOTH of them separate from the boxes.  They won't be glued into place until I have made the separation cuts on the table saw that will divide the two boxes into tops and bottoms.  I am just laying the inserts in place to represent how they will look where they belong when I post the pics of progress.

You are correct, if I oiled the leather IN place it would leach onto the mahogany before I was ready to apply finish since I had not begun the sanding process on the two boxes yet, however, If I had sanded the boxes and was ready to apply finish it would not be an issue since they will be finished in Watco oil and wax as well.  
Smirk  But, the leather will also receive a couple coats of Sheen to lock the antique in place before being waxed.  I don't want the sheen on the mahogany, hence, finishing the leather separate.  The maple will get a single coat of Golden Oak to make the figure POP... don't need that on the mahogany.  Same thing, finish the insert separate.

More pics will be following....  Thanks for your comment and interest....