Framing Up A Lid
I had given the School Box four dovetailed sides around an open till, a pine bottom nailed on, and a dovetailed moulded walnut skirt, It was just missing one major component, the lid.
I had enough of the board I took the sides from to make up the lid as a glued up panel.
I started by jointing one side with my #6. I made some measurements and cross cut a couple sections to a bit over size. Then I took those blanks over to the tablesaw and ripped off the live edge so I had two blanks.
I played around with the blanks for a bit, trying to get the grain patterns to match up so once the panel was glued up and planed the grain patterns would meld together harmoniously and instead of seeing two boards glued together at a seam, you would see one congruent field of curly oakey goodness.
When I was done I had a board that was close to the right width, but much too deep. Now the problem was trying to decide what portion of the board was the best to use for the lid.
Should I center the glue line in the lid? Should I work off one edge? How can I decide whats the best section of the blank to use?
I decided to use an old art class trick to decide. It's tough to focus on which section would work the best while you have to look at the entire area. You need some way to focus your gaze and help you visualize what you'll end up with.
I needed a big piece of paper. I keep a ton of brown paper grocery bags in my shop. I use them underneath pieces I'm finishing, to cover the bench from over-spray when I'm changing the sand paper for my super scary sharp slanderous sandpaper sharpening system.
A few minutes with a razor blade and I had dissected the bag to open. Tah Dah . . . a big piece of paper.
Then I marked out the area the size of the lid with a sharpie.
A few more seconds of razor work and I had a fine paper frame. Now what the hell do you do with this?
You position it over the panel to select the grain / figure look that pleases you the most.
This technique will work anytime you're trying to zero in on that perfect panel. Whether for box lids, door panels inside a set of rails and stiles, or anytime you need to narrow down your field of vision to see exactly what you're going to get.
With the lid cut the only things left to do were to deal with the walnut moulding to wrap the lid and the hardware to attach it.
Ratione et Passionis