Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Something Special

It's easy to forget when you don't have someone of high school age in the house but it was recently Graduation Season and Mrs. Wolf and I were happy to see our middle daughter clear this life hurdle. Two down one to go. We also had one of out God-Daughters graduate and talking with her a little bit before her party Mrs. Wolf asked what she wanted as a present. "Nothing much, just something special."  No pressure there right?

Talking later I told my wife it was no problem, I had made a simple pine dovetailed box with an inlaid walnut racing stripe and ended giving it to another God-Daughter several years ago. I could just spend a day in the shop and repeat the exercise. Looking through the modest wood stash I keep, I couldn't find a nice enough pine board.

I did find a reasonable board of red oak. So I made my measurements, cut the board into smaller pieces and started cutting the dovetails on those pieces. I know lots of people make a big deal out of dovetails and there are plenty of people like me who take them as just another joint to cut. Personally I find accurate mortise and tenons by hand to be more challenging. But sometimes even the simple things are a struggle.


Three out of four corners fit together like the should. Nice tight joints. The fourth . . . .I'm still not sure where I went wrong. A combination of slipping while marking out and flipping the board inside out. I was sure I checked my triangle but whatever. Off by nearly a quarter inch for the center two tails, there's no saving that respectively. Not for something that's a gift. Not for something special.

Back to the stack and I found a small 1x6 by six foot long board of box store African Mahogany I'd picked up for who knows why. It was a bit buried and I hadn't seen it the first time. I did zero documentation of the build, but it's pretty straight forward. I dovetailed four sides. attached a bottom, then rip sawed the box in two parts.


I edge glued a lid with a half inch of overhang all around and used a complex moulding plane to shoot a profile around the edge. I attached it to the top half of the box with pocket screws.


 I used a second complex moulding plane to shoot some mouldings I then mitered around the base. Inset and pre installed the hinges which I then removed and finished the box in two halves.


I used a half dozen coats of garnet shellac followed with a dark colored paste wax for the outside. The interior got a good schmear of The Anarchist's Daughter brand Soft Wax. The hinges got reinstalled, and I added a chain and a small jewelry box hasp and padlock to the front.


I wasn't able to go to the graduation party and see her receive the gift, but Mrs. Wolf told me there were tears and joy. I guess we hit the mark with something special.

Ratione et Passionis
Oldwolf

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