The #2 spot

Back in the woodshop, the glue had cured on the pencil box I was working on.  Since I had holes in the sides of the box where the grooves came out of the dovetails, I then glued in some plugs.  With a little care when it comes to matching the grain, this will be extremely inconspicuous, and a lot faster than trying to put in a stopped groove.


Then to make this a box (instead of a pencil tray), I needed a lid.  This takes a little finessing.  The sliding lid has been around for a long time, and it is relatively easy to put in, but it needs to fit exactly or it will flop like New Coke.  That, or bind whenever the humidity increases.  Keep in mind that as it is used, it will wear in a little bit as well.  Be sure to relieve the edge on the bottom part of the lid as well, so it won’t bind on any rough bits in the groove.

I bevel the sides to make the 1/2″ thick lid fit in the 1/4″ grooves.  It needs to be this thickness because I used a gouge to scallop out a finger pull, and there needed to be some meat for that.  I don’t really know how deep it is.  I just cut away until I felt like I had a good purchase on it with my thumb and could open the lid relatively easily.


And now, with the lid fit, and everything finish planed, and some oil applied, here it is!  Ready for a good supply of test-taking equipment, even though my niece tells me that standardised testing is now done on a computer.  Oh, well.  At least my irrelevancy keeps me occupied, if not exactly up to date: I’m still trying to figure out what that smiling swirl of chocolate ice cream emoj-whatever on the text is supposed to mean…



Pining for pencils

Every so often, I end up in between big jobs, or I just want to do something that’s not a massive undertaking.  I think of it kind of like a sorbet in between meal courses: something to refresh the palate and get you ready for something else.

That’s the case with this next little project.  I had an idea for a pencil box, and I had a little bit of white pine lying around, so I decided to just put it together.


As is my custom, I started by chopping out dovetails.


Once I’d fit all four corners, I went ahead and cut grooves on all four sides for the top and bottom to go into.


Some of you detail-oriented folks might notice that the pin boards are laid out differently.  One side is strangely offset.  This is intentional, since it will allow for a well-integrated top.  The “front” of the box is fit to the groove for the sliding lid (the pencil mark on the piece in the vice is where I’m working to in the picture).  A few shavings is all it takes to make it even up.


Then, it’s a matter of fitting the bottom in the box (it’s still just a bit long in the picture), and then gluing it all together.