Reunification

Once our recipe box is sawn in two, the next thing is to put it back together!  I decided to use hinges.  This provides an extra bit of fitting because the hinges have to be morticed into the sides of the box.  It’s very delicate work with a chisel and a small router plane, but not particularly complex.

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Once the hinges fit, drill pilot holes for the screws and affix the hinges.  Make sure that the lid sits flush with the body of the box.  If there is a gap at the back of the lid where the hinges are, then you’ll need to cut your mortices a little deeper.  If there’s a gap at the front of the lid, you’ve gone too far, and you’ll need to plane down the rim of the box a little.  It doesn’t take much, but a little care will go a long way here.  Once the fitting was done, I also put a tiny bevel along the edges of the lid and body for a little contrast.  It also keeps any minor misalignment over time (due to humidity expansion) from being noticeable.

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And then all it takes is a coat of oil and the box is done!  Here it is!

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And inside, it’s just as nice.  It doesn’t have finish in it because inside an enclosed space, it can start to smell funky.  Refrain from putting oil inside boxes, cabinets, etc.

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And now, I’m going to go collapse for a few hours.  I’ve been working overtime trying to get everything (including this box!) ready for the giant garage sale down at the racetrack tomorrow later today.  With the early start required to get everything set up, I might get four hours of sleep.  But it should be an interesting day.  Hope to see you there!

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Coming undone

So, once the glue has cured on our little recipe box, and the outside has been cleaned up, we’re done!

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Well, sort of.  Kind of like Modernist architecture, it’s a very nice rectangular solid, but it’s not very functional.  How are we supposed to get into this thing?!  Well, the astute among you may have noticed that one of the pins is a little bigger than the others.  This is not an error.  It’s a feature!  Well, not really a feature per se, but it’s how we’re going to get the box open.  The pin is extra wide because it has to accommodate a saw kerf.

A what?

Yup.  A saw kerf.  We’re going to take our lovely assistant rectangle and saw it in half.  Be precise and take your time, and it’s not as nerve-wracking as it sounds.  I do make a concession to the delicacy of this procedure and use my hybrid-filed panel saw here rather than my ripsaw.  It’s a little slower, but it cuts a thinner kerf, and leaves a finer surface behind.

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And with that, and a little bit of clean-up, we have a box with a lid that fits exactly.  No muss, no fuss.  This cuts down (ha!) on the amount of assemblies that I have to put together, and ensures that the two will mate closely.

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Boxing match

For our little recipe box, I’m going to start by dovetailing the box sides.  I got this finished right as the sun was setting, bathing the woodshop in golden hues.

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Then I had to groove the top and the bottom since we’re going to put panels in both.  While the bottom edge should be true (since that’s our reference edge), double-check that the top edge is true before you start.  Since the plane fence is going to register against it, you can very quickly end up with an out-of-place groove, and then you’ll be quite irritated.

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Once the grooves are done, then fit the panels in.  There’s not really a quick way to do this.  It’s a lot of fiddling.  But it is what it is.  Make sure that you don’t mix up your panels.  They should be interchangeable, but there’s no reason to take the risk.

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Make sure to clean up the inside surfaces of your box before you glue it together.  Then, use every clamp in the shop to hold it together while the glue cures.  You can never have enough clamps…

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A recipe for disaster

Well, I’m hoping (fervently) for non-disaster, actually.  Here in Columbus, one of the local radio stations is sponsoring a big garage sale/flea market thing.  Lots of booths, all sorts of stuff.  Should be a very interesting time!

This goes doubly here at the woodshop, since I went ahead and rented one of the vendor spaces.  So I’ll be there with as much of my work as I can get done before then.  I’ve been working extensively on small items like spatulas and such rather than bigger projects just so my legions of adoring fans will have things to buy (my goodness, but I’ve made a lot of spatulas lately).  But I thought it would be prudent to bring a couple of joined projects too, and I’ve got a couple of trays done.  And one thing I thought would be nice, and along with what has apparently become my niche, is a recipe box.  You know, for the roughly six of you that don’t use big data to tell you how to make a frittata…

The box we’re going to make is going to be mostly poplar, but with a cherry top and bottom.  Yes, a cherry on top.  Clever, right?  But we’ll get started on one of these next time!

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