While making the simple bevelled wall board for my 'Ships Clocks' a few days ago, it occurred to me that the very same design might make a good (albeit chunky) box lid.
My stock (scaffold board Pine - of which I have a lot of it!) wood is around 1 1/2" thick, the simple design allows me to use what I have without having to waste most of the wood making it thinner. It also saves me a lot of sweat with a hand plane!
It also occurred to me that I have never made a simple Rabbet jointed box...
I completely forgot to take any pictures during the build as things progressed pretty quickly. A rough description of the steps I took are below:
- Cut four pieces (2 long , 2 short) of cheap (pre-planed) Pine to length on the bench hook.
- 'Shoot them' to exact lengths with square ends on the shooting board.
- Mark and cut the shoulder line of each rabbet on the short sides of the two long boards (the front and back of the box) again using the bench hook - 2 rabbets per long board.
- To form the actual rabbets, I first tried using my small shoulder plane with a wooden baton clamped in place to keep me straight, but this proved to be quite slow. For the three remaining rabbets, I simple used my dovetail saw to cut down the end grain (much like sawing a tenon), finally cleaning the joint up with the shoulder plane. In retrospect, I should have (been brave) tried to remove the waste with a chisel which would probably been even faster than sawing.
- Use a plough plane to cut 1/4" grooves in the bottom of the boards for the base to fit into.
- Cut a thin plywood board to size for the box bottom.
- Glue the carcass together.
- Plane the edges and joints flush and generally tidy it up.
- Approximately cut to length a piece of rough scaffold board.
- Assess the board for grain direction and use winding sticks to check the 'wind' and straightness of the board. Pencil in notes on the board as to what work is likely to be required and where.
- Plane one face flat using my no#6 and mark it as a reference.
- Hand plane the adjacent long edge straight and at 90 degrees to the first face and mark it.
- Use a marking gauge to mark all around the edges of the board to get it to uniform thickness again using the no#6 to remove wood fast.
- Use a marking gauge to mark the second long edge parallel to the first.
- Precision cut the board to the required length and ensure it is square.
- Mark bevel lines all around the board using a marking gauge. Used my no#4 plane to create the bevels, being careful to finish the short end grain sides first.
- Fit small brass hinges and apply some wax finish...
While the box does look rather like a coffin for a small dog or a cat, it was very enjoyable to make with most of the project being completed in a single day. Rabbet jointed boxes come together pretty fast! Not as nice looking or as strong as a dovetailed box, but I did learn from it and at this stage that's the most important aspect for me.
More 'simple' projects to follow ...