Eric - the “Loft” is my Box Swap recipient. At first I was worried that I would not finish on time. But the build gained momentum.
I decided on a Kleenex box. It is simple to build and lessened my angst.
My Box Swap project is constructed with Bubinga, Soft Maple & Wenge woods. My available choices of Bubinga were 4/4 and 12/4 since the ideal size of 8/4 was limited to one board which had a boring grain pattern. I chose a nice piece of 12/4 and cut it to match the 8/4 width.
The Maple & Wenge were face/flat sawn material. The wood was orientated so the edges show quarter sawn grain pattern.
The boards were laminated and the top of the laminated block was marked so the tops of all the sides could be oriented the same to help assure stripe alignment.
The cross cut sleds in the shop have gotten loose and thus no longer cut true 90 degrees and would compromise the box build quality. So I built a small sled that allows both 90 degree and 45 degree cuts. The 5 cut method was used to calibrate the sled fence to the blade. The new sled cuts are extremely close to 90.
I used a mix of hardwood plywood and BB. The hardwood plywood had MDF layers which allowed for a split to occur in the rear fence due to the attachment screws. A new fence was constructed of maple hardwood and all was good.
The box body went very well, the miters are tight and the box diagonals measure the same.
The lid was drilled and glued to the body, I utilized a threaded rod and two pieces of lumber to create a “Box Guy” clamp.
To limit sanding I decided to trim the lid overhang as close to the body as comfortably possible. The first three sides went well, side 4 was a different story. Was just starting the cut and saw that the blade would cut into the body if I proceeded. I was lucky and stopped before the blade cut into the side. This necessitated cutting the lid off the box and making a new lid. There was plenty of laminated wood left to allow this.
The finish is Watco Semi-Gloss spray lacquer. I don’t like it as well as Deft brand (which appears to be unavailable)
Some extras were sent along with the box, a pair of coasters built with Chinese Elm, Bloodwood & Maple. The Chinese Elm came from a tree in our daughters back yard which was cut 2.5 years ago and dried in our AZ garage. I gave daughter a set of 4.
I also sent a push stick which is copied from the most used style in the Arizona shop.
The last extra is a book written by Craftisian member Dennis Zongker on box building, titled “Wooden Boxes: Skill-Building Techniques for Seven Unique Projects”.