Another batch o' tea boxes

935
49
These are another adaptation of the Pekovich design except this time I went a bit bigger and used dovetails.

The larger boxes are about 10" x 5" x 4" high. cherry sides and white oak top/bottom. Fumed.
Smaller boxes are 10"x 4" x 4".  One is walnut, the other is jatoba/walnut.

First tea box I made sold quickly so I figured I needed to make more. The rule is if you make one and it sells quick, you then make more and they'll never sell 🤠

Anyway, I liked the basics of the box design and wanted to expand a bit for possible future builds.

The dovetails are one thing I haven't done recently and thought I should give it a go. I have three choices for these, do it by hand (don't have the time), use my Leigh D4R, or use my Incra router "system".

Given the size needed, the Leigh was out since I don't have the proper small DT router bit. That left the Incra with the gazillion options and templates.
I hadn't used this for joints in a long time, but the setup (bit height) was easy enough and I could use the small DT bit I had handy.

The Incra allows you to position the DTs anywhere, which would be the go-to option for a box that has a lid separated after construction (with the saw blade kerf to compensate for). I just made the sectioned tail skip a pin (or is that the other way around?)

I didn't bother with that since I wanted to just get cutting and not puzzle with measurements that I'd be hard pressed to not mess up.

The joints were cut and it all went quite quickly.


Some boxes have laser etched lids

Instead of the "Tea" I used on the original, I did a saying and translated to Welsh to keep it baffling.
To further mix it up I used the originals Celtic knot heart and an Irish font.
Walnut with blue mica in epoxy.


Jatoba with red mica, black lettering is unfilled and just the burned "pit" for color.



A wider version (5" vs. 4") has a tree with green mica and acrylic resin fill for the leafs and just clear for the trees wood bits.




Most difficult thing is making the maple insert. I used the laser to cut and shape the sides, and just the table saw for the cross pieces.
(all cherry)


A lot of back and forth making the cross pieces just the right length for a perfect slide in fit. Then getting enough taper on the exposed area for the lid to slide on and off easily.

Sorry for the lack of process photos LBD!

Cheers!


49 Comments

Nice work! On that Tree of Life detail, could you outline your process a bit? I really like what you did and have it in mind for a project. 

Laser size and settings? Depth of cut? Is that all backfill or is the trunk/limbs something else?

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Thanks Ryan!

The tree is just cut directly from an SVG file. I did "nudge" the leafs away from the branches a bit to avoid very thin areas, then just burned as a "fill". I think about 70% power (10W optical laser) and 15mm/sec feed rate.

On the jatoba, the laser will dig down about 1/16" and on softer stuff it'll go 2x as deep.

Before the laser etch, I covered the wood with blue painters tape to keep the resin off the surface when filling.
Normally I would just cut the leafs, fill with the resin, let harden, then repeat for the tree trunk.
I have some issues with my laser "home" positioning so I didn't want to remove, fill, replace the panel into the laser and hope for perfect alignment.
I just cut it all in a single session.
I then filled the leafs with the resin/mica mix by using a syringe to avoid spilling into the tree wood area.
Let that set then filled the rest with clear.

A quick pre-sand on the belt sander then a few passes through the drum sander until the remaining tape could be peeled off.
A final sanding to 600 to remove any visible scratched on the resin.


Some slight shadowing around the leafs (bleeding) so I should have sanded a tad deeper to remove it.
Those are awesome!  I love the tree one.  
all nice ,and i agree about the tree design, love it.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

AS above the tree hits the best in show but all are great.   Nicely done.  

Ron

You just keep getting more creative with your laser. I have to agree with the others that the tree is my favorite. 👍🏻

.................. John D....................


Gotta agree with the crowd, bought he tree.

 ..... That left the Incra with the gazillion options and templates......
Interesting... never tried the Incra LS.

 I used the laser to cut and shape the sides, 
How thick? I presume it was spindle sanded for clean up.

 ....Before the laser etch, I covered the wood with blue painters tape....  then a few passes through the drum sander until the remaining tape could be peeled off..... 
How deep did you etch?  I've always found that sanding off blue tape was a PITA and often blew through... though I always used a ROS and never considered the drum.... maybe double sided tape on my small pieces.

 translated to Welsh to keep it baffling. To further mix it up I used the originals Celtic knot heart and an Irish font. 
and probably bought by a Pom... no wonder they're bloody tea drinkers!

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Nice stuff there splint. A lot of fine details
Gotta agree with the crowd, bought he tree.
 My fav too, First run with the acrylic resin and I love that stuff. Dried hard, good open time, and water clear.

Interesting... never tried the Incra LS.

I've only tried full and HB dovetails but it has capabilities. Really it is just some alternate positioning tape inserts that tell you where to move the fence (which you need to do for each tail/pin). The part is clamped to a form of miter gauge that slides along the fence, kinda quirky so I'll need to modify that some day.
It does all the work by its ability to accurately move the fence in tiny increments. It helps with final fit up to move the fence and then make cuts on all the parts before moving the fence again (versus creating all cuts on each part before moving on). Aligning the fence cursor to each mark on the template can make one go cross-eyed.

How thick? I presume it was spindle sanded for clean up.
3/16" (about 5mm)
I also cut a template version that is about 1/16" shorter. This gets DS taped to each part and routed with a pattern bit to remove the burn. If I had a lot to do I'd make a clamping jig versus using the tape
The cross pieces are in rabbets, but the small amount of burned wood on the ends gets sanded away.

Sanding the burn away inside the curves is just too much work and I'm very lazy.

How deep did you etch?  I've always found that sanding off blue tape was a PITA and often blew through... though I always used a ROS and never considered the drum.... maybe double sided tape on my small pieces.

I like to go fairly deep, > 1/16". Thickness didn't really matter for these pieces so I could blow through the tape and then some.
I'll use the ROS to get rid of the excess bulk, but the belt sander with 80g was faster. The DS gets 80g and up until I can peel the tape or it just happens to get sanded off.

Your small pieces are a trickier issue, perhaps some fixture or DS tape as you suggest. Lots of shear forces when using a DS. I'd also suggest some runners to stop any snipe at the edges of the front and back if your sander does that to your stuff.

and probably bought by a Pom... no wonder they're bloody tea drinkers!

I figured that people like stuff that reads "exotic"

I'm always amused by place names around here.
For instance, "Buena Vista trailer park" translates to "Good View trailer park" which I can't really appreciate since it is next to a landfill.

Of course "Buena Vista" sounds exotic where as no one would name a trailer park near a dump "Good View".
 
So to extend that, what would they call the same trailer park in Mexico?
Would they call it "Good View" to sound exotic? No freaking way, they'd go with "Buena Vista" and do away with any notion of sounding exotic. Us in the states are just weird that way.

🤠
That's not a T-tree... this is a T-tree,

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Can I ask... How much can you sell a box for?

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Thanks for the explanation. Much appreciated!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Wow.  So many details.  Do you track the time?  I would say about a year for me!!!
Great work Bruce. I love that Shaker tree. Not to say the Celtic/Welsh one isn't a huge winner. 

Sent you a PM.
real nice Tea Boxes, Bruce!!

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day

Very classy looking boxes. Like many others, the tree one is my favorite.

 SplinterGroup
 commented about 5 hours ago
new
I get $60

EEK! That's why I never sell stuff.  I reckon you'd freak out if you costed the boxes on both materials and labour... not being commercial, you would never charge for the hours you spent, fine tuning/testing just the laser settings let alone all the other background incidentals.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

I do keep a spreadsheet of all the materials and ancillary costs on case the tax man comes a knocking.

Even "time" on the laser and tool wear and tear. 
But you are right, no accounting for puttering, beer, and pondering.
Local market is not very affluent and I don't account for labor either, but I at least make sure to cover the direct costs. 

I have a decent day job so I'm not starving and the wife sets up at the main intersection selling oranges at the traffic light so I consider the uncompensated portions my entertainment budget. 🤠