Monday, 18 February 2013

Approaching base camp

Working on a set of boxes can bring both joy and frustration in equal measure. A few are strong and easy to work with, and the blade slips through, while others can be quite stubborn in the early stages, not quite prepared to give up their old form. I know we'll all get to the finish together, it's just that some boxes will need more help than others.
Anyone who has made a box using a bandsaw will know the importance of a dead flat back. You need this for when you are cutting out the drawer, or else it will not come out horizontally and might stick or, worse, occasionally fall open. You need it again when you come to attach the back, you'll want the join to be seamless and gap-free. Now I'm having trouble with an olive ash box. Try as I might I just can't get the back flat. I've passed it over the planer, sanded it on the disc-sander, trimmed it on the band-saw and even hand-planed it, but still it has a small crown in it that makes the back rock. I'm on the verge of rebating the back just to get it to fit. Still, one thing I've learned over the years is that, when a seemingly simple woodworking task is giving me a hard time then the best thing to do is leave it alone and do something else. I never ignore it completely, but I've made enough mistakes by hammering away at a problem, only to regret the lost shavings it once I've showered and packed up for the evening.
So, today the Olive Ash box has been put to one side. In its place I have a Chestnut box with two drawers. I think I'll be calling it 'Infinity' once it's finished. The wood is strong and true, so the cutting is much easier than the Olive Ash.
I recently took a break to head over to Barcelona for a birthday treat. The modernista's work was right up my street, all organic and flowing, and I'm sure it will be influencing my designs over the coming months. I have a few other things to be getting on with in the next few weeks so my box making may go slowly for a while. Even so, I'm still well on course for the opening of my online store. 50 days and counting...

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