Tuesday, April 3, 2012

[Schoolbox] End in Sight

Schoolbox #1 is just about complete. The moulding needs a bit of trimming to be absolutely flush with the top, and it needs finishing. I was planning to paint this one with milk paint, but looking at it now, I feel the wood might want to be uncolored.

It was a bit of a challenge to find appropriate screws for the hinges. The best I could do have rounded tops which extend up a little higher than I would like, so the hinges wouldn't lay flat until I deepened the mortises a bit more. The weird benefit of this is that the hinges now compress on top of the screws and "pop" the box open when it is unlocked. I like this action.

I have some of the screws soaking in vinegar to age them a bit; they are a bit too harshly bright right out of the box. I was concerned that brass and the blackened steel hinges would be too weird in general, but it actually looks pretty nice. I think once the hardware is dulled a bit, it will look great. I would like to find a better profile on the heads of the screws for future boxes, but for now this will have to do!

Laying out the hinges:

Installing the selvedge in the lid. I do not generally like to use gimlets, but for a quick shallow hole, this is a great tool:

The hinges, lock, and selvedge are all installed. Still needs its moulding on the lid.

Moulding installed!  The box is just about "done" except for final trimming of the moulding, smoothing, and finishing.  Just about time to start on box #2!


  1. Looking good :0)

    And it's funny, boxes are so useful, from the totally mundane to the meticulously built beautiful one.

    I built a very fast, ugly box of particle board tonight. I needed a box to safely lug some tools around this weekend...

    And I've spent the last week working on a much nicer, painted box with individual compartments to keep all of my planes safe.

    Woodworkers and their boxes...

  2. Grumpy- I suppose a box is the intersection between platonic perfection of simplicity in joinery and flexible utility. We are such a stuff-obsessed society that we end up with places like The Container Store. There is such satisfaction in building your own storage solutions, it is no surprise that boxes are often used to teach basics.

  3. I've tried vinegar to age new hardware on a few projects, even gone so far as to brush on muriatic acid. Both methods have achieved acceptable results, but for projects such as yours, ones in which you have taken great care, it might be nice to have hardware that is authentic. Have you tried http://www.blacksmithbolt.com/ They can, most likely, supply just what you are looking for. At a cost of just pennies per screw, they are affordable, but shipping costs can be prohibitive...

    Anyways, I'm enjoying your blog. Your care, passion, and devotion to authenticity are an inspiration.