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Author Topic: Making a box  (Read 2055 times)
Quandaryangels
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« on: October 24, 2011, 09:26:10 pm »

I'm intending to make a storage/ jewelry style box as a present for a friend at christmas, but I'm unsure what to use. Would balsa wood do it, if it were thick enough, and coated in a resin, or would i have to use something firmer, like plywood?

QA
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phang
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 11:38:11 pm »

I make mine from 3/4" pine
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 11:56:51 pm »

you could use balsa but I don't think it would be very robust. If you can't get a good hardwood then pine would probably look better than ply. I have seen good things done with ply, it just needs a bit more work/imagination, making the edges neat is always tricky (maybe there is a knack to it). I often cover a ply box with thin leather.
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Maets
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2011, 01:31:49 am »

I prefer to work with metal:


You may want to consider starting with a premade, but unfinished box available from any craft store.  They come in a number of sizes. 

If you want to make a wood box, solid wood, would be much easier to work with.  Thickness determined by the size of the box.

Good luck.
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2011, 11:10:31 am »

 I can't do real woodwork to save my life, so I tend to go with pre-made balsawood boxes for my projects. http://herbertw.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=0  Of course, I tend to age and grunge them up, so in the end you really can't tell what sort of wood they are.

 Craft stores have inexpensive balsa boxs in about every shape imaginable. Unfortunately the hardware is pretty flimsy, so if you go that route, I'd suggest picking up good replacement hinges and latches from any decent department store. And as the others said, you can spruce them up with all sorts of things. Leather, metal studs, brass strips, and of course, a carefully done finish.

 Checking out  Goodwill/Salvation Army shops is another good source for small boxes you can redo. Often in better quality wood.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 03:15:17 pm by Herbert West » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 06:32:42 pm »


Ply wood has the advantage for things like boxes that thin sheets of the stuff tend to be a lot more stable than the equivalent size of solid timber and tend to be much less likely to shrink, warp or crack. If you're making something fairly chunky this doesn't matter so much but for more delicate stuff it's a significant advantage.

 
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2011, 10:16:49 pm »

All of my boxes are crafted from white oak or walnut, with dovetail corners.  You can buy small pieces of hardwood in various thicknesses and species from your big-box hardware store.  For any form of solid wood, let it set within the environment where it will live to allow the wood to achieve equilibrium (for the sake of expansion and moisture content).  simple dovetails can be cut with a razor saw and a really sharp chisel ... or a dovetail guide.

My problem with plywood is its inherent problems with corners joints (face to endgrain connection) and complications with finished (and really ugly endgrain or edgegrain).  Balsawood is slightly better than carboard, in my humble opinion.

If you use a softwood like pine or fir, choose something with a ring count more than 20 rings per inch, with very straight grain.

... and did I mention DRY and TEMPERATURE STABILIZED?  (if not, it'll tear itself apart)
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2011, 10:55:43 pm »

A good source of very thin (3-5mm) solid pine- not ply are the old-style wooden fruit boxes that can be had from markets etc.
Cut the wire and extract the staples that hold the strips together together and apply sandpaper.
Note that this is not the wooden baskets that soft fruit comes in.

Together with the square wooden sticks that firework rockets use as braces or sides, little boxes are easy to make.

HP
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 08:36:30 am »

You can get small hardwood panels in thicknesses from 0.8mm to 6mm from Hobbies on-line store. They also sell brass hinges and catches.

Definitely recommended.

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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2011, 03:49:06 pm »

There are so many attractive and well made boxes of all types available cheaply or for free, leaving you to apply your creativity to decorating them rather than worrying about dovetail joints. I found this metal box at a sample sale, I think it cost $4. I applied all the decoration, then my wife claimed it for her own.

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KABAR2
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2011, 02:50:02 am »

Very nice little box,

as mentioned Oak & Walnut are good choices as are Mahogany & Maple
or you could go to paper mache' for a box black laquerd are something
you would find in the 1800's
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