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Wood and metal lock box


Bill Hudson
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I have finally settled on the wooden lock box with metal strapping.  This is supposed to be a Wells Fargo & Company box.  It is obvious to me that the lettering has been painted on lately as it does not match the wear patterns. 

 

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Disclaimer:   I do not claim this as the way to do dovetails, I am just learning myself.

 

This box has heavy dovetailed corners.  First of all  I had to teach myself how to dove tail. I had some verbal help from Bill Robertson and Elga.  Then I spent several hours on the internet researching dovetailing. I designed myself a little layout guide which does all phases of the layout. 

 

The front and back boards are the ones to have the pins cut in them. The end boards are fitted to them.  

 

First the end of the board (for my project) was divided into four segments using calipers. 

 

 

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 Using my newly designed guide the lines are drawn on the ends of the board.

 

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Then the angle are drawn in also using the guide.  

 

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Are you going to make it all weather beaten like the original...and I assume you will then probably leave the later added letters off? A nice little piece with all that metal straps and hinges...which reminds me that I have an unfinished spanish carved chest...it started off as a project with a few of my friends from the club, and then Aubrey whose idea this was, was diagnosed with cancer and passed away almost a year ago, he went to Castine a few times and we always had nice chats about it, I still miss talking to him, he became a bit of a father figure in my life.

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I hope to make several of these boxes and in various state of use. Yes I will  leave the lettering off as I don't have a license or permission from Wells Fargo to use the name.

 

After the layout the pattern was cut and the waste cut away leaving the tails.  these were sharpened up using a fine chisel. The the tail board was matched up with an end board and tails outlines were transferred to the end of the end boards.

 

After all dovetails and boards were cleaned up and matched the box case was glued up.

 

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Next steps to make the bottom and top.

 

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Thank you Elga,  I am using red alder (what I had on hand that scales out to 5/4 thickness) an Oregon wood grown, harvested and milled locally.  It is very similar to birch or cherry.  It is used in furniture making a lot. I think it is considered a simi-hard wood. It is a little bit harder than basswood (lime) but works about the same. It can be finished nicely but I am using 120 grit here as I want the finish to be course for aging.

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Really off to a great start again Bill.  Thanks so much for sharing this with us, and showing us your many techniques so graciously.

 

It is much appreciated.  

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The box is assembled and ready to paint.  I have chosen some of the rougher wood to give me a head start on the aging.

 

I definitely see some changes coming up in the design on future boxes.

 

 

 

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All the metal banding and hinges are held on with rivets or brads.  I could not find a source for small head nails so I made my own.  Many years ago I bought some tiny nails form a hardware store closing down. These are new old stock nails.  The heads were still too large so I had to turn them down and bevel the edges. The last photo shows how they look in a metal strip.

 

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I don't see the picture...?  no rush,  Genius miniaturists do need space and time for creativity, but it isn't showing up in the last post.... ;)

 

But left to my imagination... well...how do you take an existing tiny nail, mount into something to hold it to turn it down, and then you must file the heads to bevel? 

 

Are we talking about ww collets?  I love collets!

 

Tamra

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Following up on dove tail attempts.  Not being happy with the fit I have experimented some more.  I found that if I used a small chisel to cut straight down at the root of the dove tail then came down from above at an angle to remove a small v groove with a straight side at the bottom of the dovetail I was able to get a nice clean bottom when sawing out the voids. The little groove acted to guide my saw blade. With very little extra work with the chisel I had nice clean dovetails. The fit is much better. Even so there is more room for improvement.

 

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My care and new method are giving me tighter joints.  My pencil marks show but they will disappear when painted. I will have to score the dovetails any way so they will show up through the paint when I age them like the original. I will have to find a better way to mark the dovetails when laying them out. 

 

 

 

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The going is slow for the box.  Not much obvious progress. I am trying to make five boxes total so I take time too do each set up five times.  It is becoming easier but too many outside interferences such as holidays, doctor appointments and such.

I discovered my printers type setting frame in the back of a drawer. it is very handy to hold the box square while the glue dries.

 

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Borrowing a page from Elga's book, I built a fixture to fit on the table of my Sherline mill. The boxes have been assembled and this set up is to mill the rabbit around the top edge. The tops are cut but have to be relieved inside to accommodate the raised ridge.

 

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This box is being test fitted for a metal band around the top.

 

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Very nice Bill, I learned how to make the wooden base for the mill here at our club in Johannesburg, when I went on my Scandanavian teaching trip I discovered none of them had the wooden bases on their mills or even knew about them and that they didn't really know how to do woodwork milling on the mills...that is why I decided to write the tutorial.

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Bill, thanks for sharing.  I am learning so much from you.  Your boxes look great and I especially liked the idea of using the printer's composing stick as a clamp.  In fact, I liked that idea so much I snagged one for myself off of eBay.   Thanks for the great ideas!

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Nice Chris!  I'm forecasting a huge demand of printer composing sticks on eBay.  I looked immediately last week but couldn't find anything in my searches.  That person who is shipping from India, is probably wondering why they are finally selling.

 

:D

 

Tamra

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  • 3 weeks later...

Back to the project please.  

 

I had tabled they box because I felt it was not authentic.  There rare a lot fakes out there but I found one shown in a western museum. I contracted them and got a letter back authenticating it. It is from around 1875. I hope to start this box back up some time next year.

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