Sunday, August 18, 2013

From Scrap to Finger Joint Box

   There are a couple of my fellow woodworkers on the net that are making projects from discarded pallets or 2 x 4 lumber.  I think their motivation is eco-friendly and a bit of a backlash against the wood snobs (you know, the snooty folks that only build in old growth walnut...).

   I have seen their work and taken up the challenge. 

 Recently I salvaged about dozen 2 x 10 off cuts ranging in length for 8 - 20 inches from a construction dumpster. The spruce construction lumber is from a local supplier of building materials and I have to say I am impressed with the quality of this wood. In the future I think I will go to this supplier instead of the big box store, even if I just need a few boards. The quality of these 2 x 10 means that I can re-saw them and get workable lumber.

That is a bunch of the boards sitting in the basement waiting inspiration. Needless to say a couple of the boards is a bit cracked and some have a bit of wane but generally good grain and only a few small knots.

This is the result of re-sawing and planing a few of the boards. I re-sawed the boards into nominal 3/4 in thick and then planed them to size. I set those aside for a larger box project.

For the box project I got downright crazy and re-sawed again to 1/4 inch planks. I got four quality planed boards from each 2 x 10. My band saw will not slice 9 1/2 boards, but that was OK since the small box is only 3 1/2 tall.

spruce stud box, 6 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2

I am fairly happy with the result. There was some tear out when I cut the joints on my table saw. I can't be sure that it wasn't just the nature of the wood, but...the router bit could be getting a little past its prime too.

When it got to be time to finish the box I did something fairly silly. Recently I bought a small tin of wipe on varnish, cheap from a clearance bin, clearly it was past it best before date. The varnish would not dry, so...I scrapped it off and used my old standby, spray on shellac. Actually I am going to keep the varnish, it works as a filler coat just fine.

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