Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Boat Box

  For Christmas this year I am making some things for my Grandchildren, not a big surprise.  I am making them treasure boxes since they are at the age where they have begun collecting things, shiny stones, beads, leaves etc. and I am making them each a place to put their found treasures.

  The project I am working on now is for my Grandson, who is crazy about boats.  A couple of weeks ago I made him a submarine savings bank.

 For Christmas I am making Kieran a boat shaped, band saw box in which he can keep his treasures safe.

  My plan is to carve and shape the hull some and  so I am making it out of basswood.  Basswood is soft and easy to work with either hand or power tools.  It also take paint very well.

 I joined and planed three pieces of 1 inch basswood and then glued them together with quality wood glue.  Usually the glue sets enough in a couple of hours but since I was going to be working this wooden billet fairly heavily I left it to dry over night.

 This is not a true band saw box because it did not cut the front or back off of it. I will add a bottom and a deck separately. The deck is going to lift off completely to give entry into the box.

I  used my band saw to cut out the inside of the billet and then glued a transom into the cut away section. Unusually there is a knot in the basswood but that won't be a problem, it will be mostly carved away when I shape the hull.  Any irregularity will be filled and painted so the flaw will be invisible.

 If you are planning to try a project like this I suggest that you keep the insert so that the thinner walls will be supported as you are carving, grinding and sanding the hull. I did not carefully plan my cuts when making the submarine and so didn't have the cut out to support the hull while I was shaping it, which made for a slower and fussy job. 

  Unlike most boats the inside will be visible and so finishing inside will be almost as important as the finish outside. 

  This is the box that I have already made for Kieran's sister Clara.  Which inspired him to ask for his own treasure box, Clara likes animals, and Kieran likes boats. They live in the big city away from all animals and boats so I don't know where their interest came from.

 The purple box began with a carved top that I make a box to fit, again the top is basswood. I have become a big fan of basswood, it is about as soft as pine and much nicer to work with, less prone to splinter and the finish doesn't blotch either.

 Keep working, Christmas is getting closer every hour.

cheers, ianw

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