Holding an Edge (Knife Display Case)Comments (0)
This article is from Issue 18 of Woodcraft Magazine.
This beautiful scrapwood box is the perfect display case for a handmade knife.
The July issue of Woodcraft Magazine included an article on making a wooden-handled hunting knife from a kit. This month you can make a box to keep it in, which will challenge you in entirely different ways. For many, nothing beats a well-crafted knife; on the other hand, some people admire nothing more than a beautiful wooden box. Being able to make both should impress anyone!
I made two boxes using interesting pieces of wood: a solid chunk of spalted maple (the focus of this project), and offcuts of redwood burl from a friend’s sculpture. I hope they will inspire you to search through your (or your friend’s) scrap pile for exotic or highly figured piece of wood in just the right size.
the hinge holes
I use what I call a “flipping story stick” technique to ensure alignment of the
holes for the barrel hinges (#27C11 woodcraft.com) to be drilled in the top and
bottom of the box. If these hinges aren’t set perfectly, they can bind and
wear. This technique provides perfect results without the complications of con-ventional measuring. First cut a piece of wood the same length as the box parts.
Set up the fence on the drill press to control the distance from the hinge to the back of the box, and set the depth of the drill to match the required depth for the of the drill to match the required depth for the hinge. Then with a stop block positioned on the drill press fence, drill a hole all the way through the story stick (Fig. 4). Flip the story stick over and lower the drill (not running) through the hole drilled in the last step. With the drill locked in position, clamp a stop block in place on the right side of the fence (Fig. 4, inset). With stop blocks in position on the left and right, drill the holes for the hinges to fit in the base and lid. If you have followed these steps and the lid and base are exactly the same length, the holes will be in perfect alignment.
As the holes are drilled for the hinges, the base and lid are of equal thickness and shape. Then the lid can be cut thinner and angled to make the box more interesting. Use double-stick tape again to hold the lid to the sliding fence and tilt the arbor 7°, making sure that the back of the lid still has sufficient thickness for the depth of the hinges.
and sandingUse clamps and glue to
attach the bottom to the base of the box. Spread glue on the bottom of the
scroll-sawn section and carefully align the bottom piece.
Before installing the hinges, rout for a lift tab to fit the lid. Use a 1/8" straight router bit to make this cut by sliding the lid between stops along the router table fence (Fig. 5).
Sand the top of the base and the inside surface of the lid prior to installing the hinges. Then simply press the hinges in place and tighten the locking screws (Fig. 6). After the box is assembled you can provide additional shaping with the table saw to complement the angle of the lid (Fig. 7). For a final finishing touch you might want to consider flocking the interior, or lining it with glued-in felt.
The sculpted redwood box was made in much the same manner (Fig.
8). Your box, like my own, need not be perfectly symmetrical.
It is important when the holes are drilled for the hinges that the lid and base
are the same size and thickness, but after that operation is complete, the lid
can be reshaped in relation to the base without affecting the fit.
Rather than make the lid and bottom the same shape as the base of the box, I cut the bottom slightly smaller to provide a slight overhang and I shaped the lid to provide for an integral pull. Both of these design elements result in a box with a look distinct from the spalted maple box.
To give additional interest to my sculpted redwood box, I used black leather dye on the lid and bottom before the box was assembled and finished. Simply wipe on the dye, and then use steel wool to polish the wood to bring back some of the interesting burled wood grain. Apply glue carefully to the bottom of the box before gluing it in place.
Woodcraft Magazine Articles
Woodcraft MagazineItem WMAG1
Woodcraft MagazineItem WMAG2
You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In