The Recipe Box – Part 4: Hinges, Assembly, Finish, Matching Pen & Final Touches

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Recipe Box

Part 4 of the Recipe Box concludes the series with a base and hinge assembly, finishing, followed by adding 3 detail components including turning a matching Bubinga Sedona Rollerball Pen.  See Part 1 HEREPart 2 HEREPart 3 HERE.

Previously in part 3, the black dyed maple sub-base had been left to dry followed by a glue-up and clamp to the box bottom.  Now it was time to transfer the previously drilled holes from the main base to the sub-base box assembly.  As a tip here, I ran my screws over a wax bar for smooth insertion and to prevent any possible stripping or breakage.  With the 6 screws to assemble the base, I did not find the need to use any glue.  Using a Phillips hand screw driver or a power screw driver will do the job.  One other tip is that these were not the final screws I would be using.  Bill suggested using temporary steel screws in the base and hinge assembly first, then applying finish to each separate component, followed by using fresh new (brass) screws during final assembly.  Doing a temporary assembly also allowed me to remove the overhanging base to view and cut the hinge detail on the router table to the box sub-assembly.

Recipe Box

This brings us to the hinge detail.  Initially I wanted hinges that would aesthetically align with the color of the Bubinga wood and allow for the lid to stop at an angle that slightly tilted back to provide viewing of the recipe card in the card placement holder.  I could not find both of these ingredients in one style of hinge.  The hinge on the left was perfect in color matching the Bubinga wood, but would not function the way I wanted it to.  Shawn Staats at our Parkersburg, WV Woodcraft store suggested the Brusso Hinge on the right, stating, “These hinges are the best quality and will put the engineering function desired into the lid and box assembly giving it a classy look at the same time.”   So off to the router table to cut my hinge slots!

I measured a 1″ offset from the hinge edge to the outside edge of the box, transferred the measurement to the top of the box and taped the inside and outside areas as shown to resist tear out during the routing procedure.  Transferring the measurement with a Dovetail Saddle Marker aided me in my router setup and cutting to make sure I stayed within the lines.

I routed just shy of the inside of the lines for the cut out area using a CMT Straight Router Bit, making fence length adjustments and cutter height changes until my hinge was where I wanted it to be. Cleaning up the cut with a square block wrapped in sandpaper gave me a perfect fit.  I placed a block to clamp up against, keeping my hinge placement exactly where I needed it to be for drilling the hinge screw holes.

Using a corresponding size Tapered Countersink and Bit with Stop Collar for the hinge screws, I completed the task in both the box and lid.  Well almost!!

Recipe Box

In tightening the final brass screw into place, it snapped!  Bill said, “Now you’ve done it, you’ll have to make the lid over!”  WHAT! ??  You’re kidding, right?  Whew!  He was kidding!  I had 2 choices, CA glue the broken screw for a non-functional assembly or use a screw extractor and plug the hole for a re-drill.  I opted for the latter.  The caveat was, would the broken screw come out without drilling any deeper, remembering I had drilled into the lid which had a tapered top.  On the drill press, going deeper would not be considered for fear of breaking through the lid.  Recreating the lid would be the only option if that were to happen.  I had a bit of the Irish luck shining on me as the broken screw came out without an issue.  I plugged the larger hole with a 1/4″ diameter maple dowel, glued and drilled the plug, and no one would be the wiser; well except you viewers out there!  Unless you have X-ray vision you cannot tell which hole has a plug!  Mission accomplished, lid saved!

Recipe Box

At this point, all machining and sanding was complete.  Pre-finish assembly looked like this:

Well, what else can I mess up!  Hold that thought!  As I applied the General Finishes Water Based Polyurethane to the entire sub-base and inside box wall assembly, I noticed the water based poly actually lifted the color of the transtint dye right off of the base onto my rag, despite the dry/cure time had been about 3 days.  This was my first experience at using the dye and I should have used alcohol to assist in the curing as well.  At this point, I did not want the dye getting on the side walls of the box.  Since I had already glued the black dyed sub-base to the box, I had to be very careful applying the polyurethane to the inside walls of the box, not to touch the black dyed base or I would end up with a real mess on the walls.  I used a small fine brush and cut out a thin piece of cardboard to mask the bottom while finishing the side interior walls to shield from the dyed base.

A couple of tips here.  First, in removing the hinges for finish, mark an “X” and “O” or whatever you wish to use for each of the hinges to their corresponding slots as shown.  This will ensure that the right fit will be intact with the right hinge after finishing.  It is possible that if the hinges were left unmarked and switched, the fit may not be exactly the same.  Second, in retrospect, I would have finished the dyed board separately before glue up or used Gaboon Ebony wood, exactly matching the ebony dovetails instead of using any dye at all.  Third, to make sure the dye would not come off, after the poly was dry, I used Deft Gloss Oil Based Spray Lacquer to seal the dye and to the entire assembly.  Fourth, be sure to use the Painter’s Pyramids to help you to finish and dry faster.

In between drying times for the poly coats followed by the lacquer spray finish, I went back to my lathe comfort zone to turn a matching pen.  This is the Sedona Rollerball Copper Pen Kit, in which you will need the Sedona/Navigator/Rinehart Bushingsturned with the Easy Wood Mini Finisher Carbide Turning Toolsanded with Abranet assorted grit discs, finished with…

Mylands High Build Friction Polish How cool is this pen!  I think I need to turn one for me!

Final touches on the recipe box included Hightpoint Bumpers on the corners and Hafele Maroon Felt to the inside bottom, as I preferred the look of it over the black dyed bottom.  I added a few recipe cards and the labor of love was complete!

Recipe Box

One final thing to do, gift it to my daughter!

Stay linked for the next Woodworking Adventure!

auf Wiedersehen…Frank

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