Shakerstyle Keepsake Box Stepbystep

PHOTO A: The side pieces of bath the lid and the box get tapered on one end to minimize the thickness of the overlap after they are bent to shape. Begin the taper about 2 in. in from one end of each part A stationary belt sander works well for sanding these tapers.

Shaker Box Bending Form

PHOTO B: Steam the ash workpiece until pliable, then remove It quickly from the steamer box and wrap It around the oval center of the bending form. Set the outer presses In place around the ash and clamp the presses together. Tighten the clamps so the ash conforms as closely as possible to the oval center of the bending form. Wear gloves when working with steamed wood-It will be extremely hot.

Make the lid & box sides

Some hardwoods are easier to bend than others. Ash is a good choice, as well as oak and cherry. Whatever species you choose, be sure it has been air-dried (often called "green") rather than kiln-dried. Kiln-drying destroys the elasticity of wood fibers and makes the wood prone to breaking when it bends. There's no way to tell, visually, if the stock has been air-dried, so ask your lumber supplier before you buy.

O Make the lid and box sides: Rip and crosscut the lid and box sides to size. You'll probably then need to resaw these workpieces on a band saw to reach the ^-in. thickness of the parts. Caution: If you need to resaw these parts, do your resawirtg first on a wider piece of ctsh, then rip and crosscut the parts to size. This way, you'll keep your fingers a safer distance from the blade during resawing. Sand one end of each workpiece starting about 2 in. in and tapering to the end (See Photo A). This taper will be necessary to compensate for the double thickness that results when the box sides overlap during assembly. Finally, use the Finger Layout drawings on page 200 to lay out and cut the fingers on the other ends of these parts. Sand the side pieces smooth.

Build a bending form

Once the thin ash parts are steamed, they must be clamped to an oval form immediately in order to form and retain their shape as they dry and cool. We built the plywood bending form shown in Photo B, right, which sandwiches the ash between an inner oval, made of four pieces of exterior plywood laminated together and screwed to a board, and two outer presses, also made of four plywood laminations. A pair of bar clamps squeeze the outer presses against the inner oval, holding the ash in shape.

0 Build the bending form: l ace-glue four 1 x 1-ft. pieces of exterior plywood to form a 3-in.-thick blank. Lay out an oval in the center of the blank that matches the size of the box bottom (See Box Bottom drawing, page 200). Draw a line across the blank from edge to edge that splits the oval in

PHOTO A: The side pieces of bath the lid and the box get tapered on one end to minimize the thickness of the overlap after they are bent to shape. Begin the taper about 2 in. in from one end of each part A stationary belt sander works well for sanding these tapers.

PHOTO B: Steam the ash workpiece until pliable, then remove It quickly from the steamer box and wrap It around the oval center of the bending form. Set the outer presses In place around the ash and clamp the presses together. Tighten the clamps so the ash conforms as closely as possible to the oval center of the bending form. Wear gloves when working with steamed wood-It will be extremely hot.

half, lengthwise. On the band saw, cut along your centerlines up to the oval, then cut out the oval shape. The result is a thick oval as well as two waste pieces that become the two outer presses. Trim off another V'4 in. of plywood along the curved edges of the outer presses to provide clearance for the bending stock. Belt-sand any irregularities on the cut edges of these three parts.

Ash Bending JigsAutomotive Bending Radiator Hose

Construct the steamer jig from exterior-grade plywood, moisture-resistant wood glue and galvanized deck screws. Install a hinged door on one end of the steamer tox, and drill a 2-ln.-dla. hole In the other box end and the plywood pot lid for installing a length of heat resistant or automotive radiator hose. Attach the hose to the steamer box and pot lid. We used metal fittings and threaded pipe for making these hose connections.

Shop-built steamer jig

How to build the steamer jig

The proportions of thcj steamer box aren't critical, so long as'there is space inside the box for the steam to make contact with the ash workplaces on all sides. We built our box from ^4-in. exterior-grade plywood and sized It 6 in. wide, 6 in. tall and 3 ft. long. Cut the top, bottom, sides, hose end and dopr to s|ze. Cut four sticks for the steadier box legs and a round plywood lid to tit over the pot you'll use to bell water.[Protect all surfaces that will face Into the steamer box with a coat of exterior primer and paint. Use a hole saw to bore a 2-in.-dia. hole through the hose end of the box as well as the pot lid forthe hose.

Attach: the box sides and hose end to the box top and bottom pieces with moisture-resistant wood glue and V/z-'m. galvanized deck screws. Install the door on the other end of the box with a galvanized hinge, and screw a knob to the door. Drill a ^-In.-dia. hole through the box bottom near the door for a drain tube. Then screw the legs to the steamer box.

Fasten the hose to the box end and to the pot fid. Car radiator hose works well forthe tubing, but any 2-inJdla. heat-resistant hose will do the trick. We used short lengths of threaded pipe attached to metal fittings to fasten the hose to the box end and pot lid. The hose ends friction-fit over the metal pipes. However you choose to fasten the hose, be sure the connections form a tight fit around the pot lid and steamer box holes.

Cut a handful of dowels or thin scrap sticks to 4-liv lengths; thesq will be used as spacers inside the steamer to keep the ash parts elevated off the box bottom so they'll steam evenly.

The steamer jig you'll need for this project is simply a long, narrow box made of exterior plywood with a 2-in.-dia. heat-resistant hose attached to one end and a hinged door on the other. A pot of boiling water supplies steam to the box through the hose, and the hose attaches to a plywood lid that covers the pot. As steam builds inside the jig, it surrounds the thin Shaker-box paHs and softens them until they are pliable.

Construct the steamer jig from exterior-grade plywood, moisture-resistant wood glue and galvanized deck screws. Install a hinged door on one end of the steamer tox, and drill a 2-ln.-dla. hole In the other box end and the plywood pot lid for installing a length of heat resistant or automotive radiator hose. Attach the hose to the steamer box and pot lid. We used metal fittings and threaded pipe for making these hose connections.

Attach a drain tube through a hole In the bottom of the jig near the door to let excess steam and condensed water vapor escape into a pail. Elevate your steamer on legs until It Is higher than the pot to minimize bending the hose. This way, steam can rise and pass more easily into the box. i

Automotive Bending Radiator Hose

PHOTO D: Glue the side pieces to the box top and bottom. Hold the bentwood parts in position while the glue dries with strap, spring and C-clamps. Mask off the area around the fingers to protect these spots from glue squeeze-out.

PHOTO C: Use a piloted rabbeting bit in the router table to mill the rabbet around the edges of the lid top. Hold the workplece securely against the router table and bit with a foam-soled pushpad. Feed the workplece around the bit clockwise to cut the rabbet.

PHOTO D: Glue the side pieces to the box top and bottom. Hold the bentwood parts in position while the glue dries with strap, spring and C-clamps. Mask off the area around the fingers to protect these spots from glue squeeze-out.

PHOTO C: Use a piloted rabbeting bit in the router table to mill the rabbet around the edges of the lid top. Hold the workplece securely against the router table and bit with a foam-soled pushpad. Feed the workplece around the bit clockwise to cut the rabbet.

Fasten the laminated oval to the center of a 2 x 2-ft. plywood base.

Steam & bend the lid & box sides

© Set up your steaming jig (See Steamer Jig, previous page) and steam the lid and box side pieces. Plan to steam one workpiece at a time. Insert spacers beneath the ash part in the steamer box so the steam penetrates the workpiece from all sides. Insert the part and steam it for about 15 minutes until it is pliable. When the time is up, remove the workpiece and immediately wrap it around the oval center of the bending form, set the two outer presses in place and tighten the clamps (See Photo B). The ash will begin to cool and lose its flexibility almost instantly, so work quickly. Leave the workpiece clamped in the jig for two days so it dries thoroughly.

Assemble the lid & bottom

O Make the box top and bottom ovals: Lay out and cut the box top and bottom to size, according to the grid drawings on page 200. The lid sides fit into a VS-in.-deep, %-in.-wide rabbet in the edge of the box top. Cut the rabbet with a piloted rabbeting bit in the router table (See Photo C). Sand these parts.

0 Glue and clamp the bent ash parts to the box top and bottom. First., dry fit the lid and box parts together with clamps, and mark the locations where the fingers overlap the sides. Release the clamps, and apply masking tape along the outsides of the finger outlines. Then glue and clamp the bent

Bent Over And Drilled
PHOTO E: Drill pilot holes through the fingers on the lid and box sides, then tap the decorative brass pins into the pilot holes and against an anvil to flatten and bend over the pin tips inside the box.

wood parts to the box top and bottom ovals (See Photo D). When the glue stops squeezing out, remove the tape.

© Install the decor ative brass pins: Drill a pilot hole through the fingers on the lid and box sides about 1 in. from the ends of the fingers. Tap the pins through the pilot holes and flatten them against an anvil inside the box (See Photo E).

O Finish the box by wiping on several coats of Danish oil. For a decorative touch, we covered the bottom of the box with a piece of fell.

Wooden Lure Building Templetes
Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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