Zebrawood / Walnut Box Build Along¯ - Router Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Default Zebrawood / Walnut Box Build Along…

Time for a new project. In this case a box (well 2 boxes) made from African Zebrawood and American Black Walnut. The idea is to have the black walnut match the grain pattern in the zebra wood. The sides of the box will be Zebrawood and the dovetailed corner posts and floor will be walnut.

Here is the raw wood:



I got the wood from here:
http://www.heritagewood.com/

The wood arrived amazingly flat and dimensioned to a consistent .5”. So it went straight to the table saw for ripping to 3" (the height of the box) The sides are cut to length (5.75").



Note how the wood is kept in order after cutting. This will ensure that the grain will "flow" around the box when it's put together.

Next stop the router table. Before cutting into the precious (and expensive) Zebrawood I test all my router settings and stops with some inexpensive poplar from Home Cheapo. These pieces were ripped to the same width as the Zebrawood for set up purposes. The test cuts look good:



Now it's time to clamp in the real thing and start making cuts:





After a bunch of passes the dovetails are cut into the box sides:





The next step is to cut the matching dovetails in the stock that will end up being the corner posts. For this the wood is passed though the router sitting flat on the table:





After a bunch of light passes the 1st dovetail is cut:

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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After a few more passes the stock is cut and ready to go:



An initial dry fit shows that everything lines up right and tight:





Those pics are with no glue or clamp pressure. These might be the best dovetails I’ve cut yet! Just goes to show practice makes perfect… And so far I like how the walnut matches up with the Zebrawood stripes.

Stay tuned for more…
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 08:49 PM
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Very nice sequence of pictures. Walnut is a great compliment to Zebra and is one of my favorites.

Your dovetails are perfect, I just do not see how they could be any better .

Fantastic job! 5 stars!
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Next the corner posts get glued to two of the box sides:



After curing overnight the corner posts material gets trimmed on the table saw:



Now it’s lots of sanding to get the corner posts flush with the box sides:



After all the work sanding I give the box side a quick mineral spirits wipe down to remove the dust and to get a preview of what a finished box side will look like. The mineral spirits briefly mimics a final oil/varnish finish until it evaporates. It also allows me to check for any rough spots that might not show up until finishing:





Next stop is the router table… Again…
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 08:41 PM
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My goodness. I don't know what is better, your photographs or the project.

Very nice and informative.

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 07:23 AM
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Just brilliant once again Nick.

Harry



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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 12:19 PM
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Beautiful work, Nick. Very inspirational photos and workup.; I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished product. I'm sure it'll be sensational.

Neal
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 04:01 PM
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Wow Nick,

This is a beautiful project beautifully documented.

I'm looking forward to more step and your dispensing of knowledge our way.

Thanks,

Ed......:-)
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

Here’s what I got so far. After a Whole Lotta Sanding (Not to be confused with Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love), each box has the corner post material glued and sanded flush on two opposing sides:



Next more dovetails need to be cut into the corner posts:



For this we head back to the router table. Again with the panel flat on the table light passes are taken. This time the cut is stopped before the half inch point. When the box is put together the cuts will be hidden by the adjacent side. To make sure my stop is set right I test the setting on a scrap of poplar:





The box side is lined up with the cut to make sure it's completely concealed with width of the material:





Looks good. Time to start cutting the real thing. If you are wondering how I keep track of all my fence settings here's the trick:



A wise man once told me "A dull pencil is better than a sharp mind".

Here's the 1st cut:

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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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And now a bunch of light 1/16" cuts (thank God for coffee and my iPod):





The 1st dovetail is done. Now for the second one:



And the cuts are done:





Now I test fit all the joints.





Check out how the grain will "flow" from side to side. Also note how sides are not sitting flush yet. Rabbets need to be cut into the tails for this to happen. But that’s for another day (and post).
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