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All four of them sing out 'splendid craftsmanship' to me. The one for your grandson is the one that I would be most inclined to try to build myself. I am curious how you went about crafting in the bumps on the deco side inlays. I'm also curious about the joinery you used on the outer portion of the top. Panel construction is an aspect of woodworking that I am itching to explore. By that I mean making a panel by constructing a 4 piece frame that encloses what ever the inner portion of the panel turns out to be.

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Thank you for the kind words Bill... *S*
I definitely have a thing for making boxes and the quality of your work blended with the manner in which you share your work & experience inspire both kind words and my urge to 'create'.

The 'bumps' on the deco sides was done on the router table.
So far so good on trying to copy your masterpiece. Router Table(s) are among the many things picked up during the last year of 'intense' woodworkin'.

Just repeated passed at 1/4" intervals with a pointy bit. then laid into the sides of the box.
That doesn't sound too far beyond my experience level on tables. Did you use a feather boarded fence to hold it down/guide it? I have been fooling around with feather boards on my TS, but haven't got around to making the fences that can use them for my Router tables yet.

As for the joinery on the box, for the lid I went with lap joints.
Absolute music to my ears! Largely on account of it's simplicity, hands down, lap joints are the most common joint I use.

Very simple to make on the router table or tablesaw.
My first were cut with a stacked dado on a TS. I have used the same blade set on my RAS also to do laps and rabbets. I tried a few on the router table as well.

I like the router table more, it tends to leave behind a much smoother finish.
Smoothness of the cut was what I did like about doing laps on a RT. I am right in the middle of experimenting with specialty planes for use in joinery. In the last two months I have put a Stanley 39 (1/2"), 45, 46, 75, 98, 99, 148 & 271 to different types of wood (Cedar, Fir, Hickory and Oak) in the learning process. Some of those are models are more about tongue & groove matching than just a rabbet or a lap. With the help of ebay, several more models are allready on the way!

I went with lapped joints to expose more endgrain, thereby tying the lid in with the body of the box.
This box is a great example of how it's possible to have fun and get great results showing the end grain off (as opposed to hiding it).

I used a stopped rabbet on the inside edges and then squared them away with a chisel. leaving behind about a 1/4" recess to lay top panel into place.
Chisels, I have been using them more than ever before it seems (Perhaps a side affect of my falling into the 'pit of planes' on eBay)

Its not unlike making a picture frame with the panel being the center piece.
A great example of the geometric concept. I hope to take that a littler further than cabinet doors, box tops and picture frames. I want to see how sturdy of results I can get using this style panel as the sidewalls in light duty cabinetry (both storage and display.)

I finished off the joinery by running the "frame" on the table saw set at an angle.
Doing so gave it quite the bold edge contour. It hadn't occurred to me yet, but my appreciation for the triangular aspects of 'Horse Nose' style trim cut is part of why I just loved the way that box looks on first sight.

I have no idea what angle *L*, I just tilted the blade until I thought it looked good...
Now that's my kind of 'flowing with it' design decision!

got any more questions, don't hesitate to ask..
Do you have anything you want to share about the plane at the bottom of your posts? It looks more like a Veritas than a Stanley at first glance (I have never seen a Stanley with two bolts in the tote), but could actually be a 'customized' creation of your own. I'm thinking it's about #4 sized and clearly a low angle style unit.

Thanks for putting so much time into everyone's responses in this thread!

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Holly smokes Bill... Talk about your ego builders. My head exploded twice...

Aw shucks Bill, I was just tryin to give some credit where I thought it was due...:)

I'm no where near as skilled as some of the folks around here with a router, and freely admit it.

Heck, I am rediculously green when it comes to using the spinning type routers. That being said, during the six months or so that I have
been arround here, I have learned a ton about what can and can't be done with them.

I suspect there are several 'aspects' or 'types' of router use that you have down to an art. I don't know if any among us have mastered all
the different ways these things can be used, and even if they did, someone would release a new 'widget' that made them functional with yet
another 'crafting application'.

BUT I do have to say that a good router table is a fine investment.
The versatility that a good router setup offers is pretty hard to beat.

Using two out of the three router tables I picked up Craigs list style was a lot of fun and a learning experinece. I did aquire the kit to
mount a router along side one of my table saws (Ryobi BT-3100), but haven't got arround to trying it out for lack of a place to set the space
hog up and leave it set up.

I learned that 'effective dust collection, and practical bit gaurds are not an option if I am going to use one on a regular basis.
Along with that lesson came the understanding that they make a ton of noise. Add to that a better understanding of the options that
lead to better results and decrease set up time.

I rarely use feather boards. and that is MY BAD!!!! If you got em, USE EM,,, if you don't got em,,, GET EM...

I didn't really start using them alot until I wanted to slice 2x4 stock down into 1x4 boards. I did eventually figure it out, and well enough
to understand that I need a much tougher saw if I decide to do that on a regular basis. Harbor Freight has a cheap one for 7 bucks that I just
use as a 'finger kit'. THe down side to it is the hardware it comes with is pretty much useless. For someone that wants to use a bunch of them
and doesn't mind figuring out how to mount them, $7 beats the heck out of $20 for the plastic piece.

I agree, lap joints are quit simple, and exceptionally strong when glued up.
I find endgrain to be very attractive when sanded and finished off properly.
If you note the country box with the flowers, the endgrain work was so/so.
My bad, was in a hurry to finish the box and rather than take a few more minutes, I thought good enough would do.....hind sight as they say....

I took another look at the box with the flowers. I clearly need more experience with end grain.
Someday I might be good enough at this stuff to understand why you think it is 'so so'...:)

I used lap joints when building my shop counters with 2x4's.
I built it to use it and I'm not afraid to whale on date, not a single failure, nothing even close..

Most of my 'function over fashion' furniture experiments (including my bed and workbench combination!) were framed out with half lapped two by fours.

ahhhhhhhhh a fellow neander in the making .
very high on my list of things i'd like to get are a couple of good shoulder planes.
IMHO there is nothing as satisfying as getting results from using hand tools that are just as good as anything with a plug could have created....

Excel tells me that I have 40 planes, not counting the three Sur-Form rasps. I didn't have any a year ago and only had one six months ago. Sounds like an Neander in the making to me!

One great thing about the 'Stanley' scene on e-bay is almost all of the pre 1970 models have tangible intrinsic value to them with 'closed auction' historys confirming what people have paid for
them recently on the ebay scene. That gives me an opportunity to try any of them out that I am interested in when I see an option to pick one up for significantly less than people pay for it on
the average.

The use of power tools has evolved into the 'chore' aspect of woodworking for me. I seem to like to buy wood in the 'cheapest shapes/sizes' I can get it.
Then I use the noisy, messy spinner type tools to speed up the process of getting it close to the right size I need it to be. From there, I like to do most of
it by hand. Repeated cutting on the other hand, I usually do on the TS or RAS, where setting a fence/stop block gives consistancy in sizing.

its all about the steel brother!! once you get good quality steel, then learn to put an edge on....its all down hill ...

Sharpening is one of those topics where there is no shortage of 'diverging opinions'. I'm still trying different techniques out as I go along in search of those that will work best for me.

I do believe you will find the results most satisfactory. I've a couple cabinet doors I did with lap joints and they have held up quite well.
Of course, there is no "load" applied. When in doubt a couple of nicely placed dowels or pins ie. Green and Green style would certainly boost shear strength...

Is Green & Green a doweling technique?

The plane is a LV BU smoother.
that and a really good block plane are two can't do withouts.
I love it. Takes a edge well, holds it even better, great with difficult figured woods.
Small enough for alot of touchup work, still small enough to be very handy. I am thoroughly sold on the LV product line..

I have yet to try anything out from Lee Valley or Veritas, though they have a decent shot at selling me with a #62 style LA BU Jack.
The modern Stanley plane products I have tried don't exactly sing out 'quality'. A vintage 62 that doesn't have issues easily sells for
more than the LV costs. It kind of makes me want to use my router table and take a shot at making my own.

It feels like picking up one of their MK II Sharpening sets
with both of the optional upgrades is only a matter of time.

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Just as a quick aside... if you havn't given 'card scrappers' a try yet. go for it. One of the most handy-effective tools in my shop.... Providing superior no sanding needed results...

Actually I haven't got arround to checking them out yet, so tyvm for the tip!

Mmmmmm Goood (the no sanding required part)

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If you look at the lower 2/3rds of the left sides you'll notice a creamy color in the picture.
Thanks for filling me in!

40 plus planes? That makes for a pretty nice stash!

I've nearly 20 or so at last count with only a couple of block being duplicated (in function, no necessarily brand/make)
I'm not so sure my count was exact. Most of my repeats are plows (both model 45 & 46) that I will either sell off, or use as lab rats to sooth my 'tool tinkering & design' urges.

I've been tinkering around a good bit of late with inlay work so the next (and probably very soon) will be LV's router plane.
Jim Bode has a really good chance of selling me a mint and complete 71. That particular 'vintage' unit is one of the few models that I want in 99% Nickel intact appearance quality.

Not sure of which one yet, I like the small one for detail work, but the larger one would be considerably more versatile. Decisions, decisions :)....
One of the many I found on the bay was a vintage 271. I picked it up because they can be had for less than a complete user grade 71 and I wanted to test drive it and find out if that style router was one I liked enough to actually use it. I like it so much that a 'real 71' is up high on my 'get list'

I think we must have read the same book on this.... following the same process almost to a T.
It's a clear sign that our wood crafting efforts are of the 'recreational' variety as opposed to the 'commercial' variety where the time factor is a major component.

Yes, sharpening is a strange animal. Plenty of ways to skin this cat to be sure.

I've tried several over the years and have found of late that I lean back towards the "Scary Sharp" method. Plate glass, PSA paper etc...
Thanks for taking the bait and sharing several of the ways you have played with.

The last time I put steel to paper as part of a sharpening process was 1978 in metal shop, just for the exercise and learning aspect of it. Even though I know that is the direction I am heading for 'blade tuning', I have been procrastinating on picking up the stuff needed to give scary sharp a test drive.

Since my return to the craft from the void my sharpening efforts have been limited to the use of those widgets where micro diamonds are glued to a steel plate with holes in it. They put enough of an edge back on any iron I'm messing with to complete the task at hand.

I did pick up one of the Smith's dual grit cheap stones recently so I can get an edge up to the next level when required.

Long term, I can see myself putting a belt sander (or three) being put to good use setting bevels, skews and back bevels.

A year and half ago, I was all about the WS3000 method, year and a half from now, who knows...*L*
With a model number in the sentence, it sounds like it might be one of those machine based systems...:)

I have recently picked up some of LV's diamond PSA paper....ohhhhh this stuff does have potential...Now the talk is all about the new metals that will be coming out
Oh please do let us know what you think of the stuff when you have a chance to give it the 'what for'.

....ohhh Lord, it just never ends ...
I think the fact that there is always something new to learn (or experience) is a good thing! It helps keep us interested and part of what allows 'pursuit of the craft' to have a recreational feel to it. If every angle that could possibly considered were 'known & simple' facts, projects would become so boring they felt like 'work' instead of play.

I think that a sharpening strategy or technique should be in tune with the composition & tempering of the blade/cutter. The degree of sharpening required is of course relative to what is going to be cut with the blade.

In application, I need to balance the pursuit of metallurgical perfection with my craving for curls!.

Green and Green is a design a google on it...
It shall be done!

I do have the LV BU LA Jack.. and love it... especially like to use it on my shooting boards.
My next 'custom to the point of silliness' project is cooking up a cross between a shooting board, bench top (complete with dawgs) and a tool box.

The only "new" style stanley have is the #4. One of the first runs. It recieved alot of bad press at the time, but fortunately I appear to have gotten a good one.
There are so many different designs within the scope of "Stanley-Land" that it's hard to make sense of it sometimes. When I think of a '4', visions of a bevel down,9" long bench plane with a 2" wide iron, bedded at 45 degrees come to mind. The way the iron is secured and adjusted varies, as does the 'steel composition'. Some use cap irons and some don't.

The first plane I purchased after returning from the void was a Stanley SB-4. At just under 20 bucks from the local big box, it barely worked out of the box. Six months time, and a budding collection of planes later, it gets used occasionally for rough removal jobs, when I don't want to risk the edge on the iron in my type 40 scrubber.

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My veneer guy has a 45 in the orginal wooden box with cutters...looks to be barely if ever used. He knows I want it...and he loves to taunt me with it...*L*.
The NOS 45 I picked up was in the newer cardboard box. The cutters came in one wood box with a cardboard cover sleeve. Pics included if you are curious...:)

Not to familar with the 71's...However, I do find the nickel plating to be a really attractive 'niche' in the market. One in mint condition would be a keeper to be sure.
Who knows when I will get around to picking one up. I will be securing my 271 to a larger base plate with two knobs (I'm thinking about trying different knobs/totes out on this one to tune in on what I actually end up liking the most).

The 271 (@ 3 in. Wide) is considerably smaller than the 71 (@ 7.5in Wide). That makes it better in some tight access situations but not as good when it comes to leverage.

I am definately a 'recreational' woodworker as you describe. However I do keep rather busy at it. I just don't charge for my work. The deal goes as follows: You buy the materials, all of em, I get to keep the left overs and its done when its done :).
It's ok to have them contribute to tool purchases central to their project to...:)

If something needs done by a certain date...i rarely accept.
I don't do very well with 'completion dates' either...:)

Tinkered with diamond plate, but wasn't overly impressed.

It didn't take me long to figure out that stopping at '600' (the fine end of the cheap diamond plate spectrum) is NOT honing....:). It seems to do a reasonable job of getting ready for 1000, which gets it ready for 2000+, and so on. Honing my honing skills is an ongoing process...:)

I do however think that 'hollowing' out the edge is well worth consideration.
One of the reasons I dove in head first and bought so many is the chance to experiment with Iron grinds in ways such as that. The other is that sometimes I want to get more than a little "Cave Man Brutal" with force (generally when I insist on working through a knot instead of tracking down a 'clear' board). I could be wrong here, but hollow ground and low bevel ground irons won't put up with as much of that kind of abuse before they fight back..:)

The diamond PSA from LV is excellent. I do not use it for primary angles at all,,, too expensive, but for honing and keeping an edge the stuff is just fantastic....
Yeah, I have this psych aversion to 'consuming consumables' such as sand paper myself. Given my growing obsessions with 'blades', I expect it will eventually get overpowered, allowing logic to prevail...:)

I've read many articles on using 'belt' sanders. In fact, somewhere I've seen a model expressly made for sharpening.
Running into similar articles, some with plans for jigs (skewing especially, but beveling as well interest me) is part of what got me thinking not just sand paper, but 'spinner driven' sand paper.

I really think in the end, if you find something that works for you, and stick with it, you can get outstanding results with just about any 'system'...A good edge is a good edge not withstanding. What that edge is on makes all the difference.
Any system that gets used beats the stuffings out of a system that doesn't get used (for whatever quirky reason...)

I've done a few shooting boards and bench hooks and man, they are worth the time to make!!! (((see photo's below)))
Very nicely done and great 'food for thought' as I muddle through designing my own.

During the design/build out of my 'planing station', I want to side by side test/compare the huge variety of ways that rabetts and dados can be cut, including table saws, routers, planes and hand saws My idea is to share the experience here in an ongoing thread. It's my idea of a Cro-Magnon Rabbet Hunt of sorts.

The 'productive' slant on the test will be building up 12"x12" and 12"x16" panels that will be assembled into stackable GP storage boxes.

Western Redcedar and Fir are the species I am thinking about so far, though every tool will also get tested some on Oak, Hickory and Maple flooring scraps/samples.

Not taking the same path to the destination adds to the fun of it to, the variety being the spice of life thing..:)


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Peter, derek: Thank you guys for your kind words....Much appreciated. Here are a few pics from another thread I had with a few boxes...
Yipes Bill,

Those three boxes are so darn beautiful they are intimidating to a wanna-be artisan such as my self...:) Either my eye-balls need calibrating again or you pulled off a fingered box joint with different length fingers? And did it in an artistic flowing sort of way of course...:)

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Hey Bill....

I do believe you're right about hollow grinding 'too much'! on beaters.

I have a set of Craftsman chisel I use for beaters.

"Cro-Magnum Rabbet Hunt".. that is exceptionally clever!!! What a play on words and a great idea for a thread...
I haven't taken a bite out of an iron driving through cedar knots (yet anyway), but did with some fir knots. I expect oak and hickory knots would be meaner than the fir was.

I haven't picked up any factory made chisel planes yet. I put those on the list of planes I want to try to make from scratch, along with the shoulders, edge rounders and end grain trimmers.

I also have a rot gut HF #4 Bailey-Clone that I have dreams of going medieval on by stripping it down to the bed and grinding on it until I can morph it into a home brew LA BU bedded down at 12 degrees. Of course trying to do that would make me really want to get a home foundry operational to do some aluminum, brass and bronze casting.

The two things still holding me up on getting the Rabbet hunt started is the arrival of the last two planes and finishing up the designs needed to actually put the 'test subjects' to productive use.

Ok, in a weak, but barely passable attempt to link all this plane chatter back into the original topic of this thread, your magnificent boxes, how much of a role have your hand planes played in their creation? Details please....:) Hacks like me need artists like yourself to learn from..:)

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Start calibratin' bud :)

those arn't finger joints, they are splines used to reinforce the corners.

I feel a little embarrassed that I didn't pick up on that all by myself. Deco Splines!
What a concept. Spicing up the appearance and sturdiness in the same swoop, sure is synergy in that...:)

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Thanks for tossing back far more details than I can digest with a quick read!

I haven't used a electric jointer or thickness planer yet. Odds are my next power tool purchase will be a thickness planer. I have done just enough research on the topic to be aware of 'snipe' in concept and the need to avoid it when and where possible.

Most all of my jointing is on stock thinner than 3/4 and a number 6 fore plane does such a good job at it, I don't feel like I have the 'floor space' for an electric jointer, though I do have the urge to at least try jointing on a router table.

On the topic of 'pocket planes', I would inquire, How big are your pockets? I think of my itty bitty Stanley 101 as a pocket plane, and the widget is far more useful than the modest price suggests it should be (less than 10 bucks everywhere!).

I have really high hopes that 'shooting miters' will become second nature for me, which of course suggests that I need to get off my tail and build up the 'donkey's ear shooting board contraption'.

Long term, on Rabbets, I kind of envision using my RAS to rough em out and tuning them up with which ever plane seems best for the combination of "size/shape of the workpiece & size/shape of the rabbet. A .125" x .125" x 60" rabbet has different dynamics than say a .75 x 3.5" x 3.5" does...:)

The only good thing I have to say about my knowledge of sanding is I understand and respect the fact that it is it's own science....:)


Hmmmmm says I... actually a good question from a Neander like yourself *L*..

At first, I hate to admit, very little hand plane effort went into my box making. BUT as time progressed and my skills with hand tools improved I found that the use of hand tools in many cases was just as good as anything with a plug. I started with milling by use of a 6" jointer then off to a 13" planer and finished off with a few passes under a 16/32 drum sander. (were going several years back keep in mind) Once I got the hand tool bug I began jointing/planing with hand planes..Once you learn how to do it well, its kinda like...its cool..done by hand and all, BUT..boy is burning a few electrons quicker. So any more, most of my mill work is done by equipment and tweaked by hand. I keep my #3 and my pocket plane's within arms reach at all times. The little pocket plane is perhaps the handiest tool in the shed!!! I love that thing for 'tweaking'...

Miters are all done on a shooting board with a LV BU Jack...
Rabbets are 'tweaked' with a LN rabbet block plane (recent purchse) Primary cuts done on the router table...
Delicate round overs done by hand, larger round overs done on the router table..
Bevels.......all depends.......if not done by hand plane, usually finsihed off with one...
Most finish work is touched up with card scrappers, dry sanded down to 400 then depending on the wood, wet sanded down to 1200....

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My pocket plane is actually called by LV an "Apron Plane".
5 1/2 long by 1 3/4 wide...

Veritas® Apron Plane - Lee Valley Tools
Thanks for the 'detail' and of course the speed link off to even *more* details!

I snagged a modern clone version of the time tested Stanley 60 from my local 'blue box'. It is very similar in design to the 'Veritas Apron Plane', the most notable exception being, the angle the iron is bedded at.

The 'perfectionist' side of my brain is thinking I should have waited till I found the Veritas version, yet all the same it was still a good purchase and the widget is 'earning it's keep'...:)

With so many awesome products in their offering, it remains impossible for me to predict which of them will be my first, thought the LV BU Jack still has the lead!.

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The two big advantages to having a thickness planer IMHO are, the ability to buy rough stock and mill multiple boards to a 'consistent' thickness.

Rough cut is so much more affordable than ready milled that in the long term it pays for itself (the more volume, the quicker the payback).

My experiences with big box wood has been that the boards can vary as much as an 1/8th inch in widths and a 1/16th in thickness.

Doesn't sound like much, but that translates into alot of sanding not to mention aggravation.
I do prefer to buy my wood in the rough, especially the cedar. Dressed and surfaced cedar costs between 4 and 8 times more than the 'rough stuff'. 35 cents a square foot sure seems a lot less expensive than 2.80 a square foot to me!.

I haven't bought a single board foot of dressed cedar from the big boxes, because I put my digital calipers to good use right there in the store! They discovered variances just like you described, Not only from board to board, but on the same board.

I use a 13" Craftsman planer. The unit never really reviewed that well and has required a few repairs over the years, but all in all, it produces a fantastic finish.
Completely unexpected I might add.
Hearing that you have been using a 'retail' planer and the same one over an extended period of time is encouraging!. I don't know if I am being too paranoid or not cautious enough when trying to select one for myself. Perhaps I should seek out someone who has one, maybe through a local woodworking club and get some hands on experience with the machine relative to they type of wood I want to run through it.

As for snipe..can be a issue with most planers, especially older units. The newer units, especially the Dewalt have miniimized if not eliminated it altogether.

I just compensate for allowing for the sniipe by adding a few extra inches to the length of the board...
A great example of 'flowing' with the challenges...:) Some would invest millions in an attempt to defy the laws of physics, while others would consider the 'true cost' of them in this aspect and save a ton of time by simply paying the toll!
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