I’ve been working on cutting boards for learning projects, now I’m planning to do some boxes. Boxes seems a good way to try new joinery. Also, I can experiment with different ideas for tops and finishes. Plus get some more experience milling wood down to a little more precision.
My first box used 45-degree miter joints. I used the table saw to cut these. For the bottom, I cut a 3/8 dado into the sides using the router table. I then milled down a piece of wood to fit into the grove. I then cut some rabbets into the top of the sides so the lid could set in there. Finally, I glued a small piece of wood as a handle for the top. Then I a dry fit and sanded everything down.
I used pine 1×6 boards as something cheap to play with. When I feel confident, I’ll graduate up to hardwood. I finished the boards with a pre-stain treatment and a lighter stain. One issue is my glue-up leaked out, so next time I’ll tape things off to protect the wood.
This is a smaller board I put together to try out the new drum sander. I made it with whatever milled boards I had left over. Still trying to get the patterns to line up. It was pretty close except for a couple. I’m starting to think it would be easier to just do a repeatable pattern.
With my next attempt at a cutting board, I’m trying to get better at lining up patterns. I still have room for improvement. Part of the issue I think is my table saw cutting is drifting on me a bit and strips are shifting around while gluing. This is also the first board where I milled rough sawn boards.
This is maple and walnut in a checkerboard pattern. The maple had a stain running down a section of the board. I didn’t really notice or pay much attention when I was first working on it. Then figured it looks a little different and kept on going. Reading, I thought it may be spalting. Asking around and doing more research, it appears to be mineral staining. Another thought was perhaps caused by the tree being tapped for maple syrup. Either way, it seems safe for food contact while spalted maple probably should be avoided.
I leveled this board using my router jig and it didn’t work out so well. I had a lot of marking from the bit and this board was larger than others so it was challenging with my setup. I decided to bite the bullet and get a drum sander after this doing this board. I tried to sand out the bit marks with the orbital sander with mixed results. Aggressive sanding left some dips in the board. End grain is very hard stuff!
So, I might take this back and sand again this time using the drum sander and see if I can level it out a little. I gave up on it because of what I thought was spalting, but now willing to put in some more time.
We have a birthday party coming up next month with a Pokemon theme. I made some simple cornhole boards and fixed up some bean bags to look like pokeballs.
I started making a strong board with a 2×4 frame around plywood but then decided to go lighter and cheaper. I’m not too sure how much use these will actually get, plus it will be nice if they can be folded up for minimal storage and easy moving. The design is simply a 2-foot by 4-foot piece of plywood then a 2-foot by 1-foot plywood stand on the back with cabinet hinges. I drew a six-inch circle for the cutout and used a drill and jigsaw. I painted the boards white with spray paint, then made a template with a big cardboard box. Using the template, I painted the red area and then black outlines.
Finally, the kids helped make the pokeballs using fabric paint and permanent markers.
The boards came sanded, but it would have been better I think to sand them further. I probably should have also used a dedicated primer. I’m using glossy paint, but the bags don’t slide at all. I might try a top coat enamel if I feel like.
Anyway, this was a fun little project that got the kids excited.
This cutting board was a little more complicated build with doing essentially two different glue-ups. One was for the center maple part of the board and second the border. It was a little tricky gluing together single rows of blocks. I ended up doing the long sides in two parts. I still had some trouble getting things to line up well. I also goofed and did cross cuts of the center maple before running it through the planer. So, that made the maple area smaller than expected.
Anyway, this design was inspired by David Picciuto’s book of cutting board designs. I’m getting determined to get end grain cutting boards right, so I got a book of designs.
After the last glue-up, I had a lot of excess glue and uneven seams. I need to work at doing better glue ups, which I’m planning for my next board. After the board was complete, I ran the router over it like before. This time went better with the improvements I made to the jig.
I’m planning to make a bunch of different cutting board. I love wooden cutting boards and these seem a good way to learn different skills. Plus they’re relatively small projects so I can finish things. Even better, I can make things to my preferred size.
This board was inspired by a YouTube video. Mine uses maple and walnut in an interesting pattern. My pattern didn’t line up exactly, but it’s functional and looks nice. Next time I’ll need to pay better attention to my cut sizes.
My process was to cut the board into the directed strips. Then glue them together in the directed alternating pattern. Then cut the laminated board across the grain. Then finally glue that together in an alternating pattern. I also clamped a couple board to the top of the glue ups to try and keep the individual boards as level as possible. Lastly, I trimmed the edges with the table saw to make everything even and clean.
I used my planer to smooth the long grain board before the second glue up. Then I used my planer-jointer jig for my router to clean up and level. I then used a straight bit on a router and router guide to make a cutout for easy lifting and also rounded over all the edges with a 1/2-inch roundover bit. Then sanded it down with an orbital sander. Finally, I put rubber feet to give it stability. For the finish, I used John Boos oil and board cream.
Next time, I’d want to ensure all boards are the same thickness. Also, take better care to measure the cuts better. Also, I suspect it would help to factor in the width of cuts to the width of the board. I’m not sure how to figure that into something like this design with different board widths.
I found this Bosch router and table on Facebook for a pretty good deal. It also includes a bunch of bits and other accessories. I haven’t haven’t had a project for it yet, but it’s ready to go.
I did this wheel barrow style with four locking casters. My idea is to have my gear mobile so I can configure everything as needed to maximize my small space.
On the bottom, I had a shelf for the accessories. I just used a left over piece of particle board, so it doesn’t quite fit. Under the router table, there’s more space for storage.
I decided to remove two of the casters and extend the legs. The cart can be moved wheel barrow-style. The idea is the legs will give more stability while still being mobile. Plus, I’m saving some money on casters. I extended the legs by gluing some jointed 2×4 blocks and plywood. I also planed feet to make it all level. We’ll try this for a while.