A place for me to display some of the varied projects that come out of my shop, as well as to "talk" about some of my experiences working with wood.

Monday, 10 September 2018

From Burn Boxes to Shaker Boxes - a natural transition

In my last post, I explored how I use leftover material in my Guerrilla Segmenting approach which has been very effective in eroding my pile of offcuts. Recently I have been using shaker boxes as a way to use some of the thinner material I have been holding onto.

Many size options!

Shaker Boxes reduces mountain of thin stock to a molehill...

Many years ago I bought a Shaker box kit from Lee Valley which contained the gubbins to make 3 shaker boxes and instructions on how to build them. Finally getting motivated to use the kit, I made them in my electric frying pan as a boiler and they turned out quite well, with only one minor wood explosion. In the process of manufacturing a replacement strip I realized that this would be a way to use up those strips I had been saving. And I was off to make some boxes. 

Kenny's handiwork

I asked my buddy Kenny to make me a stainless steamer box, which has turned out to be very useful, holding parts for all sizes up to a #6 box (about 9"x12"), 

A variety of materials yield varied results

One of these boxes requires very little material to build and highlights the genius of the shakers making the most of what they had. One thin (090") strip 19" by 2" long makes the base of a box and a small piece 1/4" thick by 4"x 6.25" makes the bottom of a #2. To me this is a classic case of value-added labour, taking a very small amount (pennies really) of material and turning it into something that most people sell for around $40.

I had also accumulated a number of small pieces of baltic birch plywood and veneer offcuts, allowing me to use these for tops and bottoms in the larger boxes. Most folks seem to use plywood for the larger sizes so it does not cup over time. 

And cherry is not the only material to be used here, painted boxes are quite common, so this allowed me to use some "boring" maple and ash for box sides, mixing and matching painted and natural materials for some cool effects.

Having made over 30 boxes now, my hoard of thin material has diminished greatly, time to get back to making some more offcuts...

Process shot, I have two sets of holders per box size.

Two #2's and a #6 with veneered plywood top.

A selection of various sizes and finishes makes a rewarding haul.

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