We are proud to have finished the Walnut box by adding a slightly padded bottom covered with dark maroon micro-suede and 11 coats of hand rubbed semi-gloss polyurethane and one good coat of 100% carnauba wax for good measure.
Here’s a catch up post for the progress on the Walnut and Padauk box. The lid has been cut off of the six sided cube. That is always a time of great anticipation because you haven’t seen the inside since you glued the entire box together. *whew* All went well and even the Shop Supervisor was pleased. She’s quite the task master!
On the front of the box, we installed two lifts made from a thin piece of Padauk sandwiched between two pieces of Walnut. There are two magnets installed to help keep the lid secure until the owner wants to get inside the box.
The Walnut hinges were finished and installed.
For the box’s feet, we glued up two staggered layers of Walnut and one layer of our accent wood, Padauk. This give the feet a bit of a stair step effect. Once the lamination was completely dry, we cut and mitered several pieces to make the feet. You will see the pictures below of those being glued onto the box bottom.
In the pictures below, you will see the first of many coats of hand rubbed semi-gloss polyurethane. Once the poly is cured, we will put a padded & upholstered floor inside to complete this box. I never get tired of seeing how the wood comes alive when the finish is added. The Walnut looks a little boring until that poly goes on. Then we see the surprise God put in the tree!
We’ve started a lovely box made from Walnut with Padauk accents. We often makes boxes by creating a closed 6 sided box. We then cut the lid off so the grain matches and the lid is the exact same size as the box. We then mitered the corners so they look beautiful and allowed us to make the grain continuous (it wraps around the entire box). This is where the accents come in.
Glued mitered corners are not very strong on their own because it is an end grain to end grain joint.
What’s end grain you may ask. Let’s zoom in as if we’re looking into a microscope. Picture a handful of straws. Now in your mind, group all of those straws together so you have a cylinder of sorts. On the end of that cylinder you’ve got a whole lot of holes where glue would get sucked in and not much would stay on the end of the individual straw ends. Now try to get two straws to stay glued together butted end to end. That is an end grain to end grain joint. Not so strong.
If you were to, instead, glue the length of the straw to another straw’s length, you’ve got a whole lot more surface area to join. As Abe Lincoln said “United we stand. Divided we fall.” If you glue a lot of straws together in length wise into that cylinder, they’re not that easy to bend. United long grain is pretty tough and will stand the test of time. That is a long grain to long grain joint and much, much stronger.
In this box, we’ve added Padauk splines. That allows us lots of long grain surface area to glue up and reinforce those mitered corners.
I can just hear you thinking, “Holy Moly, these guys have lost their minds. Padauk is Tennessee Volunteer orange… with Walnut? Blah!” Fear not! Padauk is another very phototropic wood species like Purple Heart (remember this post?). It turns a beautiful deep red that will complement walnut beautifully.
Here’s a picture of a box we did a while back that is made of Padauk with a Spalted Maple panel top & splines.
See? Beautiful isn’t it? God sure knew what he was doing when he made these trees!
Because we strive to use wood on wood on wood where ever possible, we’ve also started making wooden hinges. They get glued straight onto the box (using that long grain joint we just talked about) and will last even longer than the nicest brass hinges attached with screws.
Aren’t they cool!?
Here’s the gallery of pictures of the walnut box thus far. We’ll update more in the near future.
Thanks for stopping by the virtual shop.