Workshop – Wood – Box making

IMAG0481 As part of our induction into the wood workshop we were set the task of making a box, a relatively simple object that involves the use of most of the

machinery in the workshop.

We began with 4 pieces of wood for the outside of the box, and cut corners out of the two longest pieces in order to slot the shorter ones into, glued them in place and secured them with three small copper nails running down along each side. These copper nails can then be sanded down and become relatively unnoticable


base glued, with the top covered in glue ready for the lid and then clamped

Once this was done, we took two large pieces for the top and theIMAG0484 bottom of the box, glued them down and used tight clamps to hold them in place. After leaving it to dry over lunch, I then cut off the excess (as the lid and base were not cut to fit before gluing) and then sanded all the sides of the box.

At this point the box was a solid object, as creating a lid separately makes it very difficult to get an exact fit.

After using the circular sander to flatten and even the sides of the box, it then needs to be sanded by hand using sandpaper, as the sander leaves marks on the sides in the direction it spins. When sanding by hand you begin with a denser grain, and work up to a fine grain until the surface is smooth with no marks. I wanted my lid to have a shape to it rather than just being flat and rectangular, so we used a wood router which attaches to the drill which carves a shape (for example an S) and ran it along the edges of my lid. At the point the lid was cut off using the band saw, making sure that the base of the lid is below the top nail on the sides. Now the inside is visible you can also see all the glue that seeped out of the joins, we chiseled this away carefully in order to tidy the box up.

After the body of the box was done, it was time for the finishing touches, varnish! Different varnishes give a different colour and finish, and are applied on the inside and outside of the box by rubbing in circular motions with a rag. Once the varnish is dry in the wise words of the Karate Kid we must “wax on, wax off”, two or three times depending on the varnish used. This process of varnish and wax not only gives the box a nice finish, but protects the wood from water and air.


My basically completed box, hinges and clasp will be applied later when our technician gets them


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