She said, “It turned out pretty well for being chintzy wood.”
Pines are native to most of the northern hemisphere. So, why is it when I go to nearest home center, the pine they have is the Radiata species grown in New Zealand? I wonder what the market dynamics are that brings the stuff nearly 9000 miles to get to the big orange box store near us. I do have to admit that it is generally very free of knots and usually straight, flat, and straight grained … much better than some of the other stuff in the store.
This little flip-lid box is intended as storage for a growing collection of card scrapers. Being a shop accessory, I decided to use some of the radiata pine I have left from other projects and save the hardwood for other times.
The box needs dividers and I’ve never made them before. I worked out the simple scheme of three dividers and two end pieces to hold them. Another quick wood decision. … There’s a lot of cedar left from boatbuilding days and it can be cut down to 1/8 inch thickness very quickly. It’s the nature of cedar to crush more easily than cut, so when it came to routing the dadoes, a knife and slicing motions worked better than a chisel. A shop made router rounded out the tools needed for these joints. These are very small dadoes, 1/8 inch wide and only 1/16 inch deep. It turns out that they need exactly as many steps as any of their larger brothers.
As the box neared completion, regrets about wood choice began to loom. All of the boxes I’ve made recently have been made as much for having something to decorate with carvings as much as having a practical storage box. Carving wasn’t in the original plan, but why not? …. Because it’s stringy pine, that’s why not.
Then, along came Rob Porcaro (Heartwood blog) with “It’s always something.” Read it!
A simple three leaf embellishment, a recent carving lesson from Mary May, originally meant for corner decorations, turned out to be just complicated enough to be satisfying and just simple enough for the pine. Taking shallower cuts to avoid unwanted splitting resulted in more facets than I like in the background, but adding yet more facets even things out.
All in all, she’s right. It turned out to be a satisfying project with a purpose.
Dimensions: 6 3/4 inches (L), 3 3/4 inches (W), 3 inches (H)
Card scraper box - carving on my new bench-on-bench
Dadoes are 1/8 inch wide and 1/16 inch deep to accept haunched dividers.
Like all good dadoes, they fit perfectly.
Card scraper box - ready to finish - waiting for shop to be warm enough - dividers are cedar
Card scraper box - body pieces are 1/4 inch thick Radiata pine - dividers are 1/8 inch thick cedar - bottom is 1/8 inch thick pine
Card scraper box - end view shows lid pivot pin
Card scraper box - finger notch was cut with a #6 gouge
Card scraper box - room for more
Card scraper box - bottom is only 1/8 inch thick, captured in grooves