Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 10-26-2011, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Alternative Methods Challenge - 3 tier in-box

Maybe I'm bending the challenge rules a bit too far here, but I'm leaving that to the Challenge Supervisor to decide.

Anyway, when I looked at the picture of the 3 tier in-box I started to think if it would be possible to make the frame by bending the wood. That means that the lower corners of the frame would be bent instead of mitered.

The corners have to be very tight and I realized that steambending a 1/2" board to such a small radius would be very difficult if even possible. An other alternative would be to laminate the frame from several thin stripes. I decided to do both. I will make the frame from three 4 mm boards that will be steam bent to shape and the glued together to a total thickness of 12 mm (approx 1/2").

I decided to make the frame from birch. Birch bends very well, almost as well as beech. One problem though can be that it sometimes have a kind of wavy grain. You must avoid that, otherwise loose fiber ends will pop up.

I starded with finding a piece of birch that was as straightfibered as possible and resawed it to six 6 mm boards. I planed them to 4 mm thickness and cut them to width. I cut them a bit wider than necessary so I can trim the glued pieces later.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00441.jpg

Then I made a form to bend the boards around. I made the corners with a 4 cm radius, which I thought would be realistic.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00445.jpg

I put the pieces in the steam box, a simple wooden box. The steamer is from a wallpaper stripper. The old rule say to steam one hour for every inch of wood thickness, so 4 mm boards would require 10 minutes. I gave them 15 to be sure.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00443.jpg

When the boards are ready it's a real hurry to get them clamped. They are bendable for only a few minutes.
My pieces bent nice and easy with no problems.

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I let them dry for a couple of hours and then unclamped them. As you can see they have bent back a little but that will not cause any problem when gluing them together.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00446.jpg

Last edited by Longknife; 10-26-2011 at 12:48 PM.
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post #2 of 39 Old 10-26-2011, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Next thing was to glue the stripes together. I applied the glue quite generously and clamped them to the form again.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00447.jpg

When the glue was cured I unclamped them and found that they have bent back a little again. However, it will be easy to bend them in place when all pieces are assembled.

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While the glue-ups were curing I picked out some alder stock I will use for the trays. I resawed and planed the blanks to 12 mm thickness.

That's all I've done so far, will be back soon with the rest.
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post #3 of 39 Old 10-26-2011, 04:49 PM
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Holy crap in handbasket that's cool!! Who's showing off now buddy? I am totally impressed with this one and I will be glued to its progress. This is freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #4 of 39 Old 10-26-2011, 06:17 PM
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What can be said except WOW! I never would have considered bending the wood... You are taking this to the next level for sure!

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

I've made a few videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/johnnie52
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post #5 of 39 Old 10-26-2011, 09:11 PM
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this is a really cool project. I definitly want to try a project like this... eventually
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post #6 of 39 Old 10-26-2011, 09:24 PM
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Very nicely done, looking forward to seeing the finish project.

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #7 of 39 Old 10-27-2011, 02:44 PM
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Alright, it's official-- you're just showing off now!

That said, very cool way to take this project and make it your own. It isn't exactly within the original concept of the challenge but this is your third challenge project, if I remember correctly, so I'll give you some latitude on this one.

Excellent start and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of this.
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post #8 of 39 Old 10-27-2011, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenbo View Post
Holy crap in handbasket that's cool!!
+1 (...and good thing it isn't Easter. )

This is the alternate methods challenge paying off big time! Count me as glued to the screen too. Hope you don't have something else to distract you Longknife!
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post #9 of 39 Old 10-28-2011, 02:01 AM
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I was gonna do this one next but how in the h--- do you hold a candle to that??????? Might as well go take your place at the overachievers table with Kenbo...lol

GREAT BUILD.....watching intently

lawrence

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post #10 of 39 Old 10-28-2011, 12:44 PM
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Wow !!!

Very nice project.


I had been off of the map so to speak for a couple of month's so I am trying to catch up on all the Challenge Projects that are going on.

Great job to all who are able to participate.

Tools are like guns, You can never have enough.
Where did I put that tape measure???
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post #11 of 39 Old 10-29-2011, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the nice comments, guys. I'm also glad that Frank is giving me some latitude on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankp View Post
Alright, it's official-- you're just showing off now!....
......so I'll give you some latitude on this one.
I can assure you that I'm not trying to show off anything. Wouldn't have a chance with that on this forum with all the talented woodworkers I can only admire.
I'm doing this for the fun of it and I've always been interested in trying new methods and different ways of doing things.

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... Hope you don't have something else to distract you Longknife!
Well, there is a long list hanging on the refrigerator my wife keep reminding me of.....

Now, enough of that and back to work.

I made the vertical parts of the frames longer than required to make it easier to bend the pieces. Next thing to do was to cut them to the correct length with a miter for the horisontal part.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00452.jpg

Then I made a simple jig to hold the frame parts when I cut the slots for the splines.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00451.jpg

I also made the horisontal parts and planed them to the same thickness as the bent part, mitered them and cut spline slots.
I also ripped the splines from rowan stock I think will contrast to the birch. With all the parts done I was ready for assemble. This turned out to be a very frustrating job. This is a situation where you wish you had at least two more hands. The splines, even if I made them with a loose fit, also have a strange ability to swell up when the glue is applied. Well, after some struggling and a few I managed to get it all together.
As the bent part are not perfectly square due to bending back a little after being glued together I installed the cauls you see in the picture to square everthing up when glued. They will of course be removed and the upper tray will keep everything in place later.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00453.jpg

I trimmed off the spline ends, rounded the corners and gave the whole thing a first sanding to 120.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00454.jpg

While the glue was curing I cut the tray sides, mitered them and cut the groove for the bottoms.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00455.jpg

That's what I've accomplished so far. Now I hear somebody talking about a back door that have swelled in the rain. And that's not even on the list.....
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post #12 of 39 Old 10-29-2011, 10:00 PM
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I know how it goes. While I was trying to get my project done I kept hearing about a gate that had swollen in the rain and would not close!

I'm liking this more as it goes along. Hopefully the top box will be strong enough to hold the bend and keep it from spreading everything apart.

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

I've made a few videos
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post #13 of 39 Old 10-30-2011, 08:40 AM
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Awesome, really great lamination!

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #14 of 39 Old 10-30-2011, 08:53 AM
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Excellent, as usual. Between you and Kenbo it's a wonder anyone else shows pictures of their stuff. You guys are awesome.
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post #15 of 39 Old 11-02-2011, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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With the frame done it's time to make the trays. I laid out the shape of the handle recesses on the front sides and drilled 15 mm holes in the lower corners.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00456.jpg

I cut out the rest on the band saw and rounded the upper corners.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00457.jpg

With all the tray pieces done I laid them out along a straight edge and butted the ends tightly together and taped the joints with masking tape.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00458.jpg

I then flipped the whole assembly upside down and applied glue in all the joints.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00459.jpg

I installed the bottom in it's grooves, folded the pieces together and taped the last joint. Then I clamped the tray with a band clamp and checked it for square.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00465.jpg
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post #16 of 39 Old 11-02-2011, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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When all the trays were glued and cured I made a jig to cut the slots for the splines in the corners. I cut the lower slots first, then flipped the trays and cut the upper. I then mowed the TS fence to cut the remaining slot in the same way.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00460.jpg

I ripped the splines, cut them to length and glued them in the slots.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00461.jpg

I cut off the splines on the band saw as close to the side as I could without marring the sides. I trimmed off the remaing with a chisel and sanded them flush with the sides.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00462.jpg

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00463.jpg
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post #17 of 39 Old 11-02-2011, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Then I installed a 1/2" round over bit in the router table and routed the corners.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00464.jpg

Then I sanded the trays to P240.

Alternative Challenge - 3 tier in-box-dsc00466.jpg

Hopefully I will be able to continue the building tomorrow. Thanks for watching so far.
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post #18 of 39 Old 11-02-2011, 05:14 PM
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Another excellent piece of work. I see I'm not alone in using masking tape on mitered boxes. That system works great! Before I started doing it I never got a square box. Now its a breeze getting nice square boxes every time!

I'm waiting to see how you pull the tops of the laminate sides together without having it come apart from the wood trying to revert to its relaxed state.

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

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post #19 of 39 Old 11-02-2011, 06:38 PM
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LOVING this project already! I am so impressed with you taking on the steam bending, something I'm sure many would try to avoid! Can't wait to see the finished product. Keep it up! :)

Hands made for wood

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post #20 of 39 Old 11-02-2011, 08:01 PM
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Well, it IS an "alternative methods" challenge. I'd say you're following right along with the spirit of the challenge. You may be bending wood but, personally, I'd have a hard time saying you're bending the "rules". I see others agree. It's coming along very well so far. This is a perfect addition and compliment to the challenge, I'd say. Awesome work!
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