New to woodworking, how does this sound for a first project? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-02-2015, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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New to woodworking, how does this sound for a first project?

I've never really worked with my hands before, but I want to pick up a talent/hobby to be able to give people unique gifts that are made with the heart, not bought with cash. I know what the first thing I want to make is, but I don't know if I'm going in over my head or not. It seems simple enough to me, but that could be because I don't know anything about woodworking.


I want to make a miniature violin (nonworking) with a hidden keyhole at the base of the neck that allows a box to slide out from the body. I'm kind of already stumped on the lock part. I don't really know what kind of lock I would use, or even how exactly the lock would be attached to the box. The way I picture it in my mind, the lock holds the box in from the back. Would it work that way? I'm also considering just attaching the lock at the front if it will be much simpler, but I want to try to add as many puzzle box elements as I can to it.


Aside from that, what kind of tools would I need for this project? I bought a jig saw to be able to cut the curves of the side of the violin. It might not be the best tool for the job, but I don't quite want to spend a ton of money and find it's something not up my alley. I don't know if I'd be able to give the top and bottom the curve that a real one has, so it'll probably just be flat, unless there's some easy way for a beginner to do it? Also, what kind of wood would be recommended? Would basswood work well? And could I find it easily in size I'd need? My estimated dimensions are 13"x7"x~2" for the body (as in not including the neck up).


Any other tips and advice on this project would also be appreciated.


Here is a rough picture showing how I want things to work out in case my explanation wasn't very good. http://i.imgur.com/nz3Bky6.png
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-02-2015, 01:44 PM
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First, Welcome here to this very friendly woodworking forum. IMO you should consider looking at plans for puzzle boxes in books/magazines, and read about the right way to use woodworking tools & shop safety BEFORE you "get in over your head". It is best to know about what type of wood and what tools are required for each project. Also think about planning your work, then working your plan, and always be safe.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-02-2015, 02:01 PM
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well... it does sound rather ambitious...

IMO, its not just about skill, though thats certainly in the conversation, its alot about tools...

So, the top and bottom, flat stock cut with a jig saw. I could suggest better tools, but the jigsaw will do it.

The hardest thing I see is. how do you make the side profile that gives it the thickness? how do you get that, and the front/back to have the same profile?

I think a project like this could be a challenge for anyone (though it could easily be as complex as you want to make it), i think for you it would just sour you to the hobby.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-02-2015, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchux View Post
First, Welcome here to this very friendly woodworking forum. IMO you should consider looking at plans for puzzle boxes in books/magazines, and read about the right way to use woodworking tools & shop safety BEFORE you "get in over your head". It is best to know about what type of wood and what tools are required for each project. Also think about planning your work, then working your plan, and always be safe.
Thank you for the welcome.

What kind of books and magazines should I look into? And how would I make certain that they have the information that is relevant to this first project? Also, what are some good online tools to use? I've searched for some, but it's easy to get lost with all of the woodworking terminology that I don't understand, and then there are just so many different tools...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bauerbach View Post
well... it does sound rather ambitious...

IMO, its not just about skill, though thats certainly in the conversation, its alot about tools...

So, the top and bottom, flat stock cut with a jig saw. I could suggest better tools, but the jigsaw will do it.

The hardest thing I see is. how do you make the side profile that gives it the thickness? how do you get that, and the front/back to have the same profile?

I think a project like this could be a challenge for anyone (though it could easily be as complex as you want to make it), i think for you it would just sour you to the hobby.
The way I was hoping it would work was to have three pieces of wood, two thin pieces sandwiching a third thick piece. The thin pieces would serve as the top and bottom, and the thick would be the side. I'd clamp all of them together with enough clamps to cut through all three and have close to an equal cut on all three pieces. This would let me cut out the interior to make room for the drawer and then glue the three pieces together and have the violin made like that. Then the other pieces like the neck and the bridge are small and simple enough to cut out of a single piece... hopefully.

Does that sound like it would work well? I'm concerned about how exactly to make the sliding pieces making it like that, and also if I can add enough detail without very expensive tools to make it not look shoddy.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-02-2015, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerriblePerson View Post
I've never really worked with my hands before, but I want to pick up a talent/hobby to be able to give people unique gifts that are made with the heart, not bought with cash. I know what the first thing I want to make is, but I don't know if I'm going in over my head or not. It seems simple enough to me, but that could be because I don't know anything about woodworking.


I want to make a miniature violin (nonworking) with a hidden keyhole at the base of the neck that allows a box to slide out from the body. I'm kind of already stumped on the lock part. I don't really know what kind of lock I would use, or even how exactly the lock would be attached to the box. The way I picture it in my mind, the lock holds the box in from the back. Would it work that way? I'm also considering just attaching the lock at the front if it will be much simpler, but I want to try to add as many puzzle box elements as I can to it.


Aside from that, what kind of tools would I need for this project? I bought a jig saw to be able to cut the curves of the side of the violin. It might not be the best tool for the job, but I don't quite want to spend a ton of money and find it's something not up my alley. I don't know if I'd be able to give the top and bottom the curve that a real one has, so it'll probably just be flat, unless there's some easy way for a beginner to do it? Also, what kind of wood would be recommended? Would basswood work well? And could I find it easily in size I'd need? My estimated dimensions are 13"x7"x~2" for the body (as in not including the neck up).


Any other tips and advice on this project would also be appreciated.


Here is a rough picture showing how I want things to work out in case my explanation wasn't very good. http://i.imgur.com/nz3Bky6.png
do a google search for u-tube video's on that , that wouls be the first thing i would do, and see if you have enough tool's to do the project
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-02-2015, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerriblePerson View Post
Thank you for the welcome.

What kind of books and magazines should I look into? And how would I make certain that they have the information that is relevant to this first project? Also, what are some good online tools to use? I've searched for some, but it's easy to get lost with all of the woodworking terminology that I don't understand, and then there are just so many different tools...


The way I was hoping it would work was to have three pieces of wood, two thin pieces sandwiching a third thick piece. The thin pieces would serve as the top and bottom, and the thick would be the side. I'd clamp all of them together with enough clamps to cut through all three and have close to an equal cut on all three pieces. This would let me cut out the interior to make room for the drawer and then glue the three pieces together and have the violin made like that. Then the other pieces like the neck and the bridge are small and simple enough to cut out of a single piece... hopefully.

Does that sound like it would work well? I'm concerned about how exactly to make the sliding pieces making it like that, and also if I can add enough detail without very expensive tools to make it not look shoddy.
I dont think it would work too well... jig saws are not fantastic about cutting perfectly vertical, the blade can bend, especially in thick hard wood. but maybe if your super slow......

where will you get the thin wood? I dont usually see anything thinner than 4/4 stock which is 3/4". you could plane it down if you had a planer...

you cant just cut the door out of the back. the 1/8" thick blade would lose too much material and leave too much of a gap. So you probably need to cut out your opening, and then cut the door out of a different peice of wood to fit inside of it. doing any of this very precise straight parallel cuts with a jig saw is going to be near impossible.
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