Saturday, June 20, 2015

From sketch to reality...

It's always interesting to watch the progress of a piece, from start to finish. 

Well, at least it is to me! 

An old customer stopped in a few weeks ago, asking about a gift for her husband, who is retiring. She asked me to design a shadow box that would hold some of her hubby's memorabilia, like four mission flags that he had collected over the years, as well as some commemorative coins and military swag. After much back and forth communication, we came up with a box design that could sit in his office, with various spaces to hold his gear.   

People often have a hard time visualizing the end result, so simple sketches help. Here's our final sketch: the interior of the box.  

Luckily, I had some cherry in stock, so I was able to get started on it immediately. And since I teach box making in one of my classes, getting the pieces cut was a breeze. 

I felt like the mahogany plywood bottom panel was staring at me the whole time, but Denny said that wasn't what he thought of when he looked at the grain. Hmmm... what was he seeing?...

Speaking of grain - check out this birthday cake! 

As always, the box is glued together as a whole piece, 

and then cut open. 

Add some hardware and  interior dividers and... BOOM! We've got a keepsake box. 

The coin ledge at the front of the box holds two different rows of coins, and pivots forward to reveal a small secret stash area. Sweet.

I'm not as crazy as some people (Lupe) when applying a finish, so I only apply two or three coats of oil. Oh, and a final application of paste wax. You can't forget the wax! 

The oil really made the colors POP!

 Luckily, the glass shop up the street was able to cut a piece and polish the edges while I waited. This piece came together very quickly!

I have to say that it feels great to make pieces like this for military families. And it's nice to take a break from building BIG pieces and get back to smaller projects. 

Next up.. I'm finishing the dining room chairs that have been lurking in my shop for the past several weeks... stay tuned!

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