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This course requires pre-registration. If you are interested email boxmaking@woodcraftguild.org.au

Making a simple box

Outline of course for beginners

This will be a machine-driven course using a Gifkins Jig and a router table.

Participants will be provided with a basic ‘ready to build’ box making kit. This will include solid timber boards, 85 mm wide and about 12 mm thick for the back, front and sides of the box. Also included will be box hardware and MDF or plywood suitable for the inserts in the lid and the base. Veneer sheets will be supplied to enhance the top and bottom of the lid insert. The box panels in the kit will be cut to size.

Day 1. 9.00 – 10.00 am, Session 1:

1. The process that will be used to make the box will be described, including how to set-up and use the Gifkins jig.
2. Lay out the box-making kit and decide which side of the wood you will use as the face (outside) and inside. Mark the face of each board clearly.
3. Divide into two groups. The work will progress more easily if participants who are more comfortable using a router are in the same group.

Using the Gifkins Jig and Veneering

10.00 – 11.00, Session 2:
11.00 – 11.30 Morning tea.
11.30 – 1.00 pm Continue Session 2

Group A, Session 2:

1. Demonstration of how to use the Gifkins Jig with an A 10 template and cutters.
2. Participants will then cut their own dovetails and pins using a router table and Gifkin jig.
While waiting,
3. Sand the inside of box by hand or using an orbital sander.
4. Sand the insert for the bottom of the box.

Group B, Session 2:

1. Participants in Group B will be given a demonstration of veneering. Veneers will be supplied, and participants can then apply veneers to both sides of their lid insert.
While waiting,
2. Sand the inside of box by hand or using an orbital sander.
3. Sand the insert for the bottom of the box.


Using the Gifkin Jig and Veneering (continued)

1.00 – 1.30 pm Lunch
1.30 – 3.30 pm, Session 3:
Group B, Session 3: As for Group A in Session 2
Group A, Session 3: As for Group B in Session 2

Day 2: 9.00 – 10.00 am

Session 4: Applying finish to the inside surfaces. SOME PARTICIPANTS MAY DO THIS ON DAY 1

Demonstration of applying shellac. Shellac will be applied to the inside of the box. The dovetail joints will be covered with painters-tape so they stay clean for gluing. Apply finish before cutting rebates to avoid getting finish into the slot. Apply shellac to both sides of the lid insert and bottom of base.

10.00 – 11.00 am

Session 5: Cutting rebates for the box base and lid insert. Fitting the top and bottom of box. Glue-up.

1. Cut the rebate for the box base and the lid insert using the rebate cutter with the box assembled on the router table.
2. Cut the box base to size using either the table saw or the bandsaw.
3. Cut the lid insert to size using either the table saw or the bandsaw.
4. Glue up the box.

11.00 – 11.30 am Morning tea

11.30 – 1.00 pm

Session 6: Clean up the corners and split the lid.

1. When the glue is dry, use a linisher to sand any protruding joints to leave a clean surface (can also be done with a plane).
2. Separate the lid from the box. 1.00 – 1.30 pm Lunch

1.30 – 3.00 pm

Session 7: Hinges and lid lifter.

1 Cut a rebate for the strap hinges on a router table with a 6 mm cutter. If a participant has a box that is badly out of shape, then butt hinges will have to be used.
2 Decide what form of opening mechanism you want. A brass latch will be supplied.

3.00 – 4.00 pm

Session 8: Finishing.

1. Fixing any mistakes
2. Sand outside of box to 320-400 grit
3. Apply oil or shellac.

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