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15463Re: 2 methods of build a coffer

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  • Avery Austringer
    Jan 1, 2013
      > I want to make a curved lid coffer for a friend. Would it be better to
      > build the box and lid separately or should I build it in one piece and cut
      > the lid off as I
      would a cubical box?
      > If I do them separately I can clamp and glue the curved wood more
      > efficiently, but with the one piece construction the lid and box are the
      > same size and fit better.

      Here's how I'd approach the problem:

      Step 1 - Make the lid and body separately.  Use pegs and glue for assembly, not metal fasteners.  
      Step 2 - Mount the hinges, line up the back as close to perfect as possible.
      Step 3 - Use a smoothing plane to take any slop out of the front and sides so that everything lines up perfectly.  Feel smug.

      I started doing this with the tongue and groove joinery on the fronts and backs of hutch style chests since there was always just enough slop in the joint to annoy me no matter which technique or how careful I was and then ran with it.  Now days people are impressed by the perfectly flush cut corners of things like Mastermyr boxes and somehow, despite all reason, assume that I'm cutting those boards to withing a 64th of an inch over a length of feet. (In fact, I cut 'em with an extra 1/16th or even 1/8th inch and plane them flush.)

      If you decide to go this route, really think about the grain direction of things and where your excess is going to be to avoid tear out. Also, a smoothing plane with a decent camber (maybe a 1/64th or even 1/32nd of an inch) will make this process a little easier.

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