Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Viking Chest: Part 3, worst carving ever and jigs are good

Things I learned in this phase of the prototype:
  • I need way more carving practice
  • A box joint jig would be super helpful for making wood hinges
  • A hinge router jig is definitely worth making 
My prototype wood hinge turned out great, the actual hinges not so great. So I reused some cheap metal hinges that I salvaged from some long forgotten box. I scribed around the metal with a layout knife then cut the mortise with a chisel. This worked fine for the most part but that white pine is really soft and one of my mortises came out too deep. A few pieces of heavy paper shimmed it nicely and don't show. The lid still sits a tiny bit askew. I might gumption up and remove the hinges for more tweaking.

Before making more wood hinges I'd like to build a box joint jig. I just need to decide whether it will be Matthias Wandel's, John Heisz', or Stumpy Nubs' new Incra style jig; all have benefits. I'm partial to Stumpy's jig but am hoping to see a few others build it and give some feedback.

The elephant in the room (or blog) is my horrible carving job. The plan was to outline it with a marking knife then chip carve it but the wood was breaking out. So I remove most of the waste with a 1/4" chisel then cleaned out the bottoms with a Dremel router attachment. It was a good plan that I executed terribly. In my defense, the white pine is so soft and brittle that it just wanted to rip, tear, and fly apart. And the lines between the lines were too thin. A better approach would have been a relief carving but I gain some experience. I filled it in with black paint which despite what your eyes tell you, actually made it look better.

Sanding is done, edges are eased, and the first coat of amber shellac has been applied. More about that in the next entry.