At the Indiana Covered Bridge festival in the Fall of 2010, I saw some neat wood boxes for sale at a craft booth. They were about 1 foot cube. The guy that made them let the corner joint stick out versus sanding them flush.........and they looked good that way.
I had to make a new jig for the table saw, to cut corner joints 3/4" high. Here is photo of making the jig:
I had to buy a dado blade set because the larger box needs joints around 3/4" thick and my table saw blade is only 1/8". I bought this set from Harbor Freight:
I had to glue up the 5 pieces required to make the big box, using 1x4's which are 3/4" thick. Below is photo of the 5 pieces glued up. As I keep telling my wife, a woodworker can never have too many clamps!
Here is my sliding jig for the table saw to cut the corner joints:
I decided to make an animation to show how the jig is used to cut the corner box joints:
When I assembled the big box, I found it was too tall.....this is one time that Google Sketchup's image did not really match the item when built (it looked in proportion in Sketchup)....
I decided to take this tall box and make 2 different boxes from it. Here they are shown in Sketchup:
And here is how they looked when I made 2 boxes out of the one tall one:
I also made one small box from 3/4" stock just to see what it would look like:
Here are the finished big boxes. I did fill in the exposed 1/4x1/4 inch dado joints with 1/4x1/4x1/4 wood plugs which were glued in:
And here are the latest bigger boxes compared to the smaller boxes with sliding lids:
Closing Thoughts on This Project
My 1968 Sears 10" table saw had a worn 2.5 inch aluminum pulley with 5/8" bore and 3/16" woodruff key. Several times, the high load from the 8 inch diameter 3/4" wide dada set caused the pulley on the saw blade shaft to fly off. I finally bought a new pulley at Ace hardware. I did not use the new pulley with the 3/4" wide dado set, but I did use it with the 1/2" wide dado set....and it did not come off.
I operated the saw without a throat guard with the dado set. Since I had a sliding jig, there was little probability of dropping something into the big gap around the blade. If one was doing a lot of dado work, a modified throat guard should probably be used.
I did have one safety close call with the 1/4" dado set. I placed a 1x4 piece about 10" long against the fence, then ran a box bottom along it to cut the 1/4" groove on the box bottom piece. I left the dummy piece in place between cuts like I did when using a regular saw blade. Apparently the saw vibrated enough that the dummy piece caught on the blade, and it threw the piece at me..........bounced off my stomach, and ended up about 12 feet back from the saw. Since I was not standing directly behind the piece, it bounced off of my body. The moral of the story is never stand behind the piece you are cutting and never leave a dummy piece in place while the saw is running.
My saw could just barely cut the 3/4" wide dados 3/4" deep on the big box I made. The blade speed almost went to zero. I made a sound recording of the drop in saw RPM:
When I made one box with 3/4" thick wood, I dado cut 3/4" wide and 1" deep. I had to cut each dado with about 4 passes to keep the blade speed going. One should probably cut these using increments of 1/4" inch depth to keep the blade speed more constant. When I cut 1/8" wide dados 3/8" deep using regular saw blade, there was no drop in speed.
These boxes require a lot of sanding time:
-rip 3/4" standard stock vertically on table saw, finish cut on bandsaw, plane to
finished dimension, belt sand. This works to make 1/4" thick boards max.
-Rotary plane 3/4" stock to 1/2" on drill press using Wagner saf-t-plane, belt sand.
-with either of these 2 methods, the finishing process is the same.
--sand to 220
--sand to 220
-sand to 220
Two things that could reduce labor time is use my old Sears 12 inch wide planer to plane to 1/2" and then use milk paint versus polyurethane to finish.
More to come..............