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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New lid liner technique

Many scrolled boxes uses a technique where the inside of the box is cut out, the inside face is sanded, the wood for the bottom is glued on, and the outside profile is cut.  Lids for this type of box are usually cut from wood that is 1/4" to 1/2" thick, and match the profile of the box.  These lids are usually held in place by a liner that varies from 1/8" to 14" thick.

As I worked on the projects for the box book, I found that the easiest way to get an accurate outline for the liner was to turn the box upside down on the wood for the liner, after the inside was sanded, but before the bottom was glued on.  It was easy, at that point, to trace the inside profile of the box directly on the wood and get a liner that fit well.  The lid would then be cut from the same pattern as the box and the liner would be glued into place.

However, gluing the liner to the lid was tricky, since clamping tended to move the liner out of alignment.  I always found that I needed to check and readjust the liner several times until I was satisfied that it was in the right place.  There had to be a better way!

I discovered this "better way" just last week, as Joe was making a guitar box for his grandson.  Since the profile was fairly involved, the liner had to fit just right or the lid would not line up properly.  It occurred to me that it might make sense to change the order of things and my idea worked out very well.  Here's what it involves:

1. Glue the liner to the underside of the piece of wood for the lid.  Clamp the liner and let it dry.
2. Invert the completed box body on the liner, hold it firmly in place and trace its outline.

3. Cut the lid along the outline.

This not only gives you a lid that matches the sanded box body, but a liner that is perfectly positioned. Too bad it took so long to figure this out, but I guess some ideas just need to percolate a bit.

And yes, Joe is allowed to use my scroll saw if he promises to treat it gently.

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