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CRTA Art Show 2013

This is the fourth time I've participated in the Retired Teachers Art Show.  This year I've made boxes using techniques relatively new to me.  After many years of being terrified of the table saw I've finally learned to treat it with great respect and also to respect the great job it does of making some cuts.  Because of the table saw I've been able to make splined, mitered-corner boxes.  This allows me to use up many of the nice small pieces of wood I have.  I've made a jig to cut the miters on the corners and a sled to cut the slots for the splines.  I cut the splines themselves on the band saw and then mill them to the correct thickness using hand planes.  I also cut them using a hand saw which is much safer than trying to use a power saw to cut such small pieces.  If a spline is a bit too thick I take Doug Stowe's advice and give it a couple of whacks with a metal hammer which is usually enough to make it slide into place.  The splines are decorative, in that I usually use a contrasting wood but the main purpose of them is to add mechanical strength to an otherwise relatively weak joint. The boxes I have in this show sell for between $40.00 and $60.00 depending on the wood, the complexity of construction and my satisfaction with the end product.

Three-leaf business card holder

Business card holder with three leaves scroll-sawn into the top.

One of my new offerings for the Calgary Retired Teachers Art Show in 2013 is a series of wooden holders for business cards.  The idea came from Charles Mac in an article in Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement.  I was delighted with the idea because it permits me to use up many small pieces of scrap. The three-leaf card holder gave me a chance to practice my scroll-sawing skills and it seems to be one of the more popular designs.  These card holders sell for $20.00.




Small Spruce Box

I always seem to have bits of 2X4 hanging around the shop.  I decided to use some of it by making a few boxes and leaving them unfinished so the owner can use their own design to complete the box. This little box could hold a few pairs or earrrings. The body of the box is spruce but I found a nice piece of fir for the lid.  This box and its companions sell for $10.00.

Red Oak and Walnut Box

I meant to make a series of boxes all the same, small and about 2 inches square. Because I found many other pieces of wood in different dimensions this is box is lonely at the moment.  I have never worked with red oak before and I was quite happy with the way this box turned out.  I've used mitered corners reinforced with walnut splines to match the lid. Price $30.00

Cherry and Walnut Box

I'm pleased with this box.  It was one of the first that I made using the table saw. I cut the stock to size, created the mitered corners, cut the slots for the splines and  cut the rabbet on the lid all with the table saw. Before this project the only thing I would use the table saw for was cross-cutting with a sled. Price $50.00

Purpleheart and Cherry Box

Purpleheart is a difficult wood to work.  It is brittle, has large pores and leaves purple dust everywhere;  nonetheless, there is nothing like the surprise when I tell someone that the wood is not dyed: that's just the colour of it.  I have a friend who absolutely hates purpleheart.  As a result I have salvaged quite a bit from his 'burn bin.'  I'll be able to keep using it for boxes or accents for some time. Instead of using purpleheart for the lid I used it for the body of the box and chose cherry for the lid. Price $40.00



Three Grains Business Card Holder

The shapes on the front of this reminded me of grains of rice, or wheat. The top and bottom are maple and the sides are mahogany. Price $20.00

Cedar Freeform Box

I bought a cedar post to make puzzle boxes and had some left over.  This box is the result.  It features a walnut handle on the lid. Price $20.00

Jatoba and Maple Box

A friend was lucky enough to obtain some jatoba, also called Brazilian Cherry.  He offered me one of the boards and this is the first box I have made from it.  There will be at least one more. it is a gorgeous wood to work with a deep rich colour and for contrast I was able to find a piece of curly maple to use for the bottom. Price $60.00

Duck Business Card Holder

Two other students and I are in a class making maple workbenches.  One night I was offered 20 offcuts all 1/8 of an inch thick.  I didn't know what I was going to use them for but knew they were worth saving from the burn bin.  My first thought was box bottoms but when I discovered the business card boxes I knew exactly how to use the maple. I searched around for small patterns to put on the front. A duck is probably a bit weird but it might appeal to someone. The sides of this holder are purpleheart. Price $20.00

Maple Box

Although the body and the lid of this box are both hard maple, the figure and colour is quite different.  I have been looking at the piece that became the lid for quite some time, waiting for a project to properly show it off. The splines are walnut for contrast. Price $40.00


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