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DIY eyepiece case scrap wood

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#1 cpr1

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:56 PM

For Christmas my wife bought me a porter cable dovetail/finger joint jig and another router to dedicate for the jig.

I am pretty new to woodworking. I have done some rough work but never tried to do something finer.

Having some leftover pine solid wood, pine ply and birch ply, I thought i would give it a go. I practiced with the jig on other scrap pieces until I figured I had it down pretty good.

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The hardest part for me is always finishing. It never comes out just right for me. I know as I do more work it will get somewhat easier, but for now it is pretty tuff to get right.


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I used 3 coats of gloss poly then 2 coats of satin. I had some extra gloss left over and have heard of others doing it this way. Supposed to cut down on cloudiness on satin finish if you used gloss underneath. I do not have the experience to confirm this but I thought I would give it a try.

I think it came out decent. I got a little lazy and left the inside lid gloss.

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Once setup right the PC jig was easy to use and accurate. The joints were pretty tight. I probably could have used no glue but I opted for a light film on the pins and tails.

I did have some minor tearout with the solid pine.

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The eyepiece tray is completely removeable it just sets on some corner braces underneath. The eyepiece tray and bottom are leftover birch 1/2 inch. The top center is pine ply. The bottom is 1/2 ply rabbeted to fit inside. You can tell how the birch accepts the red stain differently than the pine. I use a pre stain conditioner on all the wood.

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Now maybe I can get rid of a few aluminium and soft cases. THX.

#2 herrointment

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:19 PM

Looks fine on this end!

Finishing doesn't get any easier with experience...I destroyed the best surface I'd ever produced in about one minute.

Nice case!

#3 cpr1

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

Thanks Jim. Yeah, I spent double the time finishing versus building it.

#4 dan_h

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:37 PM

<<I am pretty new to woodworking. I have done some rough work but never tried to do something finer.>>

Wow! I'd say you did a really nice job. I'd be proud if I had made that. And the finish looks great.

dan

#5 cpr1

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:00 PM

Well that statement is sort of wrong. I did rebuild my Z12 out of wood. Thanks for the complement.

I am very happy with the outcome, I am just a little picky when it comes new things I don't have a lot of experience in. I like to learn things fully and do the best I can.

THX.

#6 k9yr

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:32 PM

Killer job Chris. I have the large Astrosky eyepiece chest, it's beautiful but too heavy for me. Your's looks just awesome.... :waytogo:

#7 cpr1

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:50 PM

Thanks Jeff. I like the Astrosky cases also. He does some great work. I like his work so much he is building me a 16.


I haven't weighed or used the case yet. I just finished the last coat of poly today so I will let it out gas for a few days.

I used left over solid pine 1x8 for the dovetail box. It is 18 1/2 x 8 1/2 inside. Inside depth is around 7 1/2. THX.

#8 roscoe

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:25 PM

Chris,

If this is your 'new to woodworking' project results, you're going to be a force to reckon with in about three more weeks! Excellent job!

Russ

#9 StarWrangler

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

Looks like Showroom Quality to me,

Alan O.

#10 cpr1

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

Thanks for the kind words Russ and Alan. Much appreciated.
Does anyone know how long it should air out? It still smells like poly. Will it damage the coatings on my eyepieces?


I first tried to dovetail the lid corners but something went wrong somewhere and the lid was 1/4 lifted on one corner versus the other. and it would not set flat. Of course after the titebond 3 dried with the dovetails there was no moving it.

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So I made the butt jointed one you see in the finished box. I payed more attention to how flat and square it was and it came out better.

Later after construction I found out that I could have made the entire box with the lid height added in and just cut the lid on a table saw. :foreheadslap: Live and Learn I guess.

#11 roscoe

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:34 PM

Chris,
Yep, sawing the box apart after gluing it all up is a standard trick.
Another good trick is to make the joint stepped - so it has a little lip on the inside to make it more dust-proof. when you have cut out the four sides, and before dovetailing, set your table saw blade height to half the thickness of your side pieces, and saw the 4 pieces from the inside, then move your saw fence one blade thickness, and saw from the outside, so the outside cut is one blade width lower than the inside cut.
The piece of wood will come apart, but you can test-fit them, and tape them together inside and out, and cut your corner dovetails, slots for top and bottom, etc. Then glue the sides together (make sure glue doesn't seep into the box-lid joint) and put in the bottom.
Remove the tape from the inside of the box before gluing in the top, or doom will occur!!
Then, after the glue sets up, peel the outside pieces of tape off, and there's your box.

Russ

#12 cpr1

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:30 PM

Thanks for the tips. I had thought about edging the lid but was unsure if the thinner edge would hold up when I dovetailed it. You know, tear out on the top corners. Thanks and I may try that in future if I make another later on.

#13 StarWrangler

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

dovetail was a sign of quailty workmanship in the old
furniture making days.

It also usualy ment it being made of real wood,

Alan O.

#14 Rutilus

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

Superb work. I'm doing the same with these boxes, which I get for free, just need some free eyepieces now.

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#15 Pinbout

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:59 PM

I first tried to dovetail the lid corners but something went wrong



that is really sweet work. I like the lid not dovetailed, what you wound up doing looks much better.

#16 cpr1

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:23 PM

Thanks, Rutilus and Danny. Rutilus I like your boxes did you make them? What does the Asian symbol mean?

Alan I like the zipper look of a dovetail joint. I did not attempt dovetailing plywood yet. I don't know if it is possible without bad tear out.

I have seen some hand cut dovetail joints on boxes before and was amazed. THX.

#17 Anil

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

Nice work :)

#18 Rutilus

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:01 PM

Chris - The boxes are wine boxes from Fortnum & mason
in London England. I think the design is the company logo.

#19 roscoe

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:27 AM

Thanks for the tips. I had thought about edging the lid but was unsure if the thinner edge would hold up when I dovetailed it. You know, tear out on the top corners. Thanks and I may try that in future if I make another later on.


Chris,

If you want to do a stepped (or straight) seam bewtween the bottom and top, set it so it happens in the middle of a pin/tail, so there is no chance a very thin piece will break out. The stepped method I described above yields only a 1/8" step, so it doesn't disturb much wood. Also, if you cut the lid right off, set the blade so it barely goes through the stock, it keeps the corners cleaner.
Russ

#20 cpr1

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:48 AM

Thanks Anil.

Rutilus that must be some expensive wine to have packaging like that.

Thanks Russell smart idea, makes sense. I'll have to remember that in the future.

#21 Astro Sky

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:23 AM

Nice case,you doing good job Chris.
I just finish made one today for Ron M.

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#22 Astro Sky

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:58 PM

#2

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#23 terraclarke

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

One would never know that you were "pretty new to woodworking." Your new eyepiece case looks totally professional. Beautiful craftsmanship :bow:

#24 cpr1

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:23 PM

Thanks James, I really like the long hinge that you used for that case. Also the mitered corners are really nice.

Terra thanks so much. I am envious of your collection of classic and vintage scopes.

#25 ubermick

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 04:36 PM

Beautiful work, Christopher. Really impressed with that. Currently trying to plot putting together a wooden case, after falling in love with the Wood Wonders cases. Have already spent more than twice the cost of buying one just in getting the tools I figured I'd need for it...! :whistle:






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