Well, I got my first commission, sort of. I mean I was asked to make something for free. A friend wanted something that would cover an outlet in their kitchen. They used the outlet to plug in a number of devices like cell phones and a clock radio. They wanted a box that would allow the cords to come out and they needed to be able to remove the box from time to time. And… they wanted it to match their existing cabinets.
This was great since I have never made anything this small. I have spent my time making large cabinets for computers and tv’s. I also have some great curly maple sitting in my shop begging to become jewelry boxes, so this was a chance to practice. I recently took the plunge and bought a moving fillister from Lee Valley. I got a discount from being at the Woodworking in America conference. I have a Record Rapier plow plane which works great, so the moving fillister was the next big thing. With these two planes I was able to plow the groove for the top panel to sit in and I used the moving fillister to raise the panel.
The first task was to decide on the thickness of the parts. I decided to try and get close to ¼ inch in thickness as I thought anything thicker would make the box to heavy looking. Since the thickness was going to be ¼ inch, I decided dovetails would not be the thing to do. While writing that sentence, I am thinking I could have done dovetails couldn’t I??? Well, anyway, I did mitre joints, on the table saw. I wanted to clean them up on my shooting board but the mitre attachment is not right to hold the work in place. Chris suggested a Donkey’s Ear, I heard Donkey’s Ass, and took it as a reference to my work… Well I got straighten out and will make one soon.
Anyway, here is a picture of the box. I left the bottom of the box open; see pic below. I say bottom when looking at the box mounted on the wall. Not sure if “bottom” is the correct term for this part. Sorry to confuse. It is one side of the piece that is a different width. Now the electric cords can pass through the box onto the counter. I used a French Cleat to hang the box so it can be removed easily. I didn’t spline the mitres, just glue. I did reinforce them with a very small glue block however they were surprisingly strong with just glue.
One last thing. I proudly gave the box to my friend who seemed impressed. He had it with him the next day at work. Yup, I made it a hair to small, so I quickly made another.