The Process

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Once contact has been made and a decision on the choice of timber to be used then the process of creating your box will begin as so.

I begin by carefully choosing the timber which will best suit the project in hand i.e any characteristics throughout the grain of wood that might enhance the style and outcome of the finish.

The beauty of working with exotic timber is that no one piece will ever have the same characteristics as another making your box along with your stamp on it a unique gift like no other.

After sourcing the timber which will be in a rough sawn state, the milling process begins.

Firstly I use a jointing machine to square up the edges on the face side and face edge making sure these are set to a 90degree angle. Using the latest in cutting technology which is a spiral cutter block the pieces are then sent through the thicknesser to a given size making sure an equal amount is taken off all sides. This, therefore, allows more stability and less chance of movement to the finished piece.

 

Now its time to get the cutting list out and proceed to the table saw and work to the measurements agreed with the client. 

 

Once all pieces are trimmed to size I then sand to a finish the side that will be facing the inside of the box before the forming takes place.

The style of box opted for will depend on any profiles handcrafted or machined beforehand to determine the finish required. ie dovetail joints, finger joints, miter joints, etc.

 

At this stage of the box construction, any personalized scripting will also take place, and before its completion, a digital post will be sent to the client to check and clarify to go ahead and complete.

 

The building of the box will begin with all joints being glued and clamped, using the strongest and most trusted wood adhesive on the market worldwide and is stronger than the wood itself. The box structure will be clamped for a minimum of twelve hours allowing for the glue to cure.

 

Now on to the fun bit (kinda) after being released from the clamps its time to clean up any overspill of glue and sand to a finish. Sanding starts from an 80 grit through to a 240 grit using a 120 and 180 in-between. This brings the piece to a very smooth finish yet still allowing the grain of the timber to be penetrated by an oiled finish.

 

So next is what I class as the best part of the project as this is where the box comes alive, it really does begin to show off its unique character.

 

All my boxes are finished with three coats of a superior oil. This contains Tung oil along with other natural oils which not only enhances the grain but also protects the wood from U V RAYS.
After a suction from the hoover and a wipe down of any dust, a generous coat of oil is rubbed into the timber and wiped down after ten minutes to makes sure of no runs of oil.

 

Allowing to dry for a minimum of two hours before a light sanding with a ball of wire wool before another coat of oil is applied. This is repeated for a final time before being left to cure for at least three days.

 

The final part of the finish is the polishing, again this is a three-part process which is as follows:

 

Firstly a browning compound aka Tripoli is applied to a powered buffing wheel and the buffing begins to the outside of the box. This compound is used in the first stage of polishing to rid of any slight scratches or blemishes that cannot be seen to the eye but also enhances the look of the timber by bringing out the grain and putting a slight sheen over it.

 

Secondly, a white compound is applied to a separate buffing wheel, this compound is of a less abrasive polish and is applied with a loose-leaf wheel which enhances the beauty of the grain and adding a Saturn gloss like finish.

 

Finally, I use a chestnut wax to finish, this is pure beeswax blended with a hard-wearing carnauba in a non-harmful,non-toluene solvent to help protect the wood

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