The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

I shouldn't give up my day job

I had the four sides of the box formed.

[Glue—check.  Clamps—check.  Wax paper—check.  Top—check.  Bottom—check.  Sides—check]

It was now time to glue the top and bottom onto the sides. Wax paper to prevent the box being glued to the work surface. Clamps to apply the appropriate amount of pressure while the glue sets.

[The big clamp across the middle is to pull the sides in a bit—they were bowing out just a tad.]

Three hours later, and I have a box. It's a box that, as of now, can't be opened, but that will be addressed shortly. First, some sanding to even the outside of the box.

Fortunately, I was able to get most of the sanding done on the belt sander before the “belt-o-sand” came flying off. [Flag! Embellishment penalty! It did not “fly off” but rather broke in half and made a horrible flapping noise. —Editor] [Spoil sport! —Sean] The hand sander was used to finish the job, and frankly, it didn't look half bad.

[Not bad for my second woodworking project since middle school.]

Now, about making a box that can be opened. The approach is to cut the box in half, along the sides. In theory, I'll have a box and a matching lid with little work.

[Four passes over the table saw.  What could possibly go wrong?]

In theory. In practice … well … I'll state right now, that cutting a box “in half” is way easier to say than to actually do. Yes, I did manage to cut it in half:

[It looks okay, right?]

but sadly, my attempts at doing so where, shall we say, “less than imperfect.”

[And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you pesky reality!]

And every attempt to fix the issues lead to further problems. After reducing the height of the box by nearly half (which was already half my original height, so by now we're talking a quarter of the original height), I decided the best thing to do would be to declare it done, and instead of attempting to add a hinge on one side and a clasp on the other, just have a clasp on each side to hold it together.

Bunny felt I should attempt to fix the issue and finish the box, but I could only see thing getting worse. The box was just tall enough for its intended purpose (a dice-storage and dice-rolling box for the bi-monthly D&D game) and further futzing would be pointless.

Bunny then ask if she could attempt to fix the box. I told her to have fun, but like I was afraid of, in the process of “fixing it” she managed to shorten the height so much that it couldn't store my dice. She's confident that she can fix this problem, by adding some height back to the sides. I'm declaring it a failure and have learned the following from the mistakes I made while building this project.

  1. Do not attempt to resaw lumber that is too wide for the equipment we have (I've found out that the term I was using, “slicing,” is incorrect, and what I was technically doing is called “resawing”).
  2. I should resaw wood of sufficient length so I can send it through the planer.
  3. I should not be afraid of joining several pieces of wood together to form a larger, wider, piece of wood.
  4. I now know how to use the ratcheting strap clamp.

This was a learning experience, and I'm happy to have attempted something a bit beyond my skill level. And while I failed to actually make a box, I did learn from my mistakes, so it wasn't a total loss.

Obligatory Picture

[“I am NOT a number, I am … a Q-CODE!”]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2024 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.