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Friday, August 9, 2013

Pen Boxes

I've already gotten a couple of emails about how the jig I posted yesterday could possibly have anything to do with making a pen box.
The long piece on the right has knobs underneath to make it adjustable. I put one part of a box in place, tap that clamp block against the part, and tighten the knobs to hold it in place. I have ink pen markings on the jig for several different size boxes. The part on the left, the one you see the knobs on, is an adjustable fence for a router to ride against. Again, I have markings for it to do several different sizes. The pieces that stick out the bottom and top of the jig are also adjustable from underneath. They are stop blocks for where you want the routed holes to start and end.
I am glad to report, I made two boxes today, so I can show you the box style.
I made two boxes. One is made of sapelle and one of sycamore.
They are each made of two pieces of wood. Each piece is six and a half inches long, two and a half inches wide, and three quarters of an inch thick. I set the router to cut three eighths of an inch deep with a three quarter inch bull nose bit. Then I set my jig to route the groove in each piece exactly in the center of each piece, starting and stopping a half inch from the ends.
After making the two pieces on the jig, and marking and predrilling holes for the hinges, I move to my table router, with a quarter inch round over bit, and smooth over the sharp edges. Next I mark and drill a three eighths hole in each piece so I can glue in a magnet on each piece that will hold the box shut. Then, after sanding everything real good, I install the hinges on it. Lastly, on these two at least, I give the whole thing a good rubdown with Johnson's Past Wax.
I like these boxes. I can make them cheaply enough, and easy enough to offer them as an add on item with my pens. I can sell them for ten dollars with a pen order, or a little more if someone wants to buy just a pen box for some reason.
Before starting, I set everything up, including my saws, sander, jig, and table router. With everything set up, I can make up one of these boxes in about thirty minutes. I don't think that is bad considering I plan on offering them with pen orders at a price that I really won't be making anything on them. The idea is for this to be a value added product, with my profits coming from the pens themselves. Later, I hope things go well enough that I can branch out into maybe some fancier boxes that I may actually make a profit on in addition to the pens.
Anyway, these were just two I made a point of getting done today so I could show what they would look like. I've got the hardware to make eight more for now, and will get them done as soon as I can get around to it. 

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