Sunday, April 13, 2014

Part Two of my toy box build.

I'm going to spend a little more time on the toy box today. I need to get it completed as soon as possible. I have to deliver it next weekend.

This is the bottom of the box. It needs a round-over detail routed on the front and both sided.I am using my router table but a hand held router will do fine for this job.  
This picture shows a small round-over I routed on three sides. 
While I had the router table set up I worked on the lid also. I did the same three sides but on the lid I did the top and bottomto give it a bull nose effect.
I set the box on the bottom. Make sure it is lined up with equal space all around. 
Use a square in one corner to make sure the box is squared up. If you screw it down out of square the lid will bind. Start with one screw then make sure it's still square. As you install more screws keep checking it.   
Here is the box with the bottom installed . Notice the over lap of the bottom. Notice that the front paned is set back from the sides by 1/2". I'm going to install the child's name on the front using 1/2" thick MDF. The recessed front panel will Let the letters sit back a little. 
The next step is to plug the pocket holes. Kreg sells these plugs along with the screws. Put a little glue in the hole and install the plug. 
Install a plug in every hole. Let the glue dry for a while before you start sanding them flush. 
A sander and some elbow grease is needed to get the plugs flush. The better you get the sanding done here the better the paint job will look.  
I'm going to finish up this session by easing over all the sharp edges and do some prep sanding. MDF has very porous edges. If you don't prep it right you will have trouble getting paint to cover the edges. I'm going to sand the edges as silky smooth as possible going through the grits. I'll sand down to at least 220 grit. In the next session I'll make a solution to apply to the edges to seal them. This sealer will keep the paint from soaking in so bad. I'm going to take a break and do some more work tonight. 

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Part One of my toy box build. Long Post with lots of pictures.

My wife informed me it was time to build another toy box. Our great-niece Aubrey is about to turn one. Over the years I have built either a rocking horse or toy box for the kids as they turn one. I always try to use the scroll saw to customize the toy boxes with ornaments and names.

I thought some of you might interested to see my progress as I go along. This is my day one progress. I pretty much have the box pieces cut. If I don't get called in to work tomorrow I'll start with the detail work. When I have everything finished I'll publish all the dimensions for the box. I'll also make a few different ornamentation so you can make your own custom toy box.

I visited my local Home Depot and picked up five sheets of 2' X 4' X 3/4" MDF. I plan to paint the final project so MDF is a good choice over plywood. MDF is very heavy but it paints well and it's pretty easy to work with. I'll be using pocket hole joinery for construction.
From my drawing I start cutting down the MDF to size. Remember, MDF is not good on the lungs so make sure you use your dust mask and have your shop well ventilated before you start.
Here are the outside walls of the box cut to rough size. I'll cut the lid and bottom later once the box is assembled. It's easier to cut those pieces to size by measuring than to cut them from the drawings. You can adjust the size if needed that way.
My drawings have the template for the curves of the side and back walls. My plans are printed on 8.5 X 11 paper so I'll have to cut and assemble the template. The picture is for one of the side walls.
In this picture I have the template taped together and ready to apply to the side wall.
I carefully tape the template to one of the cut side walls. Just put the tape on the bottom of the template so you can lift the top in insert the carbon paper. Double check that you are putting the template on the top of the side wall.
You can use carbon paper to trace the template lines but I just use a sheet of paper with pencil. It works fine. 
Carefully trace the template curves on to the side wall. You can lift the template and make sure you have a good tracing before you remove the tape. You don't have to be perfect here. You are going to have to sand the final curve anyway to get it smooth.
Once you have a good tracing you can remove the template. If you need to, go over the tracing again to get a line you can see easily.
I'm going to use a jig saw to do a rough cut of the curves. Stay just outside the template line. We will sand the curves to their final finish. Make sure you clamp the piece to your workbench. You want to make as smooth of a cut as you can so you don't have more sanding than necessary. By the way, I'm using my new 20v cordless DeWalt jig saw. I now have the drill, circular saw and jig saw. These tools have power to spare. I'm really impressed with these products. 
I finished the rough cut with the jig saw. Now it's over the the spindle sander.
A spindle sander is the right tool for this job. If you don't have one then just sand by hand until you get a nice smooth curve. Take you time here and get it right.
Even with the spindle sander I still finish off the sanding by hand.