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Old 11-04-2015, 11:36 PM
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Default Harmonica box

A friend asked me about building a box for his harmonicas. He showed me some pictures of what he had in mind which was a box made out of plywood with mostly fairly crude joinery. I hadn't really done any fine woodworking on boxes before so I decided to give it a shot. I knew it had to serve its basic function but I wanted to make it a little special and try some new techniques. I like working with walnut and had some laying around. the sides and lid border are walnut. The top is half inch plywood with birdseye maple veneer. I used dominos to attach the walnut to the plywood.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:42 PM
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Default Re: Harmonica box

I used sliding dovetails for the partitions. I routed the grooves using my OF1400 on the MFT track. for some strange reason, the depth varied just a hair across a few of them so it made fitting a little more difficult than it should have been. I was able to manage through it fortunately as well as the rest of the issues that would come up. You can also see the wenge I used for the spline joints in this pic.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Harmonica box

One of my challenges was to come up with a way to label each harmonica. There are twelve of them in different keys. I thought about farming that part of the job out but in the meantime, I ran across the new piranha fx kickstarter project that incorporates a laser attachment into a CNC machine. The learning curve was fairly steep for me but I finally figured out how it to engrave the way I wanted it to. I decided to give it the old Whitman's sampler treatment and engrave a guide underneath the lid. I also included one of his favorite quotes.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Harmonica box

I got to the point where I needed to consider the hardware; hinges, latches, etc.
I decided not to use any and instead, I made some wooden hinges. they seem sturdy enough although I have never used them before. I thought they looked cool and put a different skill in the toolbox.

You can also see the inlay around the veneer on the lid. That was my first attempt with a router plane which was a lot of fun to use. I was sort of surprised how quickly and accurately that could be done with hand tools. Go figure.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Harmonica box

this is a shot of the box assembled with the lid up. I made a border (for inside the lid) out of walnut/maple sandwich and cut it to fit.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: Harmonica box

the last thing to figure out was the latch. I decided to make one out of the hinge stock. This picture shows it in place but I haven't quite decided on the final shape. the top part that is glued to the box will be rounded over some and I will probably narrow the part that folds down. I cut a mortise on the front of the box (from underneath) and epoxied a steel washer inside. there is about 1/16th" of wood between the steel and the latch. I am going to epoxy a rare earth magnet on the underside of the latch and hope it has enough strength to hold the lid closed. My preliminary testing worked ok.
I used the CNC to cut a pocket for the treble clef inlay that is made out of wenge. I banged my head against the wall a few times before I figured it out but now I think I could handle most inlays without issue. I thought this one came out pretty nice.
that is where I am in the project. The shaping of the latch and glue up will finish the construction phase. I will sand it and then think about the finish. My plan is to spray lacquer on the different compartments and put something like the maloof finishes on the box itself.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Harmonica box

Awesome box Steve!
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Harmonica box

Thanks Rutager
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Harmonica box

Very nicely done. I'd have to say you've got quite the skill set developed. Your friend will love it.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Harmonica box

Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeTwoBears View Post
Very nicely done. I'd have to say you've got quite the skill set developed. Your friend will love it.
Thanks, he really has no idea what to expect so I am looking forward to giving it to him.
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