From Sketch-Up to Reality

VictorianBookshopBell-WoodworksbyJohn-CustomFurniture-LasVegas-1Here’s what the final project looks like before my client applies the finish to it.  It’s always a fulfilling moment when you complete your work and it actually looks like it was envisioned either in your mind, on paper, or both.  In this case, the Sketch-Up drawing was given to me by my client along with written communication of his concept.  I think the results are just what he had in mind.

WoodworkbyJohnHere’s another view of the completed work from the side.  The bell mechanism will be screwed to the bottom piece after the entire assembly is attached to the house.  There will be some electronics and wiring that the sliding cover will conceal.  The radiused section of the lid faces down.



Getting to this stage required some finesse; trimming the assembled box to make sure it was as square and flat as possible before attaching it to the mounting board.  Then the holes for the stainless steel screws were carefully located and counter-bored on the back side of the mounting board.  These are somewhat over-sized to allow for any wood movement.  I always use beeswax to lubricate the screw.  Glue was applied in a few spots and the screws were cinched down tightly in an alternating pattern.  After the glue was fully cured they were backed off a bit to allow for any wood movement.

This was truly an enjoyable project, one I referred to as a “head scratcher” on a few occasions!  That’s the challenge of it all though, creating something totally unique that has you thinking all of the time — I suppose that’s what the saying “outside of the box” really means.  You may recall that to maintain the integrity of the assembled box I pre-cut the opening at the bottom before gluing it together.  Here’s how its removal was handled:

The lid was obviously left intact for the initial fitting into the grooves.  Where it sets into the bottom groove required about a 3/4″ radius which is achieved with a file.  The larger 2 1/8″ radius on the lid was carefully cut on the scroll saw then filed and sanded smooth. I wanted the lid to slide in easily, once the entire unit is mounted on the house it will probably be opened rarely.  The overall goal of the design was for there to be access to the electronics plus have a way to secure it to the house.  With this sliding lid design that goal has been met.

I was able to wrap this package up and send it off to Oregon by noon today — anxious to see how my client feels about the way it’s turned out.

About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
This entry was posted in Antique Victorian Bookshop Bell, Current Commission, Hand Cut Dovetails, Types of Boxes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to From Sketch-Up to Reality

  1. Bob Easton says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice it the client sent back a photo of it and the bell installed, and a video of the bell ringing?

    Beautiful work … as always!


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