Home > Woodworking > Shoeshine box completed and noodling around the shop

Shoeshine box completed and noodling around the shop

Good news, after 4 coats of polyurethane I’m calling my shoeshine box finished.

Shoeshine Box Finished

The final touch was to add a length of brass chain to support the open lid. Getting the correct length and placement was by trial and error but honestly it was a very quick process. I began by estimating the length and installing it. I tried to make sure that the chain wouldn’t get caught when closing but again, trying it was the only way I was sure it would be clear.  Initially the chain was a bit too long resulting in the box trying to topple over from the weight of the heavy lid. Shortening the chain a bit allowed the lid to still lean open yet still be upright enough to better center the gravity over the edge of the box. Success with the second attempt.

Box Opened

The Final Touch - A Brass Chain

Susan thought it came out great and she was serious. Of course I know every detail of every mistake and blemish. Overall I’m pleased and ready to move on to other learning projects.

While the final coats of poly were drying, I took some time to clean up around the shop and fiddle with some of the ideas I have had bouncing around. One of my price finds from one of my “shop at home” experiences was a Record #3 vise. It belonged to Susan’s ex-husband (my husband-in-law?). The device is a beast and not really all that appropriate for woodworking but I just know it will be a value part of my shop, I just don’t yet know what for. Not knowing how or even where I’ll use it, I wanted it to be mobile so I’ve always intended to make a mount for it.  Saturday, I finally knocked it out.

Record #3 Vise w/ Mount

I also want to put some wood friendly pads on the jaws but I’d first have to get rusted screws loosened. The other option I am considering is to make some wood pads and inset some rare earth magnets in them so they can be easily taken on or off as desired. I’m also wondering if I shouldn’t apply some rust-oleum type paint or perhaps phosphoric acid to convert the rust. The vise is entirely serviceable but I would like to protect the device and the rust is un-professional looking. Any way, I can now move the vise to any location that I can clamp to. Yeah, now I can really use the thing!

So what’s next?

My youngest Alex, gave me this for Christmas last year and I have been negligent doing anything with it.

Alex's Gift to Me

So this is actually my next activity and I don’t expect it to take long. I’m going to cut grooves following Alex’s lines and then darken them with some paint. After that I’ll put on a few finish coats and hang it with some of that brass chain I purchased for my shoeshine box. I will need to sand a bit before the finish as I see there are several crayon marks on the surface (of course).

I’ll be cutting my first dovetails by hand “real soon now”. I really want to give it a try I just haven’t had a chance to get started yet. I’ll practice a while before cutting the cypress for Susan’s Dad’s urn. What’s the saying, “Everybody has a certain number of  bad dovetails that you just have to get rid of before you can start cutting the good ones!”. It’s a rite of passage and I’m excited to get started.

You have been reading an excerpt from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer.

  1. May 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Nice work! What wood did you use? I may have to make one for myself one of these days.

    • May 20, 2013 at 11:20 am

      I used a premium grade of pine from Lowes and stained it in golden pecan which darkened it a bit. Also I couldn’t believe how much they wanted for that chain. It was $10 but the good news was it was for15ft of it. Plenty for future projects.

  2. May 20, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Nice job & I like your bad dovetails saying 🙂

    I’ve been meaning to fix my big metalwork vice to a ply base that I can clamp to my bench for ages and your post has inspired me to sort it out this weekend.

    • May 20, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Awesome John! I debated whether or not to make it bigger for more clamping options. I opted for “just big enough” to support the vise and have clamping space. Time will tell if I got it close to right or not. 🙂

      I’ll read with interest how you tackle yours.

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