|Oil stone box.|
I had the perfect leftover cutoff of golden dumpster wood: a section a little less than two feet long. In a previous life it was a handrail from a stairwell. I liberated as much of the handrails as I could along with a bunch of the stair treads. It's weird to me that this kind of thing winds up in a dumpster, but good for me. I suspect this wood is sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum), but I don't really know.
|Golden Dumpster wood.|
|I planed the board down until the groove disappeared. |
My new Stay-Set 4 1/2 did a fine job with this.
Bill used a big mortise chisel in his video to excavate the sides of his cavity. This worked well for him. I found that a regular bench chisel doesn't really do that job as well, so I went with a 10mm brad point bit in my tiny little eggbeater drill instead. This seemed to work just fine.
|I used a piece of blue tape as a depth stop.|
|I used the 10mm bit to drill holes all around the periphery of the cavity.|
|I started at one end and moved back.|
I found using the front shoe on this open mouthed router plane to be critical for this job. The Lie-Nielsen #71 doesn't have one. A #71 1/2 with the closed throat would do a fine job, too.
|Easy peasy as long as the front shoe is level with the sole of the plane.|
|Same thing for the top. Except I didn't feel like drilling so many holes. |
With a little care, this worked just as well.
|The stone fits.|
Sharpening Stone Aside:I have found that 8" x 2" is a common size for natural oil stones. I have been using stones of this size for the last couple of years, and find that they work just fine. I really liked my waterstones in 3" x 10" sizes, but oilstones in those sizes can be very expensive. The longer sizes of stone really help when using a honing guide, but you only wind up using five inches or so of the stone.
While using my oilstones, I have taken to freehand sharpening. I like to use a honing guide once to set up the angles on a blade, but after that I find it a pretty quick thing to touch it up freehand.
Being able to use slightly smaller stones is a big advantage to the prohibitive cost of some really great stones.
Aside Over.Once everything fit in the box nicely, I moved to the outside of the box to make it pretty. To plane the bevel on the lid evenly, I marked it out with a pencil and put a board under one half of the box lid. This way I could just plane a flat to get close to the line with my jack plane, then use a smoothing plane (I have plenty to choose from) to finish it off.
|Making the beveled lid.|
|The finish came out stunning.|
Alternatively I could have left it unfinished and allowed years of patina to work itself in. For now, I like the shellac finish.
As far as this box goes, it was a very satisfying project. I would recommend it even if your stone is already in a box. The wooden spacers let you get to the very end of the stone when sharpening. I bet if one of them was even longer, it would make using an eight inch stone a lot better with a honing guide, too.
Bill Carter's videos were a big help with this project, and I highly recommend you watch them.
Let me know if you make one, I'd love to see it.