Saturday, January 11, 2014

Box Making Tutorial--Part 2

Ultimate goal--For reference only

Today's discussion of the box making process is gluing the pieces of the box together. Before I continue, I must share with you some information. There are two ways to assembly the box. Whichever way you choose will affect the final dimensions of your cut pieces. One way is to glue the pieces to the SIDE of the base so that all of the side pieces rest flush against the surface. In this manner, the interior of your box is the dimension of your base (less the thickness of the covering materials). The second manner is to place the side pieces on top of the base so that they base is the part that rests flush against the surface. In this manner, the dimensions of the interior are diminished by the thickness of the walls and the covering materials; therefore, you have to account for those measurements when calculating the size of the base to begin.

There are numerous discussion about which is better, yada, yada, yada. I learned the first type of box making and those are the dimensions that I am sharing with you.

The finished assembly
In the picture above, you can see what I mean by the sides of the walls being adhered to the side of the base. To accomplish this, the width of the short walls (SW) are cut exactly to the measurements of the short side of the base. The width of the long walls (LW) are cut to the length of the side of the base plus two added thickness of the boards are added to this dimension before cutting. Once the short walls are attached to the sides of the base, you need this added length to cover the entire long side of the box.

Pieces ready to assembly with
glue guides
When assembling the box, you need to apply glue only to those surfaces that will be touching each other. When first starting, this can get confusing. I had a teacher who taught us to mark the surfaces with a pencil to use as a guideline to gluing. I have done the same for you above but used marker so that it would show up in the picture. The glue that I use to join boards to one another is PVA which is industrial strength Elmer's Glue (this PVA is not diluted).

For the sake of discussion I have labeled the pieces of the board as Side Edges (SE) and Front Edges (FE). SE are those surfaces that appear when you turn the board on it's side. The FE are those edges that appear when you look directly onto the board. When gluing, do not use an excess amount of glue. Keep in mind that both surfaces that touch will have glue. If glue squirts out when the two pieces are together it is best to try and remove all excess before it dries. If it dries you will have to sand it away which is more difficult. Dried glue could cause bumps when covering with paper or leather.

Base: Place glue on all four SE.

Base Side Edge
 Short Wall: Place glue on the bottom FE and the two SE.

Short Wall FE
Short Wall SE
Long Wall: Place glue on the bottom FE and the right and left FE.

Long Wall FE

Get a piece of clean newsprint and place on a hard surface. Take one Short Wall and place it against the corresponding side of the base. Make sure that it is perpendicular and flush against the base.

Take the second Short Wall and place it against the opposite end. Once again, make sure it is perpendicular and flush. Don't panic if they start to lean. They will become more secure once the long walls are in place.

Take one Long Wall and place it against the base and the two Short Walls. Here where precision is important. make sure that the long wall covers the entire length of the box (which includes the two Short Walls).

Take the second Long Wall and place it like the first Long Wall. Make sure all corners are perpendicular. Also press the corners on the inside of the box to make sure that the box is flat against the all surfaces. Turn the box over (it should be stuck to the newsprint). Feel along the bottom of the box (through the newsprint) to make sure that everything is flush. You will be able to feel if something is not flat or sticking out of place).

Place the box on a flat surface and let dry.

When the box is dry, tear off the newsprint and sand the bottom of the box to remove any extra newsprint remnants. Your box should look similar the the below picture.

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