Art box finished, or at least completed

I finished the art box this past weekend.  Well, I finished making it, I wouldn’t say the “finish” is done yet.

Overall I’m please with how it turned out.  The dovetails are not perfect but I left them as they are.  I have to have something look back and cringe about, right?


Notice the electric brad gun I borrowed from my mom.

The bottom is a nailed on 1/4″ oak plywood.  At first I was going to inset the bottom but I forgot to take that into account before cutting the dovetails.  Rabbeting a piece of solid wood for the bottom could have worked but I didn’t have any wood in the right size.  Laziness won out on this one; I just wanted it done.  The good part about nailing it on (and I thought of this after the fact) was that if the bottom gets trashed it is easily replaced.  I should have started with that instead of the laziness line.

A quick comment on the material used.  The box was constructed from radiata pine bought from big blue so I wouldn’t have to worry about knots.  It’s the premium product down here and I’ll never use it again if possible.  The radiata pine crumbles and explodes (maybe a slight exaggeration but only slight) when chiseled.  I thought it was me but apparently not.  Lesson learned.

Initially, I thought milk paint would be the covering of choice but my wife decided she wanted a more natural finish.  I read a post by the emailless Voldemort on a wiping varnish that sounded easy.  I’m really kind of clueless on finishing so I’m trying to fix that.

The recipe is one part mineral spirits, one part boiled linseed oil, and one part non-polyurethane satin varnish.  Mix in a mason jar, rag it on, sand a little, done.  As a bonus you get a nice amber color as well.  There’s no way for me to screw this up, right? Well…

The first problem was finding a non-polyurethane satin varnish.  After much reading on the all-knowing Internets, I discovered that a poly varnish would suffice.  Great, the blue box store has that so I grabbed some.

After mixing up my batch I noticed it was bleach blonde rather than the nice dark honey color as shown on the-one-who-shall-not-be-emailed (TOWSNBE) blog.  Eh, let’s give it a go and see what happens.

Insert blonde joke here.

Several coats later and the box is just kind of…yellow.  Sort of.  Back to the Internets.  Ah, the first mistake was the non-poly varnish (which gives a darker color, I’m told) that was not used. And the clincher, I bought a water based poly rather than an oil based.


Crap.  Sherwin-Williams  said they have the correct non-poly varnish so I’ll grab some of that today.  I’ll use the rest of my California blonde finish on my bench; just to get rid of it.

Kind of hard to tell but imagine SYP but yellower.

While waiting for the box to dry I did manage to cut up two of my cherry boards for the mystery project.


Looks like I may have enough leftover to make myself a little pencil box to store my compass, dividers, six inch rule, and pencil.  I’ve started going through “By Hand and Eye” and these tools are essential to unlocking the master designer hidden inside me.  Interior dimensions are about 4″x7″ so this will be a small box.  More on that as it develops.

I’m playing bass this weekend so most of free time will be spent on learning songs on bass.  I haven’t played bass since about this time last year and had to borrow a friend’s Fender P-Bass.  Which was nice of him but now I’m reminded that I want to build a Jazz bass.  Wonderful.

Until next time, have a good one.

Eat a peach,


2 thoughts on “Art box finished, or at least completed

  1. Honestly, there is not a reason. From what I have been able to piece together, Danish Oil and a wiping varnish are fairly similar. But yes, it was mainly a learning opportunity and I have learned a few things. So that’s progress, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

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