My first box

This weekend I got to spend some quality time with my XC. I managed to finish my first box project. I made mistakes at every step but learned a lot. :slight_smile:

On Friday my friend mention that he wanted a small case to carry his D&D miniatures in.
Saturday I made up a simple design in VCarve. I did it as a series of pocket operations. I could have easily done it in easel but have been focusing on getting better acquainted with VCarve.
I decided to use some of the white oak I had gotten for another project as I had extra.

I had not given any thought to my feed and speeds. Using the same setting I had been using for roughing pine and MDF. As a result I was getting some awful chatter with the harder wood.
I was not happy with the quality of the cut (given what I have done before) but decided to finish off the box anyway.

I carved a “Leo” in the lid and filled it with some resin I had.
(The pencil marks are from me finding the center point of the wood. I set the zero point of the carve to the center of the object and set zero point of the machine in the center of the wood so everything would line up right.)

Unfortunately I mixed in too much copper effect powder and it was not setting up. It was a 10 min cure resin and after a hour it was still soft and malleable.
I wound up heating it with a heat gun and that got it to set hard enough to sand.

I finished it off with some hinges I had on hand. Not the right size or type as the screws hit each other when it opened. I wound up moving the screw locations to fix this.

I finished it with some Tung Oil (Again what I had on hand) Finally adding some close magnets and felt.

I can see I have a lot of potential for improvement but on the whole a satisfying first attempt.
Especially given that much of this was improvised form “materials on hand”.


I especially like the way you filled the inlay. It looks great!

You have to admit - that’s pretty sweet. Imagine doing it without the x-carve. Nice work!

looks cool

Nice work!

I’ve found oak to be a bear to work with. But it turned out great, especially that inlay. Every time I cut something I learn something new and advance myself, so keep up the good work!

When I tried an epoxy fill, I found that after sanding the epoxy was cloudy. I tried sanding to finer and finer grits and didn’t seem to solve it. Did you have any problem with your inlay being cloudy from sanding, and how high up the grits did you sand?

I used 80 to rough sand and 200 for fine.
I was using Smooth-on 325 color match resin with bronze effect powder (mica powder not real bronze)
The resin is white without any additive (specifically made for taking dyes.)
And I have found it sands very well.

I didn’t have any fogging but I did have some pitting. You can’t really tell with the bronze effect.
I think the pitting was from me using too much powder. It didn’t all mix well and I had tiny lumps of powder that left pits when sanded out.

I have not tried this with translucent resin. Though I was thinking about doing some over a layer of glow in the dark paint. (I ran out of glow in the dark powder but can get glow in the dark paint at the craft store anytime)

Was thinking more about this. Your epoxy may be harder, more like glass, so it will scratch rather than sand. You might need to “polish” the epoxy. You can get 400 and 600 grit sand paper at your local automotive supply store. See if that does the trick.
You might want to try wet sanding it. That is using a wet sand paper (400 or higher), which you keep rinsing in a bucket of water. This will get a mirror smooth finish.
Or possibly a buffing compound.

@AaronMatthews I’ve tried using 800 grit wet and dry and still had a dull surface. I’ve yet to do some more tests but thus far the only solution was to put a clear gloss coating over it.
Not ideal when I wanted to use oil…

Have you guys tried glazing it with heat? I used to do that to wet sanded acrylic edges and they turned into glass. Just curious if that would work here. Better have ventilation!

I have done a few more resin inlays.
The color match resin dries clear not white (my mistake)
The bubbles were not from too much powder as I initially thought. The resin seems to be foaming.
I am not sure if this is a chemical reaction with the wood or if my batch of resin is just old and getting funky.
I also realized that with the additives I am using I would not really notice if the resin was a little cloudy after sanding. Though I think this specific resin is made to be sanded.
Though if I cant figure out this foaming issue I may have to switch to another type.

When I used an epoxy inlay I had the same bubbles mess it up, I did a little research and found it was from gases trapped in the epoxy during mixing. Using a heat gun before the epoxy is hard will force out most of the gas (and bubbles)

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I am using the fast cure version of this epoxy, with a pot time of 2 min, set time of 10 min
(I use it for casting small items in silicone molds.)
If I switch to the slower cure version it should allow more time for the gas to escape.
I also will see if they have a formulation that is better suited to woodworking.

I tried hitting the resin with a heat gun to see if the heat would soften it enough to allow the gas to escape. This just made it bubble and cure faster. Making it foam up like crazy.

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