I completely ignored the details on the previous posts! I got a few pieces engraved with simple graphic patterns too! They really surprised me..quite a beautiful technique.
Monday, April 19, 2010
A few weeks back i had gone to Gautam and Lavanya's workshop to make my little land box. I had underestimated box making!0.0 I was there for over 4 hrs. Was tiring but it was a wonderful experience! Although it was Easter, Gautum and Lavanya were kind enough to make time for me and were so accomodating!Each step was shown to me once after which i did it myself!:)
Here they were cutting logs of wood to the required size using the band saw,plaining it on the plaining machine to make it even and smooth and then cutting grooves on the table saw:
Here, the pieces were cut for the sides of the box, then smoothened on the belt sander(scary!),then the edges were cut for the single finger joint on the band saw. After this i chiselled the parts that could not be cut on the band saw and then filed it using a filer. Then the sides were all joined together with Fevicol and stuck on a plywood base. The insides were then measured to find out if they were perpendicular. Once this was determined, the pieces were secured with rubberbands for it to stay in place until it dried up:
Once the sides were fixed well, i had to fill the gaps between the joints. I did this by making a pasty dough out of saw dust and fevicol and applied it using a blade so that it could be pushed through the gaps. Once this dried, i put another layer. Now it's ready to be cut and sanded:
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Once i had the sample box, i wanted to take some advice from someone who would be able to tell me what material would be good for it and also overall feedback and suggestions. So i spoke to John, Gautam, Lavanya, Sudipto. It was sooo helpful!
John: He said that the MDF sample looked the way ti did only because of bad craftsmanship and that it could be polished and finshed to be made to look pretty decent. He said that i should give it to a polisher who would sand,fill the gaps, make it even and polish or paint it, based on the look i want. A wooden box would be more expensive to make compared to MDF. Here are some of the things we discussed:
Sudipto: He explained the whole process of box making so that i have an idea. He also showed me how to do drawings that would make it easier for me to explain to the carpenter. He suggested i work with timber instead of MDF. He also showed me ways to determine and differentiate between the cost of producing a prototype and the manufacturing cost of several units of a product.
Gautam: We covered almost all aspects of the box in our conversation-material,hinges,design,cost, etc. MDF is cheap but cant hold hinges/nails well, cannot withstand moisture at all, not very durable and is not a very child friendly material as it uses glues that are not safe.Also, the lid of the box could fall and jam fingers as it is very heavy and the hinges are such. For this he suggested:
1. The lid could be bigger than the bottom which would make it hard to jam fingers.
2. Could be a box with a lid that can be removed completely rather than hinged.
3. The hinges could be of a better quality, which enables the box to open and close differently(slower) but these hinges would be very expensive.
He aslo said i should find out if there's anything i can spray the MDF with, to make it moisture resistant because even a little bit of moisture can make the MDF bloat.
He also said i should make the grooves much wider.
He said having a table top with grooves would create a separate play space for little land, but a box would allow them to carry it anywhere and play.
He said i should speak to Lavanya as she knew alot about box making and could probably help me make one.
Lavanya: She asked me what i like about the box and what i didnt like about it.
MDF doesnt feel as good/real as wood.
Could look at a different joinery for the corners of the box.
If worked on, MDF can be made to look really nice and finished.
Alot of points overlapped with the points that came up when i spoke to gautam.I told her i used sand paper to sand some of the grooves but it was taking me too long, so she suggested i use a piece of wood or something solid between the sandpaper which would speed up the process and sand it evenly.
I got a sample box made finally over last weekend. I gave it to a local carpenter/furniture maker. He charged me Rs.500 for it(started with Rs.800 and ended up at Rs.500). He said it costs more because he had to buy an entire 8*4 sheet of MDF for my tiny box. I wasnt too happy with the box. I told him exactly how i wanted the pieces to fit in the grooves but none fit. He said the blade that the grooves were cut with, were of only 2mm and 5 mm so he passed the 2 mm blade twice but it still needed to be sanded for the pieces to fit well. It wasnt finished. The box was made with MDF and ply for the base. The hinges were of a bad quality, etc.