“BEADS OF COURAGE” BOXES

“Beads of Courage” are beads that children, with a serious illness, collect for every medical treatment that they receive. The organization that runs this program, asks woodworker’s guilds to make bowls and boxes for the children to store their beads in.

 

To make the lid, I resawed a 2×6 cedar into six 1/16” thick slices. It’s best to sand the top and bottom slice to the finish sanding now, before you bend the wood. It’s a lot easier to sand it while the board is straight.

 

Using a bandsaw, I cut a 2×6 fir board for a form to shape the cedar slices. Be sure to line the form with wax paper, so any glue that oozes out of the cedar slices, won’t glue the form to the cedar.

 

After you trim up the edges on the lid, trace the shape onto the boards that you are using for the sides of the box. I used ½” “Russian birch” for my box. I picked this up at Menards. I chose this because it is reasonably priced, and you can find some interesting grain patterns with it.

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I just used glue to assemble the box. Make note though, that you want to do the finish sanding on the insides of the box panels before glue up, because it is too hard to do a good sanding job afterwards. After it’s all assembled, do the finish sanding on the outside. I used a 1/16th roundover router bit to smooth all the edges.

 

Here is a similar box that I made, with the top glued on solid, for a donation box.

 

The “bowl” I made used the same ½” Russian birch. I made some errors making this bowl, but I will explain the correct procedure that I should have used, when making the bowl.

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I decided it would look good to use 20 staves for this. So for a complete circle of staves, divide 360° by 20 staves. There will be an angle cut on both sides of the stave, so you need to divide that total by 2 also. This calculates to a 9° bevel on the sides of the staves. Just rip one side of the stave for now. Next cut the staves to the length you want. Keep in mind that some of this length will be shortened when you have to sand down the top and bottom of the bowl after the glue up.

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To figure the width of the stave at the bottom, find the circumference of the outside of the bowl at the base. Divide that total by 20 staves. Do the same to find the width of the stave at the top. Set up your taper jig to make this cut.

 

You will notice now, that one side of the stave is 90° from the bottom. The other side will be at an angle less than 90°. You need to set up a jig to cut the bottom of the stave so that the angle on both sides will be equal. After this is done, this is when you want to do the finish sanding on the inside of the staves only.

 

Line up the staves side by side, with the outside of the staves facing up. Tape the staves together tightly.

 

Now when you pull the outsides together you should have the perfect shaped bowl that you wanted.

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Find the angle that the bowl tips in. Measuring the diameter at the bottom of the staves, cut out the bowl base, setting your saw at the angle of the bowl side. Cut the base oversize, so you can sneak up on the final diameter with a sander.

 

After you’re happy with the fit of the base, unwrap the side and put glue in the “V” portion of the inside of the staves. Don’t over do it with the glue, because you’ll need to clean all the glue out on the inside of the bowl, and then try to sand down the inside clean again. Tap the base in with glue also, before the sides set up. 

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