52 Create – Router Boxes

52 Create, my attempt to make one creative project per week for the entire year of 2011.  So far the bulk of the projects have been wooden, and this week certainly continues the trend.  I’ve never worked with Walnut before, but I saw this board lying against the wall at Black Forest, and I simply couldn’t resist taking it home.  I brought the 6 foot long 8 inch wide board to the cash and when the chatty owner asked what I was going to do with that great big slab, I replied with a perfectly straight face “salad tongs”…  Now honestly, I am planning on making some salad tongs at some point, and obviously there will be much wood left over for other projects, but I just couldn’t resist the joke.

Anyways, back to the project.  I made a square template out of some scrap 1/8″ plywood and used a router with a straight bit to cut the hollows of the two boxes.  I did this on the full board and then cut the outside shape afterwards as this seemed much simpler.  All sides were rounded with a 1/4″ round over bit.  The outsides were coated in shellac (roughly 2 lb. cut), and then I painted the insides bright yellow. Tops are made out of some scrap Maple I had lying around.

I was a little disappointed in the cut out.  I think it was a combination of a crappy router bit, which was also dull, and I may have tried to take too much wood off at each pass.  The inside was quite rough and I ended up having to use some filler (after lots of sanding).  I had always wanted to try the painted interior, but the only thick glossy and durable paint I could find was some no-name tremclad paint which took about 24 hrs to dry between coats.  Both boxes need 1-2 more coats of yellow, and there are a couple of places where I’d like to touch up the shellac.  A fun project, and the cutouts could really be just about any shape you could dream of.

My other 52 Create Projects.

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Plastic Panoramic

I’ve always been a great fan of panoramic photography, and over the past year I have absolutely LOVED my hasselblad xpan panoramic camera.  It is my take everywhere camera, nothing else I own can match the quality of this camera.  Before I bit the bullet and bought my used xpan, I tried some less expensive alternatives such as the Horizon 202, the Pan-o-gull and the Vivitar Pn2011.  In the end I was always frustrated by the limitations of these cameras, and in some cases the quality was horrible.

While browsing the web today on Four Corners Dark, I came across Deon Reynolds blog.  The site has some truly wonderful photographs.  I was most interested in the Plastic Panorama Photography post.  Deon takes old Kodak disposable panoramic cameras (discontinued since 1999), reloads them with Kodak Tri-X, adds a yellow filter, and voila, an inexpensive, reusable panoramic camera that produces some truly outstanding images.

I highly recommend heading over to Deon’s blog to check out his DIY and wonderful pictures.