I made my first bandsaw box. While I’m very happy with the end result (and pleased that it looks like an ice cream sandwich), I thought that instead of crowing about how great it is, I’d list all of the mistakes I made so that I can avoid them the next time I make one.
- I didn’t avoid knots in the wood I chose.
- I didn’t use enough glue during glue-up, so there was a gap between two of the pieces.
- The blade I used on my first cut was too wide, so I couldn’t get the radius I wanted for the cut.
- After changing blades, I didn’t tension the new blade properly, leading to cuts that weren’t straight up and down. Luckily, this didn’t affect the functionality of the drawer, since the back was narrower than the front.
- I used a blade with too few teeth per inch, leading to a rough finish that took a long time to sand.
- I made one side of the box concave despite not having a spindle sander that I could use to easily sand it.
- I didn’t sand the insides of the drawer faces as much as I should have, so they still feel roughsawn.
- When cutting the drawer, I didn’t plan my cut in a way that left only one entrance point.
- Due to mistake #8, I should have cut the bottom of the drawer blank off before cutting off the front, but I didn’t.
- When gluing the box back together, I should have glue the bottom on first (due to mistake #9). I glued the back on first, which meant that when gluing the bottom on, I couldn’t tighten the clamps enough on the back edge to avoid a gap…
- …but I tried to anyway and cracked the box. I undid the clamps and the crack disappeared, and then later I couldn’t find it when I tried. Oh well!
- Also during glue-up, I didn’t put a sacrificial piece of wood between the clamps and the box, leading to shallow dents in the front and back.
- When turning the knob, I cut off a rectangular piece of stock instead of a square one that would have saved a little bit of wood.
- If I had turned the knob with it facing the other way, I could have made the face of it a little concave instead of flat. That would have been neat.
- When attaching the knob, I didn’t consider that I wouldn’t be able to screw it on from the inside (because the box is too shallow to fit a screwdriver), so I had to use a screw with a hex head that I could hold with a wrench while I rotated the knob onto the stationary screw.
- I didn’t think to fill or sand out a small knot in the upper right corner of the box, and after oiling it, the knot is mostly invisible, but the crack in the middle of it is more noticeable.
- I didn’t scrape and sand all of the glue out of the interior corners of the box before it dried, so the oil finish didn’t penetrate in those spots. Luckily the drawer hides all of these spots.
- When I started oiling the box, I wasn’t using a lint-free cloth, so it got little lint nubbins all over it.
Hopefully, the next time I make a bandsaw box, I only make seventeen or fewer mistakes.