I'm home sick and stuck on the couch, so I thought I would share an easy project I do with my students. I think this is a nice introduction to bandsaw boxes, and a good project that requires only basic tool knowledge and techniques.
I have mixed classes of 7th and 8th grade students. Some have never been in a wood shop while others have taken it for several semesters. New students work on this project, while more advanced students work on bandsaw boxes with drawers or other more complex projects.
Part of my class is having students learn to use SketchUp for their design work. This is an easy project for them to design with SketchUp.
*I really appreciate the class projects stumitch posts. His write ups are well worth reading.
For me, this is a good project to clean up the shop and use up scrap wood. I pre cut pieces of wood that are 3.5 by 6.5 inches and a variety of thicknesses. I cut up a variety of woods including plywood, hard woods, exotic woods, and old cutting board projects that were never finished. It'a a great opportunity for students to look at a variety of woods side by side to compare texture, grain, color, density etc.
Each student will need 5 pieces of wood.
Step 1: Middle Pieces 3 Pieces
The first step is for students to glue up the middle three pieces (pieces 2, 3, 4). If left on their own, students will either not clamp up their pieces or they will be clamped on the edges, rather than on the faces. When advising students on the best way to clamp their pieces, I ask them how they would pick up a large sandwich or burger. This image seems to help.
Surprisingly, glueing up three pieces of wood can take an entire 45 minute class period.
Next, draw out the outline of the walls of the box and the lid. Note that the lid has tapered ends so that it won't fall into the box.
Drill holes in each of the four corners. The diameter of this hole should accommodate whatever width bandsaw blade you are using. When I made this box, I did not do this step (as you can see in the pictures). I prefer students not back out of cuts on the band saw though, so I have them drill holes.
Cut the lid off. Keep track of this! It's amazing how many students will throw this out with their other scraps.
Cut the inside of the box out. With the holes, students can cut this out as one piece, rather than two as shown in the picture.
Step 2: Sides and Finish
Glue the sides (pieces 1 and 5) to the middle three pieces. Do this with care and precision. This time, the glue up will not take as long as the first day. We usually use the remaining period to talk about how they will need to sand their boxes, and their finishing options.
Sand. Sand. Sand.
Students either choose to use an oil finish, or a water based clear coat (low VOC).
Even though this project should take about 5 days, inevitably, this ends up becoming about a two week project when you have a class of 25 7th and 8th graders...
Let me know if you have questions, and post up projects you have done with kids!