The “Crayon” Box

Posted in Projects on April 27th, 2014 by The Cyberwolfe

Sitting at my workbench one day, I realized I had collected quite a few stamping tools, and they could no longer be stored in the nooks and crannies of my original tool roll. While the ubiquitous plastic tool rack is available almost anywhere, I felt that it lacked a certain … something – and I felt I could do better.

The Crayon Box

Crayola defined the way to properly store imagination decades ago when they released the 64-crayon box, and I felt that this iconic shape would be the perfect place to store the current tools of my imagination.

Going through it in my head, I realized that any hinge mechanism allowing the top to flip back like the original box would be fragile and likely to tear, so I would have to come up with something different. What I came up with in the end is a sliding pivot that allows the top to come straight up, spin over, and then rotate down in front to become a stand of sorts, allowing the case to lean forward and present the tools in a way that makes it easier to see and select them.

Open for business

Inside the case, I used a piece of packing foam from a computer box as a medium to shove the tools into, and this worked out very well. I removed just enough of the material in each hole to allow the stem of the tool, but it is still tight enough to provide a little friction and prevent the tools from just falling out if it gets bumped around. Probably not really necessary, but I like it.

For the color, I used a block-dying technique with Eco-Flow Saddle Tan gel antique for the bulk of it, and then good ol’ Fiebing’s Black oil dye on the edges. As you can see in the teaser post before this one, the color came out really good.

Unfortunately, when I went to apply a coat of Fiebing’s Leather Balm with Atom Wax, something went wrong and it pulled most of the color out of the box top assembly. I ended up having to go over the black with a brush and a paper towel to blot it down.

Still, I’m very pleased with how the stitching turned out, and the rotating hinge worked out really well so we’ll call it a success.

Work in Progress Teaser

Posted in Tips & Tricks on April 13th, 2014 by The Cyberwolfe

I decided I needed a box to store my stamps in, and the engineer in me came up with a snazzy idea that you’ll see in the finished project post. For now, here’s a shot of the box top that I put together today:

Box Top

The box stitch is a bitch – but it looks great if you can pull it off. In this case, I almost didn’t – the first hole I punched with my awl tore through. (It’s on the back so it isn’t readily apparent, but I may rivet a ‘bandage’ across it and add a matching one on the other side just to make sure it doesn’t lead to problems as it wears.)

This made me sit back and finally figure out a trick for punching the holes for this stitch. I cut a spare block of wood into a right triangle, and when I place that on my cutting board so that the ‘peak’ is pointing up and then lay the leather on it so the beveled edge is flat on the cutting surface, I can punch straight down through the groove with a stitching chisel and come out right where I want it. Here’s a diagram that makes it a little plainer – you’re seeing everything from the side:

Box stitch diag 1

The tiny arrow is aimed at the groove, and the vertical thing is of course my chisel punched straight down through the leather.

Now the trick is going to be building essentially a radial arm saw that uses Olfa rolling knife blades to make a perfect edge bevel…