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The way to make a salt field

Salt bins are interesting little issues. Within the kitchen, they provide a fast and prepared method to seize a literal pinch of salt. Within the store, they’re small, quick, giftable tasks—a profitable trio. Fantastic Woodworking’s personal John Tetreault made three lovely ones with mitered dovetails and a sliding lid in 2015. Me, I wished a hinged lid. However none spoke to me till I noticed chef J. Kenji López-Alt’s. I tweaked the idea some to raised match my tooling and aesthetics. The result’s a undertaking that ticks some bins for woodworking nerds, like steady grain and contrasting woods, and a few for cooks, like sizing for an grownup’s hand and a sealed container to restrict air movement.

I’ve made these bins from quartersawn white oak, cherry and pine, and, on this weblog, CVG doug fir and a few type of mahogany (I feel).

Reduce the entrance and sides from one steady board. The again, which is recessed, will be no matter. To enrich the continual grain, I miter the entrance corners. (If I had a tablesaw, you higher consider I’d use that for these miters.)

A piece of wood at the router table. Its ends are getting cut to 45 degrees.

The again is trapped in stopped dadoes on the facet. Don’t fear about squaring up the highest of the dado. The again will get shouldered on the prime, protecting the joint.

These cuts are stopped, and format traces on my fence and field sides inform me the place to cease one reduce and the place to begin the opposite. Bob Van Dyke gets into it more detail in this article, however the hot button is to not climb reduce. So the traces on the fence symbolize the diameter of the bit. To rout the field’s left facet, I cease on the appropriate line. To rout the field’s proper facet, I plunge on the left line and rout by way of. Stops, not pictured, add additional security and repeatability.

A hearty bit takes care of the again’s corresponding stub tenon—straightforward sufficient. The caveat is that the shoulder-to-shoulder between tenons must match the dimension between miters on the field entrance. In any other case, the field gained’t have an opportunity of being sq.. So I sneak up on this dimension, starting with a again that’s overlong and tapping the fence very frivolously between passes till I hit the appropriate setting. Then I trim the stub tenons to size.

The entrance wants a cutout to accommodate the lid’s tab. I begin this by hand, reducing the 45-deg. ends with a positive -tooth handsaw earlier than coping out a lot of the center.

Then I incrementally work to my baseline with a stubby sample bit. The ⅛-in.-long cutter means the bearing hits my facet partitions from the very first move supplied I coped out sufficient waste. A backer block retains my fingers away from the bit. The backer is excavated a little bit in the course of the underside edge to let the bit and bearing move by way of the entire entrance. (I’ve accomplished this step after glue-up too; I’m unsure which one I like extra.)

If the backer isn’t excavated sufficient, it’s possible you’ll be left with a little bit waste. A chisel handles that no downside.

The again pivots on an 1/16-in.-thick brass rod. I find the outlet top-to-bottom so the pin’s centered on the lid’s thickness and there’s a small shadow line above the highest. Left-to-right, the outlet’s positioned so the highest can open solely however the again nonetheless acts as a cease. There’s additionally no hole between the highest and the again, minimizing air movement in hopes that your salt doesn’t soak up ambient moisture as shortly.

The field’s measurement belies how finicky the glue-up will be. I take advantage of tape on the miters and wee clamps on the dado–easy sufficient–however sustaining sq. is the headache. With such little bearing floor throughout, I’ve discovered it straightforward to fall out of sq. actual quick.

The underside is plywood glued proper to the field. Classless for now, positive, however it provides fast energy to the field. Plus, I gussey it up later. A heavy weight and a fats caul within the again and clamps up entrance guarantee satisfactory clamping strain throughout. Make certain the again fringe of the plywood is flush with the again of the field. Additionally, be even handed with glue to attenuate squeezeout. There’s little or no room to wash it up simply, and also you gained’t be capable of see it through the glue-up.

When the glue’s dry, flush the underside to the field’s entrance and sides. I don’t rout across the again.

With the plywood strengthening the underside of the field, I add splines towards the highest to keep up the miter there. Veneer matches excellently in my dozuki’s noticed kerf. Sometimes I need to pound the veneer thinner with a hammer, however that’s irrespective of, because the glue swells it proper again up.

Now, onto the gusseying. I like plywood bottoms as a result of, when glued on, they’re instantaneous reinforcement. They’re ugly too, however that’s one other profit: They’re simply begging for a glow-up. So, I paint them.

Step one is to tape off the field and, simply barely, the underside. Then trim the overlapping tape with a reducing gauge set to the thickness of the underside and peel off the skinny strip protecting the plywood.


Tape across the again too, so you may paint that plywood safely too. I take advantage of a skinny piece of wooden to verify the tape adheres to the field effectively, together with the place the again meets the edges. A bank card works too. Push the tape down round the remainder of the field too. You don’t need the paint to bleed.

Now, paint.

I additionally shellac the within of the field. The entrance, sides, and again get shellacked earlier than glue-up, and the underside after. I don’t paint the underside on the within. Since this can be a salt field, I wish to maintain it meals secure.

After you narrow the highest to measurement and form, put it in place to drill its holes for the hinge. You need the again edge to be flush with the field, and the entrance to overhang a 1/16 in. or so. The holes within the sides will information your drill. Clamp the highest in place to forestall it from shifting, since any shift would break the hinge motion.

Despite the fact that I find the holes so the highest doesn’t hold up on the again, typically I don’t get it spot on. So, I check the hinge with the brass pins put in only a contact–sufficient the place they grip the lid gingerly, however I can nonetheless slid the piece on and off. If the highest catches on the again, spherical over or chamfer the underside of the again edge with a hand aircraft. Re-test continuously. Accomplished proper, there nonetheless shouldn’t be a spot between the lid and prime.

I used to be dwelling proper with this field: The lid labored simply positive with none beveling.

While you’re lid’s good to go, hammer the pins residence, snip them as near the field as you may handle, and file what’s relaxation flush very, very fastidiously.

Lastly, take a shot for the ‘gram.

Dovetailed Salt Box

Observe your dovetails whereas making one thing helpful.

One-day woodworking projects

A group of articles that get you within the store. In someday, you may have an important sense of getting made one thing cool.


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