Friday, January 6, 2012

Lessons Learned In Box Building

As a final project for one of his computer classes last semester, Chris was instructed to learn a new skill.  I thought this was a little on the odd side for a computer class, but as his professor explained it in the real job world, employers will be interested in what you know and also your ability to learn new things.

After a couple of trips to Home Depot and Harbor Freight he was ready to build a storage box for his numerous video game accessories.  Thankfully we had the wood cut at our local Home Depot for free, because we learned the store closest to my parents actually charges a nominal fee for each cut.

I assisted with spray painting the gold hinges with the blog popular oil rubbed bronze paint.  Lesson Learned #1 - Don't let them dry on the newspaper that you sprayed on.

I was a big fan of how the color turned out!

While I was busy trying not to get high, Chris was busy sawing pieces of wood to assemble the box.  Lesson Learned #2 - Use the right type of saw.  Chris learned pretty quickly that the reciprocating saw was not cutting it with the thick pieces of wood.  A little drilling, wood glue, and sanding later and he was ready to attach the lid.

Chris wanted the handle on the front so he designed a notch in that piece and an extra block on the lid.

Once the lid was attached (after much cursing to get the hinges somewhat, but not entirely straight), Chris started in on etching video game symbols to add a little detail to the outside.

I didn't understand why he etched in some parts and not others until he stained it.  The staining made certain parts pop over others that were just sanded.

And now for the finished box! 

Can you make out Mario on the side?

Is it perfect?  Not even close, but we both thought that we had to start somewhere.  We learned some tips along the way and will be heading out to pick up proper tools (with tips from KillerB Designs and YHL) for our next project.  The box does it's job of holding onto all of the accessories (so glad I don't have to see cords all over the place now!), and he earned a 97 on it.  I guess the professor was happy to see something other than another presentation on changing oil.

What were some of your first tool related projects like?  Did you get better as you had more projects under your belt?


  1. That's awesome! It looks great, and I love how he got creative with etching the designs!

  2. i'm really impressed--my version would have been a cardboard box with crayon scribbled all over it. the etchings are awesome, and hooray for hidden cords (so pesky)!

  3. I love it! I know you say that it is not perfect, but I think it looks perfectly aged and rustic! What a great assignment!

  4. I think it's pretty dang amazing! I wish we had one to wrangle up all of Josh's video game accessories. We're scared of tools. I know, silly. But we are.

  5. I love it! I wish I had any idea how to etch, super cool that your husband was able to put all of those designs in it.

  6. That's really dool. Chris did a great job! I like how he etched images onto it, I've never seen that.

  7. Ohh, the mortal kombat etching is pretty awesome! Looks great you guys!