Sunday, May 13, 2012

Making a Cigar Box (2): Wrapping the Base

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been asked many times how to make a box with a hinged lid. Here is the cigar box I designed, based on a real cigar box. After you build the box base, wrap it with bookcloth. This method is very similar to wrapping the tray for a clamshell box (p. 235 Making Handmade Books.) This is part two of four. Note: these are live photographs, taken as I worked.

Tools: pencil; metal ruler; scissors; PVA and glue brush; magazines for scrap paper
Materials: bookcloth, box base

To measure how long the book cloth needs to be: take a long strip of scrap paper and wrap it around three full sides of the box bottom and overlapping a bit around the corners. (The two shorter sides and one long side, as shown.)

To measure how tall or wide the bookcloth needs to be: take another strip of scrap paper and place it just under the box bottom, wrap it up the side, over the edge and down into the bottom of the box.

Trim the strip, leaving a bit overlapping onto the inside base.

Use the two paper strips together as a guide for measuring the long strip of book cloth.

Apply glue to the back of the bookcloth, leaving a slight margin at the left edge and at the bottom.

Place the box (one of the short sides, open part facing away from you) on the bookcloth, aligned with the glue.

Apply more glue to the bookcloth. Walk the box onto the glue. Apply glue and press down the third side as well.

Trim the open corners on both sides, leaving at least 1 1/2 board thicknesses between the box corner and the cut.
 Cut triangles at the closed corners.
Place the box on some scrap paper. Apply glue to the back of the longest flap of bookcloth.
Press the cloth into place on the bottom of the box.
On the open edges, make a straight cut just inside the corner wall, stopping about 1 1/2 board thicknesses away.
 Make a diagonal cut up to meet the straight cut.
The shape of the cut looks like this (please pardon my ragged edges). Repeat the cuts for the other open edge.
Put the box down onto a piece of scrap paper. Apply glue to the little flap at the edge.
 Press into place around the corner.
 And press down over the top of the corner as well.

Make cuts just inside the box bottom corners for the longest side of the box.
 Apply glue to one of the flaps on the shorter side.

Press the cloth up the side of the wall, smooth the top edge, and down into the box.
Smooth the cloth into the corners. Cut slits to relieve the tension of the cloth if the material seems to be bunching up.
On the parallel short side, apply glue and smooth the cloth as well. 
Apply glue to the long side last. This piece should fit into the box exactly. Check it before you glue. If it extends beyond the corners, trim it a tiny bit. You want all your seams at the corners.
Press the last flap of cloth into place. Trim the corners of the cloth before you press them into place if it bunches up.
Smooth it down with the bone folder.

Next up: Part Three, Attaching the Lid

1 comment:

Lizzie said...

These posts are making me happy! Thank you so much. I do have your great book (have been using it this weekend to experiment with new bindings!), but it's great to follow your blog and see extra special posts...