Closet Slat Box

Posted on November 4, 2015

I made a box from old closet slats for a friend.

After redoing the closet, I disassembled and recovered whatever I thought would be worthwhile to recover from the old accordion style closet doors (you can see them here in my previous post)

I packed up the closet slats in saran wrapped parcels of 10 slats each, in total I had around 250. This project would consume around 100, give or take a couple.
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So, here’s Joe’s gift! Some exotic hardwoods that he can use to make some classy knife handles. He’s getting into knife making. This post is about making the box that I put these pieces of hardwood in, and the box could later serve as a portable storage case for all of his knife-making files.
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Okay, here’s the plan for each of the layers I drew out (mostly) to-scale. The bottom is just horizontal slats, and the top will get some length-wise reinforcing pieces.
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Initially I thought I’d just screw it all together, as this isn’t even the gift, this is just the wrapping paper, but I ended up deciding to do a slightly nicer job, and sanded them all down and prepped them for gluing.
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Here’s the quick scrap-MDF frame I constructed to help keep everything straight. (Man I love these bessey clamps)
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Laying out the bottom layer, yay for fitting the first time!
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Layering. Gluing. Cleaning fingers.
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Finished the frame. The pieces laid across it are just to spread the weight for the weights I threw on top.
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Mostly dry, holding itself together enough that I can continue working.
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Flipped it over, glued the bottom frame on, and spread the weight out using the length-wise laid pieces (they’re not glued)
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And let it sit like this overnight to fully dry. Added the quick clamp to squeeze in the sides a little, it was bowing out just a tad but this clamp got everything nice and perfect.
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Took apart the frame, some glue seep made that a little more fun than expected, but it’s looking pretty good so far!
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Nice and smooth.
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And more importantly, nice and straight!
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Here’s what the bottom actually looks like:
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And I couldn’t help myself. We made this screen print, and I just had to throw it onto the underside of the box too.
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Okay, here’s the underside of the lid, the top side of the lid just looks like the bottom of the box. The sort of flattened out H shape the longer pieces make will keep the lid centered on the box when closed by fitting exactly in the recesses of the “log cabin” gaps.
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Maybe this picture helps explain that last sentence a little better. The handle’s first piece is on.
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I used just one piece for the handle to get it nice and centered, and once that was mostly dry, I built it up, and then carved it to a nice, more ergonomic shape.
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Stained
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Finished
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Strung and Bowed
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And with his card inserted
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