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Thread: Loupe box

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    31

    Loupe box

    Well, I needed a new box for my surgical operating loupes. I recently got a fiber-optic headlight, and the whole contraption just would not fit into the small box that originally came with the loupes. Plus, after more than 16 years, the old box was looking pretty beat up.

    My initial plan was to just make a simple wooden box which matched the original, only larger. Well, one thing led to another... I figured that I would dress it up and make it out of mahogany. Then came the hand-cut dovetails. Then I figured that I would make the raised top panel so that it wouldn't look quite so plain. I decided to re-use the old latch hardware and nameplate to serve as a reference to its predecessor. Hopefully, doing so will also keep it from looking too much like a jewelry box and will prevent it from "walking".

    Milling the lumber, cutting the dovetails, raising the panel, cutting the top free, and mortising for the hinges were all done by hand. The inside of the lid and the bottom of the interior have a layer of high density foam under the felt to just cradle the loupes and to keep things from moving around. The finish is 4 coats of a wipe on poly. It's not my favorite finish, but the box will be living in the OR storage room and will take a beating. I figure that in a few years, it will develop as much character as its predecessor.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Woodstock, GA
    Posts
    178
    That's some box to just sit around in the storage room taking a beating. Great job!

  3. #3
    John,
    Beautiful work, your dovetails are excellent. I am making some similar for shaper heads. Not as good workmanship as yours however.

    Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    112
    Very nice looking box John. I really like the raised panel top. Does the new fiber optic headlight help you see those intricate dovetails?

    Thanks for sharing

  5. #5
    John,

    Excellent work, thanks for the post

    Jay

  6. #6
    That is some beautiful work, John. And was said before, your dovetails are excellent!
    Thanks for sharing.
    George

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    nice clean work john!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by John Whittaker View Post
    Does the new fiber optic headlight help you see those intricate dovetails?
    Thanks to all for the kind comments.

    Interesting that you asked about using the loupes to help cut the dt's. When I brought them home to figure out the proportions for the new box, I actually tried cutting some dt's with the loupes on. Problem is, even though you can see the line with great detail, you lose all of the other positional "clues" as you cut. I find that I do much better being able to reference the entire piece as well as my hand and arm.

    Actually, practice and more practice was the key for me. (I guess that concept was deeply engrained in me from my surgical training.) I basically followed Franz Klaus' advice, took a board and cut to a line I don't know how many times. After I learned to accurately control the saw I made multiple practice dt's. I don't really know what to do with all the samples that I've made, although I've found that they do make good stop blocks...

    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hanford, CA
    Posts
    122
    John, the box looks great. The dovetails are perfect. You did a great job on them. A marked improvement from the old home. Nice job all the way around.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Plainfield, IL
    Posts
    41

    Nice Box

    John,

    The box looks great. Hand cut dovetails are the best. I would use that as discussion piece with your paitents to show how detailed your work really is. I don't that I would trust a woodworking surgeon that could not cut dovetails by hand

    Anyway the box is fine piece of work

    Dan

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