- 28 December 2016 at 5:23 pm #14365928 December 2016 at 5:35 pm #143660
I am definitely still learning. As much as I want to build that rocking chair, it is well beyond me at this time. But I have, after lots and lots of practice, learned how to make boxes really well. I use boxes as my learning projects for getting straight cuts, planing to thickness and square. (Getting material square was the big key) So I can build a pretty air tight box. So drying for that reason I’m not worried. Having the wood absorb the moister might be a different thing though. However on that side of things, we (here in Colombia) buy our coffee in 1lb bags, and use at least 3 a week. The box would hold just a tad over 1lb if I get it right.
My main concern was what wood to use, and mostly people said pine or oak is good. But you are probably right about it drying out over time, if we didn’t drink coffee as fast as we do. Down here they also grind their coffee really fine, almost to a powder.28 December 2016 at 8:39 pm #143662
Drinking coffee in Columbia – you might not even have an idea, how that sounds to someone, who used to think, that coffee grew on supermarket shelves 😀
I think, any effect of moisture exchange between coffee and wood will cease to happen eventually, when the wood is saturated with coffee oil. Old style iron frying pans are seasoned with whatever is left after frying – you only wipe them clean, unless you want a rusty steak, wooden salad bowls are seasoned with salad dressing, while being used, and wine barrels are famous to even improve simple wines after having stored good wines for a while. So I would not be too concerned about raw wood on the inside of a coffee box.
And do you know, what is a main part of the fascination aobut old wooden coffee mills? It is the smell of freshly ground coffee, even years after it has last seen any coffee at all.
Dieter28 December 2016 at 10:40 pm #143663
I hadn’t thought about the comparisons to frying pans and salad bowls, but it absolutely applies here. As far as coffee smell goes, I can be in my bedroom and my wife will open a fresh bag of coffee in the kitchen… and it’s heaven. I can smell it all the way down the hall.
Here are a couple tidbits of info that surprised this American when I moved here. Lots of people don’t have jobs and are too proud to beg. So they will get 2 or 3 thermos’s and a tube of plastic shot glasses. The will make their living walking down the streets selling shots of coffee for 200 pesos, or about 6¢. The street venders are everywhere. It’s hot coffee, and people will sip at it for a long time the way we would drink a cup of coffee in the states. Restaurants sell coffee in tiny little cups. When I ask for a normal full cup of coffee, they look at me like I’m from Mars. Juan Valdez coffee shops are popular down here in the tourist areas. Coffee seems to be more of a treat to the people here, or so it seems to me.29 December 2016 at 12:31 am #143665
A little research shows that Olive wood is not readily available for much beyond turning blanks. And has a fruity odor.
http://www.wood-database.com is a useful site for research. Hickory,ash and pecan are listed as having low odor but are not easy to work.29 December 2016 at 12:38 am #143666
Can you find second hand furniture that you could repurpose? Mahogany would make some heirloom quality boxes. Also listed as low odor.29 December 2016 at 1:37 am #143667
Well, then Olive wood is out. I would love to get my hands on some Mahogany. I have an old Steinway piano sitting in Santa Cruz Calif, 1937 if I remember correctly. I had it valued when I moved here and they said about 2 to 3 thousand, which for an old piano is darn good. I can’t keep the piano though and gave it to my sister in law. Now I wondering if the wood, Mahogany, is worth more than the piano itself? Although it is a Steinway, it is a low end one. Lots of wood in it.
Due to the vast poverty here, there isn’t much in the way of second hand goods. It get passed from family member to family member, or immediately grabbed by someone for their house. I had a box delivered when we moved here. I was wondering at the time how I was going to get rid of the plywood, as I had no where to keep it. They asked if I wanted it and I said no. Before I could blink an eye, it was gone.
29 December 2016 at 1:51 am #143668
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by 5ivestring.
Although I have basically decided on Pine or Oak, probably Oak, I have some African Padauk I got from Rocklers. It doesn’t have an order, but I am wondering about oils. When I sand or plane a surface, it get real light in color, let it sit for a few days and the color comes back. Sometimes it gets very dark. Being a beginner with wood, I’m thinking this is because of oils in the wood. Might not be good for a coffee box, although it is pretty.
The Padauk also seems to be a brittle wood. Oak, Walnut and Maple have been the easiest woods to work with that I have found. Yellow Heart, Padauk are easy but brittle. Purple Heart which I can get tons of here cheap, and I do mean cheap, is as hard as stainless steel as far as I am concerned.
Other woods you wood workers like?29 December 2016 at 6:41 pm #143678
Tropical woods can be toxic. So, unless you have clear evidence, that a type is not, better don’t use it.
I wouldn’t think too much about the piano. Most of the weight consists of the metal frame. The mechanical parts are probably not mahogany and just large enough to make matchboxes, so you only have the body, which is just a medium size cabinet. 2000 SSS is probably too much for that (and certainly too much for a coffee box). Oh, and consider the transport cost…
Dieter30 December 2016 at 3:55 pm #143693TimoParticipant
beech might be something to look into. That was the traditional wood used to store butter, milk, etc where I’m from.
Aspen and Alder was used too, for less fatty ingredients.30 December 2016 at 6:01 pm #143697
By now, you could have finished a pine box 😀 Just make one, you can use different wood later.
I made a wooden mug from pine and tap water was great from it, no strange taste or smell at all. In the worst case, your coffee will lose a bit of its aroma, but I doubt it.
Dieter30 December 2016 at 11:42 pm #143702
lol… your so right. I got it started with Oak. First one will be nothing fancy, if I like it, I might make a fancier one later.
Thanks everyone for all your input.31 December 2016 at 2:35 pm #143707
I hope you will post pictures.31 December 2016 at 3:43 pm #143708SandyParticipant
I would think Pine would be a great choice. Given what I have read here concerning the oil saturation It makes sense. I have several antique coffee grinders and after examining them closer I believe they are all made from pine. Do post pictures of your finished project.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein2 January 2017 at 3:22 am #143756
Time for some humble pie. I’ve been saying how I can make a good tight fitting box, nice dove tails. Well I can. My real confidence came from building the caracas for my wall hanging cabinet. All the cuts came out perfect, one, just one slightly off, but acceptable. I built a lot of boxes too that came out nice while I developed my hand eye cordanation. So I know I can do it.
So first time I post to this site, got lots of nice replies, felt encouraged, I blew my first attempt.
I only get about 2 to 4 hours a day to work, and not every day. I have a small 2′ x 2’table set up on my balcony. When the wind blows, which is every day since I live on the beach, I can’t work because it blows all the waste material. I got good neighbors, want to keep it that way. in two months I’m moving to a new place where I can build a real shop. But for now.
I spent one day squaring up my blank pieces, and they were “spot on” as Paul would say. The next day I laid out my dovetails and got a start on cutting them. finished the dovetails 1 day later and the pins the next day.
When I fitted them, they were all tight, but 4 tails (or pins) had horrible gaps, tight on the inside, open on the outside. Huge. 4 more tails, had very slight gaps, maybe if that was all it might have passed with a c- grade. As is I grade myself on this attempt at a solid F-
I will salvage the wood by cutting off the tails and pins and will just make a smaller box for something. No sense wasting good wood. But to flt the bag of coffee, I need to start over again.
I’ll get it right, done it before. But this sure was embarrassing. Granted you wouldn’t have even known if I didn’t say anything, but to me, that’s what an open forum if for.
This is why I like making boxes though. I mean, the support frame for a table is a box, the wall hanging cabinet is a box, drawers are a box. So much of what we make has a box or part of a box involved. Even a chess table frame.
So bear with me, give me a chance to get some more wood and start again. I’ll get it done and get it done right. Will post pictures when it is finished. Expected time frame for me, 2 weeks at 2 hours a day or so. I’m not as fast as a lot of you are.
Luckily for me, I’m retired, because if this had been an apprentist test, I’d be back on the street.
Hang in there. Gary
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