Step 1: Design of the Storage Case Interior Layout and Compartment Sizes
For many years our customers have been asking us to design and build a storage case to contain the Dowelmax main device and numerous accessory components that make up our joining system.
The design of my particular case will differ somewhat from that required for the average user, in that I have additional setups of the main device on hand, e.g. my set includes the 1st and 2nd configurations, plus a set up for the angle bracket accessory.
At the outset I arranged the various components on a thin white board in order to determine the various dimensions required.
Step 2: Design of the Storage Case Exterior
For the outer box construction I used Cherry, however for the inner partition I used ½ inch high density MDF.
The height of the outer box (excluding lid) is 2 5/8th inch, and the height of the inner partition is 1 ½ inches. The 4 outer corners of the inner partition have been joined using ¼ inch dowels, note this is a face joint so you can drill 1 1/8 inch into the end and 3/8 inch into the face (total 1 ½ inches). 2 – longitudinal stringers ranged on the inside of the partitioned box, are also doweled and secured. All remaining joints are dadoed into the inner frame.
The main cherry box is mitered at all 4 corners, and these have all been fastened by 3/8 inch dowels. The dowels have been positioned using the Dowelmax 45 degree angle accessory. These are exposed and provide an attractive ovoid exterior. In implementing this joint procedure, a backing block is used to minimize tear out. Additional spacers are therefore required.
Step 3: Design of the Dowelmax Case Bottom Panel and Upper Lid
Little strength is required for the bottom panel of the cherry box, consequently the lower inner edge of each of the 4 box walls have been recessed by 1/8 inch in order to fit and secure a 1/8 inch hardboard sheet which fits snugly into the recess and is secured by small screws.
When the Dowelmax components are fitted inside the inner partition, some of these components sit higher than the partition structure. For that reason, the upper lid is required to be recessed on the inside. The main panel is made up of 3 – ½ inch thick work pieces, fastened together using 6 x ¼ inch dowels at each edge. The 4 edge boards are ¾ inch x 1 1/8 inch (on edge) and these are mitred at each corner. Again, these are attached to the main panel using 6 – ¼ inch dowels on all four edges. In constructing a storage box of this type, it is essential to ensure that all cuts are square and true, all widths, thicknesses, lengths etc., are identical, and mitres are accurate. When the assembly is glued and clamped, it is essential to ensure that all components are absolutely square. This to ensure the inner partition will fit snugly into the outer casing.