Progress Report: Prototype Main Box

Back in October, I spent one week in Franklin, IN focused on beginning the prototype construction starting with what I term the Main Box. This is the “drawer” that extends from beneath the top when the mechanism is released. Being what feels like perpetually behind, I wanted to post a series of pictures showing the progress from that point up to now.


Cutting dovetails for the Main Box carcass.

In the image below, note that the sides of the Main Box carcass stand above the rest of the case. This accommodates the flaps that cover the interior compartments to either side. Observant readers will also note that these are square in profile rather than angled at a 45° bevel. I purposely left them in this state to prevent damage to the prototype at this stage. Rather than measuring, there is a fair degree of fitting and scribing based on the shapes of the existing components. The sharp arrises would be absolutely chewed up during this activity, so I thought it best to leave them square. This will be addressed just prior to glue-up.


Main Box frame.

Note that in the picture above, the front is flat not curved as the original. This too will be fixed prior to glue up. When working with curvy and complex profiles, it is sometimes best to leave the surfaces flat not only to prevent damage, but also to facilitate layout, clamping, etc.

Attached to the rear of the Main Box is a piece that covers the gap between the table top, and the flaps and book rest. This strip follows the profile of the top in its deployed position, and must be “scribed” directly from the top, then adjusted to fill the necessary space. To do this, I used the template I created to shape the top marked with additional information on the extents of the components when fully open.


Positioning the top and Main Box to layout the “cover strip”, a profiled wooden piece mounted to the top rear of the Main Box.


Detail of the “cover strip”.

One of the more straight forward tasks was the creation of the small “hidden” drawer that fits in the center section of the Main Box…


The Main Box carcass with “hidden” small drawer installed.

…which gets covered over by a thin wood panel, and the “cover strip” when assembled.


Main Box with “cover strip”, and center panel in place.

The next task is the creation of the two flaps the over the “hidden” compartments on each side of the Main Box. Using frame and panel construction with a complication, a tenoned or splined miter for frame joints, these too get scribed to their adjacent components.


Two of the flap frame pieces showing the splined miter.


The splined miter from the inside vantage.


Flaps overlaid on the Main Box carcass ready to be trimmed.

Finishing out the Main Box will be the book rest. It will be composed of a similar frame and panel assembly.

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