Learn about Life in the 1920s

How to Make a Wooden Lunchbox

The box illustrated by Fig. 181 was copied from an article of Norwegian manufacture. Its construction is an extremely simple matter, provided that one can get a piece of easily bent wood (birch, for instance), not exceeding 3/16 inch in thickness, for the sides.


FIG. 180. - Showing how to draw an ellipse.

The bottom of the box is made of 5/16 or 3/8 inch wood, cut to an oval or elliptical shape. To mark out an ellipse about 8 inches long and 5-1/2 inches wide--this will be a. convenient size--stick two pins into the board 5-1/8 inches apart, pass a loop of thread 14 inches in circumference round these, and run the point of a pencil round the pins in the path which it has to take when confined by the slack of the loop (Fig. 180). Fret-saw along the line.


FIG. 181. - Norwegian workbox.

The wood strip for the side is 4-1/2 inches deep, and 1-1/2 inches longer than the circumference of the bottom. The ends are thinned off somewhat, as shown in Fig. 181, to prevent the lap having a clumsy appearance, and the surface is smoothed all over with sandpaper. Bore a number of small nail holes 3/16 inch from one edge, and then steam the wood over a big saucepan or other suitable vessel until it is quite lissom.

When attaching the side piece to the bottom, begin at the middle, and work first towards what will be the inside end of the lap, and then towards the outside end. Nails are driven in through the holes already drilled. When nailing is finished, clip the top of the overlap with a hand-vice or screw spanner, to prevent the tops of the ends sliding over one another, and bore a line of holes l/4 inch apart, and at the same distance from the outer end. Fine copper wire drawn to and fro through alternate holes from one end of the row to the other and back again, will secure the joint.

The lid overlaps the side 1/4 inch in all directions and has a square notch cut in it at one end to pass under the piece A, and at the other a deeper, circular-ended nick to enable it to pass over the key B when that is turned into the position shown in the illustration. A is cut out of 1/4-inch wood; B, in one piece, out of 1/2-inch. Their length under the heads exceeds the inside depth of the box by the thickness of the lid.

A is affixed rigidly to the side by small screws or wire, while B must be attached in a manner, which will allow the head to rotate. Cut two nicks round the shank, and two horizontal slots at the same height through the end of the box. A couple of brass rings must then be procured of such a size that, when flattened into a somewhat oval shape, they will project beyond the slots sufficiently to allow a piece of wire to pass through them and prevent their being drawn back again.

Quarter-inch wood will do for the lid. A handle is made out of a couple of inches of small cane bent into a semicircle, let through the lid at each end, glued, and cut off flush.

The exterior may be decorated by a design in poker-work, or be stained and varnished. This is left to the maker's discretion.

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List of Chapters in this book: Sawing Trestle | Joiner's Bench | Bookstand | House Ladder | Developing Sink | Poultry House | Bicycle Shed | Rifle Target | Cabinet Making | Telegraphic Apparatus | Electric Motor | Alarm Clock | Model Railway | Reciprocating Engine | Slide Valve Engine | Model Steam Turbine | Steam Tops | Model Boilers | Quick Boiling Kettle | Hot Air Engine | Water Motor | Model Pumps | Kites | Paper Gliders | Model Aeroplane | Scientific Apparatus | Rain Gauge | Wind Vanes | Strength Tester | Harmonographs | Automatic Matchbox | Wooden Workbox | Wrestling Puppets | Double Bellows | Pantograph | Silhouette Drawing Machine | Signalling Lamp | Miniature Gasworks