Punched Metal Raven Box

I wanted to experiment with punched metal. Well, I clearly need more practice, but it’s promising, and I think this one came out good enough to send off to a friend.

oblique downward view of the box, showing the top and front

I started with a photo of a raven that I printed onto a piece of paper, then taped it onto a cut-open and flattened-out Coke can. Then I punched where the dark was in the image, putting the punches closer together in the darker areas and farther apart in the lighter areas.

raven sitting on a juniper branch, head slightly raised

The biggest problem is that I couldn’t keep consistent in how hard I was punching the metal, so about half of my strikes tore through it, rather than leaving a dimple. But when I started, I thought maybe I wanted to punch through the metal, so I learned something there. I also was using a 1/32 inch nail set, which ends up being pretty big. I may have to grind my own punch for this. Or make a few.

interior view of the box - quite plain

The box is dovetailed salt cedar sides, a 9mm plywood bottom, and a 6mm plywood top with juniper put on top of it to hold down the metal. After gluing that up, I poured about 50ml of epoxy over the metal to protect it. A pop can might be thinner than is ideal for is sort of thing, as pieces of metal broke loose as I was trying to glue it down. More learning, there.

top view of the box, showing the metal with no reflections

The box is finished with a few coats of shellac. Super blonde, I believe. I like the way the salt cedar grain darkens when finished, and the juniper really popped when the shellac hit it. It’ll fade some over time, but the contrast between the red heartwood and blonde sapwood will remain. It’s going to a friend, and hopefully he’ll like it.

#woodworking #project

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