Plans for A One Gun Paudauk Gunbox
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All construction is done with 1/4" Paudauk wood. Paudauk is very tough, strong,
easy to machine, dent resistant, but most important, very light. It is also,
very, very red (but with a great grain pattern) making it very good for case work.
Here are a few photos of the box, as perhaps a few things will not be entirely
clear from the AutoCad file.
Click Image to Enlarge
The box was made with 1/4" Paudauk wood, which allows for butt joint gluing.
However, this is still not an extremely strong joint, so every joint is re-
inforced with GREX P6/12-2.5 23 Gauge 1/2-Inch Length Headless Pins.
To increase the strength further, I used Case Clamps and case corners, I
also ensured that the bottom and top of the box were both encapsulated
within the sides, so that the pins form a tenon that mechanically holds
the box together even without the strength of the glue (i.e. the pins are
parallel to the surface of the Earth).
It is not shown in the drawing, but note that the leading edge of the top
must be cut at an angle to match the angle of the sides. Cut the sides out
first, put the side on your table saw beside the blade, and tilt the blade
to match the angle of the sides. It'll be a perfect match, no measuring or
I actually do very little measuring while building. I don't recall my cut
sequence, but let's pretend I cut the back first. That obviously needs to
be measured. But after that, I would use the back to mark how tall to cut
the sides, rather than measure the sides. This way I am assured that every
thing fits together even if I mis measured the back, or one of the sides.
If I have to take thickness of stock into account, I'd use a few cutoffs to
exactly mark the thickness, rather than try to use a ruler. If I have to
adjust my table saw fence or a stop block, I use an existing piece to position
the saw exactly, and ignore the ruler. Not only does this save you from mistakes,
it is usually a lot faster than using a ruler. If your projects end up with a lot
of gaps, and wood forced into position, consider putting your tape measure away.
The door is made the same way as the rest of the box - 1/4 Paudauk, pinned
together. It's the 'trickiest' part of the box, as the dimensions are fairly
critical, and the small dimensions of the sides make it harder to get every
thing square and aligned for glue up. But it's not hard, just harder, if that
makes sense. Note I put some reinforcing strips on the underside of the door
and the box. This allows me to use longer screws for the piano hinge than the
1/4" Paudauk would. It probably wasn't necessary, as the hinge has a lot
of screws, but it came with long screws, and it was easier for me to put in the
strips rather than scavenge for new, shorter screws.
I glued everything with an exterior glue - Titebond Polyurethane Glue-100% waterproof.
There are other glue choices - But Titebond Polyurethane Glue works.
Do not use an ordinary yellow glue - the box will eventually separate if exposed
to the weather.
Hardware Used & a web link:
The door is attached by a piano hinge. They come in standard lengths, so
you will have to cut it to size with a hacksaw or something.
There are locking butterfly latches, on the door. The handle used was, a
Black Vinyl Covered Handles, Nickel Finish Hardware. and Case Clamps and
Corners are installed to increase the strength further.
The scope mount is the Gil Hibard - Quality, well designed adjustable bracket
for mounting a spotting scope to your pistol box. Design swivels to allow the
box to close with the scope still attached. Complete with mounting bracket and
I don't recall the total cost, but between buying premium paudauk and all
the hardware it really doesn't end up being much cheaper than buying a box.
If you had to buy any tools to do this project you'd end up way behind. On
the other hand, I have a box that exactly fits my requirements, and is sized
for my stuff.
It shouldn't be difficult to alter any dimension to make the box taller,
shorter, thicker, thinner. I mocked this box up with cardboard, duck
taped together to determine the final dimensions. I recommend doing the
same if you think you want to change the dimensions.
Just paste wax it with Minwax 78500 Regular Finishing Wax. It will never
take any other finish after that but it will be fairly well protected from
the elements. Another plus is that you can always add more wax at any time.
The wax will darken the wood just a little but it will look good.
Shoe Polish is another way to add a little color. Black shoe polish lets the
brighter parts of the grain shine through and gives a smokey color to
the valleys. It creates a finish that even some long time wood workers ask
"How did you do THAT?"
Follow that up with the paste wax. The best part about the Wax, is it never
chips, flakes, or peels.
Paste wax has been a popular finish for unfinished solid wood for many years,
and is still used today. Paste wax gives an old world or earthy look. Though
it is still used often, paste wax does not provide the best protection for solid
wood, since it does not seal it the way other products do. However, if you choose
to use paste wax, it comes in a variety of colors, is simple to apply, and will
give your gunbox a beautiful look.
Things You'll Need:
Electric hand sander
220 grit sandpaper
1. Lightly sand your box using an electric hand sander and 220 grit sandpaper.
This will help remove any blemishes on your furniture, as well as smooth out
any rough spots.
2. Wipe the furniture clean with a tack cloth to remove all the sawdust.
3. Dip a rag into the paste wax and gently wipe it onto the furniture. Rub it
into the wood, going in a circular motion. As you progress in the finishing
process, you will notice where the paste needs to be smoothed out. Just rub
the rag over these spots until the finish looks even.
4. If you desire a darker color on the wood, reapply the paste wax after
allowing the first coat to sit for 24 hours. Note that this coat will not
give your furniture any additional protection.
Reapply paste wax yearly to help keep the wood hydrated.