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Cube within a Cube

Photo of Padauk

My objective with this project was to make six cubes that I could use a gifts.  Each cube has another cube inside that is created by drilling into each side.

I'm starting with a piece of rough cut Padauk. Since it's rough cut, I'll use a jointer and planer to clean it up.

If you don't have these tools, you can go to a store like Woodcraft and find a piece of exotic that is already milled to a 3" size.  Then you can do all the work just with a drill press.

Cutting Padauk on the band saw

I was using 12/4" Padauk, so I cut it lengthwise on the band saw to be 3" wide, with enough excess so that it could be jointed and planed.

Planing the wood

The planer is useful for making cubes because it ensures that the width and thickness of the wood are equal.

Cutting the cube into 3" lengths

Then I used the chop saw to cut the wood into 3" lengths. Before cutting, I wrapped the wood with blue painter's tape along the cut line to help minimize tear-out.

Drawing pencil lines from corner to corner

I marked the center point by drawing lines from corner to corner.  This is the point where I'm going to drill.

Initial superficial drill

Using a 2" Forstner bit, I cut just into the surface to see where the circle intersects with the diagonal lines.

By measuring the distance from the edge of the cube to this point of intersection, I get a rough guide on how deep to drill.

In my experience, I will need to drill deeper than that, but this gives a safe depth to drill to without worrying about going too far.

Drilling into each side

Continue drilling into each side to the safe depth. Depending on how hard your wood is, you may be wishing you had a sharper drill bit.  I certainly did!

After that, increase the depth a small amount and drill into each side, and continue carefully until the cube almost breaks free.

Inner cube has broken free

You'll know when you get there because the cube will either break free while you're drilling, or it will be easy to snap from the bigger cube by twisting it with your fingers.

Filing with a rasp

I used a rasp to remove any rough edges and then sanded with 120-grit sandpaper, then 150-grit, the 220-grit.

Applying Danish oil finish

After sanding, I applied a coat of Danish oil finish, and then rubbed the cubes with a coat of wax.

Watch the video here!

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