As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
My daughter loves puzzles. Her birthday was coming up and my wife found a Tangram book in a thrift store. I was then tasked with making a Tangram set to go with it.
Tangrams are puzzles. You are given an image, and a set of seven shaped tiles that you need to figure out how to arrange to make into the provided image.
Along with the seven tiles, which are pretty straightforward to create, I set about making a storage box which was large enough to hold the tiles as well as the book. (And also large enough to be useful in other ways, should my daughter ever decide that Tangrams no longer hold any interest.)
Here is the photo essay of the build.
Along with that, I googled up a Tangram tile pattern online, which I scaled up to a size that I liked and printed out on some paper.
So far, this is a 10 minute project. The tricky part is next.
My plan is to use the white oak for the body of the box, and the maple for the top. For dimensions I just placed the Tangram puzzle book down and measured so it would be a bit larger than that in both length and width, and around 3" tall.
My plan was to have a sliding top, so one end was also cut short, so that the lid could slide in over top of it. The bottom was fit into place (without glue, like a floating panel) and the finger joints were glued together.
The dado cuts had left a few tiny gaps at the ends which I plugged with some small pieces of oak. These will be practically invisible after sanding and finishing. Right now you can just see a few of the "patches" in the lower section of the joint, standing proud of the other pieces.
As well, a small piece of oak was attached across the end, partly as a finger pull and partly as a fill-in trim piece. It is a cross-grain joint, so there are just a few dabs of glue in the joint, but mainly two small screws fastened in from below, to allow for wood movement.
I applied several coats of spray lacquer (from an aerosol can) to all sides of the project. For a small project like that, "rattle-can" finish like that is quick and easy. Laquer dries incredibly fast, so you can apply several coats in a short stretch of time. Though you do need to leave the pieces after to off-gas and cure.
Thanks for reading!