Builder's Log | Three hardwood cases

looks awesome

i though you got the memo though

green clamps>>>>>>>orange clamps

Cool, thanks for the update man.

Shaping the case

Time for a large update. There will be lots of pics to view in these next few posts as well as quite a bit of information.

To start the glue has finished drying and we take off the clamps. For this case I’ll use a 1/2" round over bit in my router table.

I start with the bit only half way exposed and take off the corners first. You want to take it in steps instead of all at once because the wood may rip and tear instead of cut. By taking small bites this lessens the ‘tear out’ quite a bit.

Then I do the top and bottom edges.

Here is a closeup of the case after the routing is complete. The rough cuts from the router bit will be cleaned up as the process continues.

and three cases that I am currently working on, Jatoba, Purpleheart & Quarter Sawn White Oak.

Drill for the buttons

Next I drilled the holds for the buttons. Here is a template I created from a piece of scrap plexiglass. The center holes are in a straight line and spaced properly for the buttons. These holes are also set closer to the bottom because of the thickness of the top that will be in the case. I set the case on a table and clamp the template making sure the bottom of the template is touching the tabletop.

Next I put the case in my bench vice so it is easier to drill the holes. Here are the pilot holes drilled through the case. The reason for these holes will be explained in the next steps.

I start drilling the holes with a 30mm forstner bit. I stop frequently to make sure the depth is correct so the button will be completely sunk into the face of the wood. This cut will be the shoulder that the button will rest on.

Next I flip the case over and using the same 30mm bit I drill a recess into the back side of the board. I check the depth as I to here too so the nut of the button will screw onto the base of the button. The pilot hole I drilled in the fist step is used to make sure the the two holes are in the right place.

The final step is to flip the case in the vice again and using a 24mm bit finish the hole. Here is a button in place to show how it all works.

Here are my three cases again with all the holes drilled. The purpleheart case is getting a special hole for a USB connection. This is for a wireless XBox 360 pad with Play N Charge.

Square up the inside

Now I need to square up the inside of the case so I don’t have to make any special cuts on the top piece to make it fit. We go back to the router table this time with a 1" flush trim bit. Going around the inside of the case will make the inside 90 degrees to the top. Now I can cut the top panel of the case with square edges instead of trying to match the slight angle that the case sides have.

OOPS I made a mistake. I drilled the holes out of order. Now I have to be careful routing the inside because the bit will fall into the button holes causing a notch to be taken out of the side. What I did was to take the case away from the bit when I came to the holes. I’ll clean this up with a chisel and when I sand the case.

Now the router bit is round. However I want a square corner for the top to fit properly. I go back to the bench vice clamping the case in place. I use a hand chisel to square up the corner. At this time I also fix my oops from above.

Now for some final pics of the purpleheart case after sanding in preparation for the finish to be applied.

The next update will cover the finishing techniques I use on these cases.


kaytrim u wanna sell me this case? =)

Amazing, simply amazing.

James, if you are talking about the Jatoba case then sure. Viildil has asked for and received a refund. It was taking too long for him and I totally agree. The Oak and Purpleheart cases are spoken for. Shoot me an email and we can talk specifics.


i was talking about this one

That is the Jatoba case. Shoot me an email, I do my orders through there so I can keep it straight.


This is an awesome thread. I like reading about all the steps you take, and the order you take them in. I have a question for you. Who is your favorite master woodworker, Norm Abram or David Marks? By the looks of your work and cough tung oil, I’d say Marks.

Thanks for the complements. I have never seen David Marks so I wouldn’t know how to answer your question.

Damn Kaytrim, it’s like we have our very own New Yankee Workshop on the forums here.

Looking forward to more updates as I make my way up the totem poll.


These look amazing

Kaytrim your work rocks!

Shoo…I liked your old avatar better, LONG LIVE ZOIDBERG!!!

Finishing Midway Point

Time for a little update. The finishing process of these three sticks is at the midpoint and there are a few problems with one of the cases. First of all a glamor shot of all three cases. White Oak on top, followed by the Jatoba and finally the Purpleheart.

The Jatoba and Purpleheart have two solid coats of tung oil to bring out any figure and accent the color. The White oak has had two separate steps done. The first step is a staining product called TransTint. It comes in 19 different colors, in this case I am using black. More information on the TransTint can be found at The next step was using a spray polyurethane. This will also be used on the other two cases to seal and protect them.

Here are two shots of the White Oak case from two slightly different angles. This shows the variation of the wood grain and how the TransTint stains the wood.

Now on to the problem. Oak in general has some large pores. These pores make it difficult to get a smooth finish. Look at this last pic. The blue circle is around the worst of the trouble spots. You can also see the rough surface of the finish all the way down the side of the case. I’ll cover how I deal with that in my next update.

Kaytrim :tup:

great stuff

Excellent to show what sort of mistakes can happen and how you deal with them :slight_smile:
Eager to see the rest of the thread :slight_smile:

did u sell them all ? i like how the one stick almost looks like gator print. very pimp


The purpleheart and white oak are for custom orders. The Jatoba is reserved for James123 but he said that if someone came along with cash to go ahead and sell it. If you are interested in the Jatoba case then send me an email. kaytrimskustoms(at)gmail(dot)com