Our biggest box for Su Blackwell yet

Here is paper artist Su Blackwell's partner moving her latest display box, a behemoth 1.7m high and 1.1m wide, made from solid ash panels joined with dovetails at the corners. The box will house a sculpture Su made for the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire (that's not a real horse looking on, by the way).

We made the joints for the box using a Leigh dovetail jig. Most jigs that simplify the time-consuming business of making dovetails have restrictions on the width of the work you can insert into them. To use the Leigh jig you first make a wooden frame that the jig sits on, and there is no restriction on the length you can make this frame, so you could theoretically make dovetailed joints of any length at all (a dovetailed shed, anyone?)

However the length of the box parts (the sides being 1.7m long) meant we had to make a way of routing the dovetails at some height above the bench. Cue a lot of messing around with tables and 4-stone weights. This is how we did it:

It does produce an incredibly neat and regular set of dovetails, as you can see. Sticking this immense construction together required rather a lot of our sash cramps.