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belting





There are many ways to build a box, one can cut the elements of the trays and assemble them prior to covering.
This method involves gluing the edges of the sides of the tray (we will call these the walls of the tray), taping these wall boards to the support board to keep them together while drying, letting dry a couple of hours, removing the tape and sometime sanding smooth.
After this, you can cover the trays with cloth, leather, paper or combinations of the above. If you have used this method, you know the pitfalls, like collapsing walls, slippery assemblies, bumpy lumps left by drying glue &c. &c.

When I use cloth, I prefer the "belting" method where the trays are assembled as the cloth is applied, thus eliminating several steps in a fail proof method, that is, if your boards are cut straight and square...
 

 

gluing the cloth
The cloth is glued with pva, the wall boards of the trays laid on in place with proper spacing, one thickness of board between each board. Of course, the cloth is wide enough for inside covering and turn ins.

 

The boards are firmly pressed onto the adhesive. Note that only the area of the cloth receiving the boards is glued. If there is excess cloth, it is trimmed off.
The support of the tray is then treated. If there is a camber in the support board, make sure it is up.


applying bead of pva to bottom board




"Clean" your brush on the edges of the 3 needed sides, no need to be fussy... Make sure there is enough adhesive. Note that the brush is not dipped in the pot, there is enough adhesive in it to performe the task.
Now, some on the edges of the walls, by the inside corners. Again, no need to fuss.
 


applying board to belt
 
Time to marry the support to the walls: place the support against the edge of the large wall, between the 2 smaller ones. This placement is important as it will define the squareness of the tray.
Bring in the small wall unto the support, making sure the small edges of the walls are fitting as designed, pushing the small wall square against the table.
Partially turn in the cloth to keep together. A cloth pin of bull dog clip is fine for the task. Sometime, you need neither.
 

 
 
Pinch the cloth at the corners turn ins to bring the walls in close contact to the support. Trim excess cloth.
Wall of the tray against the table, finish the turn in with the bone folder, assuring that the elements are in their proper place. Repeat operation for the smaller walls.


Wipe clean the excess of glue from the inside, as a bonus, it creates a film of adhesive that solidifie the assembly.
Now you are done with step one, and it took way less than 2 minutes, when you are experienced, you can jump right away to step two but prudence dictates that you better let dry before the jump.

OK now you can take that java break! (or whatever makes your clock tick)

Back from you coffee break? it's time to make your fine cuts for the turn ins.
 
 
Below is a diagram of the various cuts needed as well as the gluing sequence. Only half a belt is shown for the sake of space on this page.
 
 
You can use scissors if you are a pro or use square and cutter, in this case, a scalpel blade.

finecuts for the trays
 
Cut is made away from the wall board by a bit more than it's thickness flush to the small edge of the board.
Cuts for the inside corners are made with the large wall board down on the work table, square if flush with the inside of the small wall board and the cut start directly from the edge of the board.
 

 
A "tongue" is cut from the outside of the small wall board towards the cloth. It will look like a narrow pointed triangle about half inc high and by the thickness of the board wide, it will finish the corner nicely, DO NOT cut it off!!!! Repeat the operation on the other side.

 
Don't forget to cut for this corner, from the edge of the inside wall board towards the outside. Another 2 minutes well spent.

Now it's time to finish the turn ins, apply the adhesive starting with either of the small wall boards. Be careful, it's easy to be sloppy!
 
 


Start your turning in with the smaller elements, the support turn in. Get a sharp fit with the bone folder. Next unto the short side of the wall board, then the all important tongue glued in place unto the edge of the small wall board.
 
 
turning in the cloth over the tray wall
Adhere the cloth to the edge with a good rubbing of the bone folder. NO Air pocket please! Turn in the inside cloth covering, first with your finger ( make sure they are clean!)

Finish with the folder, Get a sharp fit in the inside corners.
 
On thin trays, it's easy to do the whole operation in one shot, as demonstrated in the video below:
 




Previous page: Making boxes
Next page: Preparing the spine


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