craftslesson5 solomon

Continuing with box material, there is a historical box described by Tony Andruzzi in the little book called DEMON'S DIARY by Masklyn Ye Mage, which got no more than a half a page and all too brief instruction of it's construction. It was a self-opening box, which depended upon the humidity and temperature for timing. It is a most clever application of magician's wax or mortician's wax and I will attempt to describe my version in this lecture.

Using the line drawings therein, you can see the basics of the box and the placement of the piano wire spring.

Tony suggested using brads or staples to hold the piano wire in place. For me this caused the lid to sit a bit too open and looked suspicious.

Using a Dremel tool with a circular saw blade about 1/8 inch thick, a groove was cut into the edge of the wood about a 1/4-inch deep. This allowed the wire to be inset and hidden with the use of epoxy putty to fill the groove after the wire was in place. The ends of the wire were bent and tiny holes drilled at the end of the groove allowed the ends to be secured in those holes so the tension on the wire when the lid was closed would not pull the wire up from its resting place in the groove.

Rather than a bar to slide into the slot where the wax was to be packed as Andruzzi did, I used a loop of wire like a staple as illustrated in the drawings. A small hole was drilled from the outside, which allowed a pin to be inserted which held the lid shut as it is under tension from the spring and tends to spring open when least expected.

Box edge showing trigger slot (note the wax)


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All the material in this lecture is copyrighted with all rights reserved to Ed Solomon, 2002.