Making a Bail for a Shaker Chip Box
In starting the design for a Shaker Chip Box, I thought how easy it looked – but soon was surprised by the complexity of the bent handle or Bail. This component is not so simple with its right angle bends and subtle irregularities in shape. This is when I would like to reach for a File and Spokeshave Tool in SketchUp. But of course, there is no such thing, so we have to resort to “Intersect”.
Here is my method of creating the Bail (I tried a couple ways and found this to be the easiest). First here is the piece I will be reproducing.
Step 1: Create the Bail shape for the steam bend. I use only one-half of the Bail for the shaping process, then later copy and complete the other half. I had an orthographic drawing of this piece, which I scanned and imported into SketchUp. I traced over the bend shape with the Line and Arc Tools.
Step 2: Give the shape a width of 3/4″ with the Push/Pull Tool.
Step 3: Create the undulating shape of the handle and place on face of the bend shape. Again I used the scanned image to help with an accurate shaping.
Step 4: With Push/Pull Tool, push the undulating shape into and through the bend shape. In preparation for the Intersect function, scale up the combined graphics by a factor of 100. Sometimes I can get away with Intersecting without scaling. But in this case it is very doubtful that a quality intersection would occur because of the smallness of the components. After scaling, select all and execute “Intersect selected”.
Step 5: Here is the resulting component after cleaning up the waste with the eraser.
Step 6: We still have another shaping requirement for the lower end of the Bail. There is a rounding over of this pointed end. Make the round-over shape, push/pull, and perform an Intersect.
Step 7: Scale back down by a factor of 0.01, and copy over the other half of the Bail. I also added the fastening screw shank holes.
Step 8: Use the Soften/Smoothing function to remove unnecessary lines and move it over to its final placement on the Chip Box. I also had to do some “hiding” of lines. I do these operations with the Eraser combined with the Shift or the Cntrl Keys. The Cntrl does “smoothing” and the Shift does “hiding”. Note that the real handle will rounded over on the top surface for the vertical section, and rounded over on the bottom surface for the horizontal portion.
I hope to make a few of these over the holidays using fresh wet ash for the steam bent Bail. I’ll have more fun shaping the ash in the shop, than shaping with SketchUp on the computer.