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Author Topic: The Christmas Bank Job  (Read 1309 times)

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Offline DWyatt

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The Christmas Bank Job
« on: December 07, 2018, 01:18:07 PM »
'Tis the season for my annual making of banks to give away or sell to people to give to others. A little background. My dad and Grandpa bought out a local post office of all of their old brass doors when they changed over to the new aluminum doors. Since this happened, literally everyone in my family has one of these banks, most of which my Grandpa made, and I have continued the tradition since he passed 6 years ago. I would guess we still have in the neighborhood of 150 doors.

First is a picture of two of the three different door sizes we have. 



 

The most time consuming portion of making the banks is cleaning up the doors and determining the combinations. I'll scrub the doors good, remove the glass and scrape away the stickers then sand the raised decorative faces of the doors, exposing the brass.

I got a decent start after work the other day. Got all of the boards needed all planed and ripped to a more manageable length and ripped to the correct width. Below is the pile of lumber that should yield 20-25 banks. I make them in large batches to lower the hrs worked/bank to make them more profitable.....slightly profitable... nevermind, I just like making them. Don't mind the messy shop, as it turns out, I'm a lot better at working in it than cleaning. :D



 


Here's a picture of how the finished product will look. I believe these two were hickory, stained with golden oak. All the ones this year are white oak (cut from Dad's property, milled by us, and dried by us)



 

I'll keep you all updated as I progress through the build! :)

Offline samandothers

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2018, 04:57:16 PM »
Very nice work!  You do a great job on the banks.  Pretty neat traditional gift.  

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2018, 05:03:07 PM »
 :P
Those are neat.  I occasionally see a door at an antique shop but it seems they think they are made of gold!  How many digits to the combo? 2 or 3?
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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2018, 05:54:40 PM »
Pretty neat.  Nice use of the old po box doors. 

Takes me back a ways .We had that kind of po box when I was kid.
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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2018, 09:30:08 PM »
Very nice job.  When I read the title I had visions of an old west bank robbery on Christmas eve story.  :D
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Offline Magicman

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2018, 09:49:53 AM »
How many digits to the combo? 2 or 3?
Ours had 3 digits and the combination was; 5 - 1 - 5.  Wow, it's been over 57 years since I thought of that number.   
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Online btulloh

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2018, 05:22:25 PM »
Security was a lot easier back then.  Three digits was enough.

We didn't need to watch out for computer viruses, fishing emails, pilfering mail boxes, oil minister scams.  The biggest challenge was keeping someone from listening in on the party line.

Offline DPatton

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 07:55:11 PM »
The biggest challenge was keeping someone from listening in on the party line.
😂😂😂😂 What I would give to have kids nowadays experience the old days of sharing a party line with all your neighbors. I lived on a farm and grew up talking to my first few girlfriends 🥰 on a party line phone. These days I would probably blush ☺️ and be embarrassed 😳 to know some of the things the neighbors may have heard.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2018, 10:01:15 PM »
The fortunate ones had party lines.  We never had a phone nor TV when I was growing up.  ::)
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2018, 10:55:26 PM »
My grandma had party line when I was a kid.  Had to remember what ring was ours, otherwise we answered somebody elses call.
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Offline DWyatt

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2018, 07:20:56 AM »
Thanks all for the compliments!  These doors all have a 3 letter combination that I have to figure out before they are fastened to the wood boxes. I put a label of the bottom of every bank that has the combo listed as:

Clockwise to B
Counter Clockwise Past B to G 1/2
Clockwise to D

Or whatever letters the combo ends up being and if I find out I'm wrong after I assemble then I have to break the glass out and try again. (don't ask how I know) ::) :D

I post an update later on what I got done this weekend! :)

Offline DWyatt

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2018, 07:22:13 AM »
Very nice job.  When I read the title I had visions of an old west bank robbery on Christmas eve story.  :D
Hook, Line, and Sinker. Got you to take a look :D

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2018, 07:59:10 AM »
How do you determine the combination? 
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Offline DWyatt

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2018, 12:48:50 PM »
How do you determine the combination?
When I start cleaning up doors, I will open up the lock area to show you how they work. I believe they are referred to as a pin and tumbler lock if you want to try to look them up. I learned how to find the combo from Gramps, but I'll try to do my best to explain it with pictures. Definitely a lot easier to do than it will be to put into words!

Offline DWyatt

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2018, 01:16:27 PM »
Well I got to work on the banks for a few hours this past Sunday and got quite a bit more done! The first picture is a whole mess of pieces after cutting to length.



 

Next I set up the tablesaw with the dado blades and cut the rabbet in the top, bottom, and back pieces. This task definitely has a little pucker factor involved, cutting a 5/8" wide x 1/4" deep rabbet in a 4" long piece is not for the faint of heart. I considered it all a success because I only sent one piece on a rocket ship across the shop.



 

And here's the stack of all of the rabbeted pieces ready for assembly!



 

Lastly, I cut all of the side pieces to length. I do this part last just in case there are small variations in the depth of the rabbet and as I cut the pieces, I dry fit each bank.  I like doing things this way because it allows me to match up grain changes/color more accurately. I ended up having enough material planed down to make 23 banks!



 

Yesterday evening I was able to get 7 of them glued up but that took every capable clamp that we had. SEND MORE CLAMPS! :D So it will take me 3 days this week to get them all glued up but each night I'll sand the ones I'm pulling out of the clamps from the previous night then I'll cut the 1/4 round all at the same time.

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2018, 03:46:33 PM »
How do you determine the combination?
When I start cleaning up doors, I will open up the lock area to show you how they work. I believe they are referred to as a pin and tumbler lock if you want to try to look them up. I learned how to find the combo from Gramps, but I'll try to do my best to explain it with pictures. Definitely a lot easier to do than it will be to put into words!
With padlocks, I would just look down the open shackle hole and dial the dial left-right-left like normal and watch for the notches and record the numbers.  Then I would subtract the same amount from each (like 8 or 9) and it would work the release.  In Jr. high and High school, kids would leave their locks unlocked to make it easier to get their books between classes.  So I would "crack" them for fun.
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Offline BradMarks

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2018, 05:21:50 PM »
My post office  replaced those exact same type combo locks with letters, to the aluminum w/ keys, just a few months ago. Please email me with price if you have any to sell, I have a 4 yr old granddaughter I am thinking of ;D.  

Offline DWyatt

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2018, 12:49:29 PM »
Well I finally remembered to take some pictures last night! I now have all but two of the 23 banks all glued up and ready for sanding, below is a picture of a few banks clamped up.



 

Next up is a few of the banks waiting on the sanding table. I normally sand to 120 then route the 1/4 round and cut in the coin slot.



 

I got a little delayed gluing up the rest of the banks because I had to have a couple done by this weekend. So two nights ago I routed, cut the slot, finish sanded , and stained 5 banks and last night I sprayed the clear coat of those banks. Just in time to give the a couple days to harden and then assemble Saturday morning! 8)



 

I must admit, I am very happy with how this batch of banks is turning out. In the last year we have upgraded a couple pieces of equipment/tools in the shop which has definitely helped to improve the fit and finish of small joints. Going from an old worn out circular saw and miter gauge to two pieces that are well known, precise machines/tools makes a huge difference.

I'll probably have little progress until after this weekend other than final assemble on the first 5 banks. Prep for and blowing in insulation in my shop is going to occupy my time this weekend! 8)

Offline DWyatt

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2018, 12:56:56 PM »
It's getting closer to Christmas and all of the activities are cutting into my working time! However, I did get a couple of banks completed, one I had to get shipped out on Saturday and one went to the Christmas gift exchange with my girlfriend's family. Here's a picture of the one that got shipped out!



 

Then last night I spent about 4 hours in the shop, I got 18 banks all sanded, routed, and the slot cut. Here's some of them after initial sanding, on a makeshift downdraft table I made after always getting sick from the sanding dust.



 

Tonight I will be doing a little finish sanding and staining probably 10 of the banks. The rest I will wait to do as the orders come in later in the year. I have to get started on my Christmas presents that I will give to people! :o ::)

On a fun side note, I had mentioned before that I have a few different size doors, Here's a little safe I made for myself out of the largest door. I made it large enough to fit a sheet of paper flat inside. I painted the background of the door black then sanded the face to make it really pop. The wood is from a piece I found in Gramps shop. I had no idea what it was because it was really rough sawn and weathered. I sent it through the planer and my jaw hit the floor and I decided nobody was gonna have something so beautiful, so I kept it for my own project (I like to think that Gramps knew I would find it some day). It appears to me to be some kind of curly oak, I ended up saining the whole thing with golden oak then sanding it again which made the grain really pop! :)



 



 

Don't mind that I still don't have drawer fronts or doors on my cabinets, I'll get there one of these days :D ::) 

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Re: The Christmas Bank Job
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2018, 08:09:42 PM »
Those are really nice, what a treasure for anyone who receives one. That's the gift to give to someone who has everything. Great job. 
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