So now that we have sourced our Iroko hardwood it’s time to get started building. We have decided to use a modular approach and have had all the pieces needed milled to size ready to be routed for the glass. Below you can see the milled pieces being held together to show a rough idea of the final form.

Instead of the planned dowel joints we were encouraged to use biscuit joints as a a stronger alternative especially due to the reduced thickness in pillar size from our previous iterations. In the background of the image below you can see the biscuit joiner and in the foreground the roof of the box with three grooves having just been created. The biscuit pieces are on the left hand side which are inserted into the grooves and glued creating a solid joint between the two pieces of wood.

Once the pieces have been glued they require up to 24hours to dry. You can also see below that our glass has been inserted inside the grooves routed earlier in the day. Things are really starting to come together.

The final side frames have now been glued together and it is possible to see the excess biscuit joints sticking out the bottom ready to be sawn off. Also the grooves around the glass are still visible where the final panes of glass will be inserted.

With the glue dried from the first two frames I have now constructed and glued the whole frame including the three panes of glass. It is now possible to get a real sense of the final form for the rain in a box. On the left hand side is the door which has yet to be hinged. We are still far from finishing the prototype but once the frame has been finished and oiled we will be able to add the electronics with little effort due to our modular design.

Read more from James Rice at