Monday, October 20, 2008

Shop - a simple box

I had some scrap maple taking up space and had been thinking about making a small box with it. Those thoughts turned into this. This design is superb, but I can't claim the idea of this simple box. However, when I saw the picture I knew the maple was going to be this box. Making boxes is a great way to use scrap and to acquire and gain new skills.

The tiger maple is colored with a water-based aniline stain, and finished with a mixture of linseed oil, polyurethane, and thinner. This kind of finish, as you can see, brings out the beauty of the maple. I enthusiastically recommend this type of finish for many projects and dye for all woods where you need to bring out the figure. It works wonderfully with quarter or rift sawn oak, quilted or tiger maple, sycamore, and many exotics. On the previous picture frame post I did not use dye as I did not want the flake to pop.

The box was formed by using only a box core bit and hand planes. The two sides are simply routered with a 1/2" box core bit at the "handle" while the angled part below is cut off on the table saw leaving half of the original radius. The rounded top of the sides was formed by hand. The sides are lower than the bottom and thus form two legs. The top is hand planed to round with the box core bit forming a hollowed out area in the inside. In addition, the box core bit formed the indent in the front and top which provides a handle. The bottom was fit into a dado. The side and bottom are 1/2". The box is about 12" long and is the new home of Tammi's jewelry.


  1. The wood that you had left over WAS PERFECT for this project, I agree! I made a simple box in 2004 with my friend Wilson (for my Dad's ashes) and the only thing I wasn't happy with were the hinges...but since the use was to be buried I didn't worry too much about it. It turned out beautiful! I'll email you a picture if I can find one.

    Great job! I love the new jewelry box!

  2. Sandy Roache-Smith9:44 AM

    one of my favorite people in the world used to say to me "keep it simple stupid." He impacted my life with those plight has been to simplify and my enemy has been complication...we war.
    Love the box!


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