Box Challenge 1

Box One is on the left, Box Two in the right. Both have Curly Red Oak bodies. Box One has a Spalted Oregon Myrtle top and Box Two has a Wenge top. Dimensions are 3x3x2¼, ¼ wall thickness.

I have discovered that box making is fun, interesting, varied, rewarding, challenging. This is the results, so far, of my box making/design challenge. This is a way to use small, special pieces of wood that I've been saving and clutter the shop. These are the first two I’ve made with this new mind set. The mind set of exploration into design possibilities.

Review misses, what would I do differently next time (negative qualities):

  • The finish sucks on both boxes for different reasons. The box on the left was my first and it has a sprayed on clear shellac. No color or depth. The second box, the one on the right, has an Amber shellac applied with a cloth and 3 coats. I was hard to keep smooth so there are areas where the finish puddled. The top was oil finished and is a little splotchy. 
  • The fit of the lid on box one was cut to size then planed and became too small for my taste. A small piece of a corner broke of during the planeing so it lead to all the corners being slightly rounded. Box two so much better top fit as it was cut oversize then planed to fit.
  • Miters were not perfect. But surprisingly close. Perfection requires a miter shooting board.
  • The finial on box one is Curly Red Oak the same as both boxes sides. It looks like different wood as the finish was applied while finial was on the lathe and the shape is clunky. The finial on box two is Wenge the same as the top so it looks closer color wise but its shape is underwhelming. Next time I'll try something different.

Review hits, what I like (positive qualities):

  • I love the squareness of the boxes and how the lid fits no matter the orientation. The fit does not require any hunting for the correct position. The fit on box two is superb and box one okay and not too sloppy.
  • The way the base was made such that there is a 3/16” elevation off the table adds interest and a nice shadow line.
  • The small size of the boxes. They are 3”square by 2¼” tall. ¼” walls. I try making smaller ones in the future.
  • Inside floor of the box is lined with fancy paper. Next time fabric.
  • Box two was treated with Brix Wax and that really helped the finish.