NARRA BOXES #1: The 2x4x6 box

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Blog entry by BertFlores58 posted 08-07-2011 12:23 AM 3956 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of NARRA BOXES series Part 2: The 2x6x6 box »

In reference to my post in the forum section about Narra Parquet ... Target I have set is 40 boxes out of those recycled parquet. It is really a big effort to put these small pieces into a better look. Hard to meet the 40 but let us see the progress.

To this point, I finished 10 pcs of 4×6 x 2 boxes and 6 pcis of 6×6 x 2 boxes.


The challenge was to make a pinned hinges and the simple butt joint The pin I use is 3 mm in diameter which is nearly 1/8 inch. I found this from scrap catridges of a copying machine. Drilling the pin using portable drill is really a skill that you need to develop in making this kind of work. It is easy to drill however how perpindicular is your hole to your wood is the one that counts most. The plug used is merely a bamboo barbeque skewer.
The butt joint will not be as strong as with other joints but using dowel pins have a great improvements… allignment and strength. I used bamboo dowel pins using 5 mm diameter… this is quite big for the job however this is the only available bamboo chopsticks I have… (Well, I used all our chopsticks at home… not one left.. probably, I can collect used ones in some of the Japanese restaurant to recycled them… LOL)

You can see the errors on this particular box… I did not calculate the lid thickness so that I can adjust the dowel pin. Another, I accidentally fitted the lid hinged side on the wrong end. As you see the hinged side end of the box is curved manually using dremel sanding. It takes a while to master it. Perpendicular drilling the dowel pinholes are the hardest part if you use portable.. I suggest you have to use the drill press. In my case, I use portable drill.

Another view of this 4×6 box..


-- Bert

7 comments so far

View Bill Davis's profile

Bill Davis

226 posts in 3950 days

#1 posted 08-07-2011 12:51 AM

I was able to bring some Narra back to the US with my household and shop equipment. I will study your work and may be able to make something nice like you are prone to do. It is such a beautiful wood. And I believe there is an extra special beauty in reclaiming what is destine for the scrap heap.

I’m back in Denver CO now trying to get things back to a usable state. I’ll be watching for your future posts.

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 2861 days

#2 posted 08-07-2011 01:14 AM

Very nice. I only wish narra were more easily available.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2824 days

#3 posted 08-07-2011 02:30 AM

Looks like lots of work Bert, but you are doing a great job with these.

Great recycling of materials, even the hinge pins.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2948 days

#4 posted 08-07-2011 03:07 AM

Thanks Paul,
Working with this narra parquet being 7 mm thick is really challenging. Narra has very wild grain orientation. Even electric planers will make a real deep tear out. I use manual planes and just sand it with grinder to get the right finish. The sides are first formed and joined together. Thereafter, have to take recess for the lid by routing it using 1/8 straight bit. This is the reason why the dowels were exposed on the edge of the frontside.

Hi Bill,
Good to know you are back in USA. Just be careful with narra powder as it stains other wood. Tip: If you clean it with water… it will absorbe a lot of water and will expand. Different from other wood.. it will not go back to its original size when dry. This is the reason why most joints made from narra are really tight because it absorbes a lot of glue and will expand and never compresses back.
God Bless

-- Bert

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3380 days

#5 posted 08-07-2011 03:56 AM

I like the use you are making of the Narra AKA New Guinea Rosewood..{Ptericarpus indicus}... in great abundance here in Australia.. wonderful timber to work with..although some parts have gnarly grain.. so for that I use a drum sander… but on the most part sweet timber… I am currently using it for the fronts of the 35 drawers in the apothecary cabinet and the handle for all my sushi boards..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3528 days

#6 posted 08-07-2011 10:50 AM

You’ve been busy Bert!!
A fine looking collection of Boxes my Friend!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#7 posted 08-07-2011 01:07 PM

These are so nice, Bert! What a great collection of boxes you are making! The wood is really beautiful too and it is good to see that you are making something useful out of the old flooring. Very, very nice. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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