Hand Tools doings #11: Finished box - with finishing question for you

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 03-24-2008 03:26 AM 1381 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Precision cutting Part 11 of Hand Tools doings series Part 12: Dovetails issue »

Here is the completed box that I built using only hand tools. I finally have a lid that I actually think I did OK on. It took me a while to get it so that you could lift it off without picking up the whole box. But it lifts off smoothly now. I’ve already flocked the inside.

Here’s the issue. I’ve decided I want to give this box to my best friend who has seen me through my recent illness (and previous ones as well). So that makes it a special box. I want to finish it right. I am not a good finisher – Water lox and wax and I call it done. I definitely like the building more than the finishing.

I’d like to know how you would finish this box. I am looking for a nice sheen – not to shiny but not a satin finish either.

Also, would you finish the underside of the lid as well – or just seal it?

Right now the box is sanded to 150 grit (I still have a few fuzzies on the bottom of the lid).




I’m really enjoying my hand tools and have really seen how they will enhance my woodworking projects. I know that I won’t be a total hand tool gal though – the thought of doing anything larger than a box totally by hand is to daunting to think about. I really am looking forward to getting back out in my power shop.

Thanks in advance for your ideas.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

7 comments so far

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 3535 days

#1 posted 03-24-2008 04:16 AM

You have done something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, complete an entire project with only hand tools. Way to go on that accomplishment! I don’t have much advise on finish. I’ve only done low and high sheens projects lately. A hand-rubbed oil finish is becoming my favorite finish. It’s easy to apply and hard to mess up, but I would say it’s a low sheen.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3409 days

#2 posted 03-24-2008 06:48 AM

Pretty good. Now lets see if you can make one with a knife and fork! :-)

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 3192 days

#3 posted 03-24-2008 07:18 AM

You can’t go wrong with tung oil. Sand it through 400 grit (with the grain). Apply the tung oil to coat all surfaces, wait about 5 minutes and buff clean with a lint free rag and let dry for 24 hours. Repeat this 2-3 times untill you have the sheen you want. Then wax as normal. Hope this helps.


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3189 days

#4 posted 03-25-2008 12:04 AM

i think that tung oil would look great too. and by the way great job with the hand tools. it takes awhile but you have a better feeling when its done than with power tools. personally i love hand tools. keep up the great work.

View pat's profile


123 posts in 3136 days

#5 posted 03-25-2008 12:06 AM


-- check out my amazing woodburning , Pat

View pat's profile


123 posts in 3136 days

#6 posted 03-25-2008 12:07 AM

awesome to the max

-- check out my amazing woodburning , Pat

View Betsy's profile


3336 posts in 3317 days

#7 posted 03-25-2008 01:26 AM

Thanks all. I’m going to try tung oil.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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