Celtic NOT - a journey

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 12-22-2011 06:01 PM 3077 reads 6 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the blog of how I built Celtic NOT. The design is one of a recent series of overlapping circle designs. Originally there were two possible patterns

These are the original paper models. As you can see the more complicated of the two had an interwoven line on the sides of the box as well.

I eventually decided this pattern looked a bit too busy and opted for the simpler of the two.

The box was going to be Oak with Sycamore and Walnut stringing. I initially tried making the stringing from 2mm strips of these two woods bent using a microwave steaming technique and the following jig.

Whilst the technique did work to some extent the resulting strips relaxed out of shape a little and the stringing would have had too much spring in it for the pattern to hold together for any appreciable length of time. So I fell back on the circle routing jig and made the pieces on that. I also changed to a Sapele and Yew backing at this point, with Sycamoe and Rosewood stringing. I cut the backing and stringing on this jig.

Gluing them together with finger clamps, using PVA. I made the pieces twice as wide as they eventually needed to be and re-sawn to get the required number of stringing parts.

The centre circle was going to be Yew, some of the following pictures show this, but in the final analysis I had undercut the diametre of the circle by just over a millimetre and fell back on a Sapele circle cut from the rescued centre of the initial board. The following are pics of how I managed to glue this monster together.

Initially presented with all these pieces I didn’t know where to start on this glue up. I thought on it over a beer and a sleep and decided to build parts up gradually in the following way, using Viscous CA (superglue).

Now the final pattern glue-up was done using PVA and masking tape onto a single layer of 1.5mm Birch Aeroply.

The resultant board was thickness sanded and put through the EZ mitre process to produce the box posted here

Be seeing you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

19 comments so far

View michelletwo's profile


2587 posts in 2439 days

#1 posted 12-22-2011 06:15 PM

thanks for sharing the process. It is wonderful to see your thought process, designing and how you approach the whole concept. Your skill is astounding & you work hard to produce fascinating boxes. happy holidays Martyn

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 12-22-2011 06:25 PM

You got skill and patience. A welcome combination.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shopmania's profile


698 posts in 2606 days

#3 posted 12-22-2011 06:29 PM

Amazing work. Thanks so much for sharing!

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 1905 days

#4 posted 12-22-2011 06:33 PM

Your skills are amazing. Very nice design.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View mauibob's profile


226 posts in 2491 days

#5 posted 12-22-2011 06:43 PM

Thanks for sharing those brain waves with us, Martyn! Another pretty design. Merry Christmas my friend.

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 2459 days

#6 posted 12-22-2011 06:57 PM

A great mind at work.

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2710 days

#7 posted 12-22-2011 07:04 PM

Thanks for the great information and a wonderful project


View shipwright's profile


7095 posts in 2221 days

#8 posted 12-22-2011 07:06 PM

You’re an amazing man Martyn.
Great fun watching you work.
Merry Christmas!

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

View amagineer's profile


1414 posts in 2020 days

#9 posted 12-22-2011 07:10 PM

your designs are just amazing. just when i think you have designed the most incredible box i have ever seen, you outdo yourself with another design. happy holidays my friend.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View GoPhillies's profile


45 posts in 2092 days

#10 posted 12-22-2011 08:09 PM

very cool

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2357 days

#11 posted 12-22-2011 08:17 PM

Thanks for sharing your building process with us!

Merry christmas!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4607 posts in 2460 days

#12 posted 12-22-2011 11:28 PM

Happy holidays to all of you too.

No wait…....I have a cunning plan…...............

to be continued.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View David White's profile

David White

120 posts in 2704 days

#13 posted 12-22-2011 11:35 PM

Very cunning!

I have been obsessing about your work recently (for which distraction my wife sends you thanks) and the more I build these boxes in my head, the more I recognise the subtly of your thought process.

One thing that I have been struggling with is how to deal with the change in direction of the grain between the “ends” and “sides” of the boxes after you have completed the fold. I see that you address this very elegantly by simply having the grain run diagonally across the board. Very clever.

I hope to have some time to actually experiment with technique over the Christmas period. Might start with MDF though!


View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2410 days

#14 posted 12-23-2011 12:37 AM

I wondered how you made this design.
Thanks for sharing.
It would make a great looking bowl (from a board) too.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Druid's profile


1235 posts in 2219 days

#15 posted 12-23-2011 07:23 AM

Very nicely done, and many thanks for sharing the details.
Yet another set of great designs.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

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