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Ribbon and Bow Box Techniques

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Blog entry by Lenny posted 399 days ago 3840 reads 93 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Enough people have asked me how the Bow Boxes I made and posted were crafted that I figured a blog was warranted. My post is here “Bow Box”: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/68845. I have seen others make the boxes and thought you might like to see different interpretations of them. bigogre has done several. Here is one of his: “Box”: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/73998. moonls recently posted one with wonderful banding in the ribbons and bow. See it “here”: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/80128.

The design for my boxes came from the August/September issue of American Woodworker magazine, issue #161. Credit for the design and plans go to Ken Marble. The article refers you to their website where you can download the necessary template for the bows. You have to increase the size of the document until it reaches the called for dimensions. To get the pattern, go “to”: http://americanwoodworker.com/. On their home page look on the left for “Web extras for past issues”. Click on it and find issue #161. Click on it and scroll down to “Ribbon and Bow Box”.

Marble uses the French expression, “Trompe l’oeil” to describe the bow. The expression translated is “It fools the eye.” The bow is not bent. It is cut on a scrollsaw. Marble used a three stripe pattern of aromatic cedar and birch for his ribbons and bow. My blog will cover that process. You could very well use one solid color (species) as I did on one of mine or, like moonls, come up with your own design.

First, you need two glue-ups or laminations of three pieces of wood dimensioned at ¼” thick by 2” wide by 10” long. One glue-up will be for the ribbon, the other for the bow. I am unable to do woodworking right now so the stock in the photos is not to dimension.

Three pieces of 1/4” stock dimensioned to size.

After glue-up, it would be 3/4” thick and look like this. Remember, two of these.

Once dry, for the ribbons you joint one edge and then slice 3/16” wide strips on the band saw. I cut them a bit thicker and used my planer to bring them to the 3/16” dimension.

For the bows, here’s the pattern or template.

You cut out the template and using spray adhesive, glue it to the top of the other 3/4” glue-up.

You then proceed to drill holes as necessary and scrollsaw the pattern. When finished the pieces look like this.

Actually, the “arrows” won’t have the points yet. Using another template, you cut those later. Similarly, the middle section of the bow needs to be precisely shaped to fit in its place. Here’s a photo showing those templates.

From here, its just a matter of sanding and gluing the pieces to the box. Here is a sequence of photos.

So that’s how they are made. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI



20 comments so far

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6475 posts in 1808 days


#1 posted 399 days ago

wow lenny excellent blog, this is just great, what a beautiful result…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5276 posts in 2582 days


#2 posted 399 days ago

I love these…thanks for the details…this is going in my favorites!

Hope all is well…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14416 posts in 2181 days


#3 posted 399 days ago

Thanks Lenny. Great blog.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3471 posts in 2080 days


#4 posted 399 days ago

Great blog Lenny.
Thanks for sharing this tip.
Yours come out great !

-- Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. Albert Einstein

View ken_c's profile

ken_c

252 posts in 1667 days


#5 posted 399 days ago

thanks for the tutorial – nice job

View nailbanger2's profile

nailbanger2

921 posts in 1648 days


#6 posted 399 days ago

Another example of why this is the greatest site on the web! Thanks, Lenny!

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View oakwood's profile

oakwood

317 posts in 574 days


#7 posted 399 days ago

Thank you Lenny. The blog answers all the questions I had and now I can go ahead when ready. Thank you so much and I’m sure that you might be seeing a few more of these on LJ thanks to your helpfull information. LJ is so great for ideas and info…John

View Rxmpo's profile

Rxmpo

246 posts in 2250 days


#8 posted 399 days ago

This is what makes Lumberjocks the awesome site that it is! Thanks Lenny!!! Picture is worth a thousand words.

View Woodenwizard's profile

Woodenwizard

1033 posts in 1560 days


#9 posted 399 days ago

Lenny, great blog. I still have the infromation you gave me but haven’t actually tried the box yet. It is still on my to do list.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Lenny's profile

Lenny

1208 posts in 2032 days


#10 posted 399 days ago

Thanks everyone. I am glad it will be of use to you.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13335 posts in 2178 days


#11 posted 399 days ago

Neat box, Lenny.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View bladedust's profile

bladedust

167 posts in 771 days


#12 posted 399 days ago

Very cool Lenny. Going in my favorites to try when I build my skills.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14544 posts in 1694 days


#13 posted 399 days ago

Lenny Great work and Blog!! Amazing and so nice of you to share. Great job!!!!!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Roger's profile

Roger

13076 posts in 1309 days


#14 posted 399 days ago

Very nicely done, Lenny. Thnx for the how-to

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4281 posts in 1541 days


#15 posted 398 days ago

Clever.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

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