Well, it isn’t really my first commissioned piece, but it is the first one commissioned by a complete stranger. I seem to have an unending list of people I know who want me to make them something or another…
When I made a presentation box for my best man’s sgian dubh (wedding present), the guy who made the sgian dubh posted a picture of the box and knife on his website with a link to my own personal website. A few weeks ago, someone putting in an order for a sgian dubh asked him if he made presentation boxes or if he knew of someone who would make one, and he directed her to me.
The cool thing about it is that she’s pretty much giving me an artistic license to make it however I want. Her only real requirement was that I use bog oak in it somewhere.
I was thinking I’d make a box that was more than just a presentation box. There are several small items I usually wear with my kilted outfits – the sgian dubh, cuff links, and a kilt pin. I’d like to be able to keep all of these things together, if possible – I bet most guys would. So I thought a 3-compartment box, with a longer space for the sgian dubh and two shorter spaces for cuff links and kilt pins would be a grand idea. I believe I have enough bog oak to make the compartment dividers and maybe do some inlay in the lid. The rest of the box will be reclaimed white oak from the old farm house on the family farm.
Since the sgian dubh are all custom-made and have slightly different shapes, I probably won’t do a fitted lining because I won’t ever have the sgian dubh in hand (she lives in Scotland and the knife is being made in Scotland). I’ll probably just line the bottom with suede cloth. I prefer that to real suede because there seems to be some chemical used in the tanning process that reacts with silver and tarnishes it faster than usual.
Being a milestone piece, I’m going to try and take photos as I go, though I’m notorious for forgetting to even take any pictures of finished pieces…
-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com