Paint box for my daughters artist area.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 01-31-2016 10:50 PM 1338 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Paint box
for my daughters artist area

This Christmas I gave my daughter a easel, she had a specific wish and so I decided that where I could bring her some of me, was in making her a box for all the paint gear.

She is quite dedicated, spend many hours in her room painting with a deep focus and in a meditative state of mind.
Nothing less than wonderful.

I have made her a jewel box at a ealier time and as some of you know I have a soft spot for the Japanese crafts, so I went in that direction, using some of the methods I have learned on my path.

So as usual a drawing of the idea and a few measures.
Like this it is less like working blindfolded.

Measures taken, notes made and the saw are warmed up.

Quick and clean cuts in a beautiful furniture grade plywood.

Marking and wine.
Here marking the thickness of the plywood on to the ends with a wheel style cutting gauge.
I do love that marling gauge.

Crisp line.

Now breaking the edge as we call it in Denmark, just a few light passes with the sanding block to trim it so it will not tear out.

Not bad that Italian wine.

Tobacco and marking up the sides to make sure they will find their match later.

A-A and so on.

Since I will use fingers for the joints, I lay out with a divider.

Just light marks.

Talking a walk down the side.

Then I can mark out the fingers and mark what to cut away.
Also I cut the lines after with a marking knife.

Like this I can make some fast cutting on the band saw.

Cut on the waste side of the line.

Here you see why it’s important to pre cut the lines, the tearing stops right on the line.

Then it’s just to stay focused and cut.

Now the fingers can be transferred to the ends.
Don’t just mark it up and cut all, this little trick makes all the difference and secures close, sharp fingers.

Like this, again marking the waste.

Back to the band saw.

Now all cut.

We got a box.

Crisp fingers.

The lid on top.

Thickness of the ply, here 9mm, marked with cutting gauge on the sides of the lids underside.

Then cut in repeating cuts straight up to the line in app half the ply’s thickness.

Like this.

Trimming with a shoulder plane.

Crisp edges.

Always away from the edge, never towards it.

The lid in place.
Fits right in.

Happy I am.

All parts are ready.
Dry fit complete.

Clamping the box and predrilling for the wood nails.
(Yes this is starting to be a MaFe-san trademark…).

I nailed it!
Ha ha…

Ok back to the drilling, no more bad jokes.


Just light tap for the pre assembly.

Marking half the plywood thickness to the base, in this way I know where to drill so I can fix the bottom to the sides.

Like this, just wood nails.

Sides also.

Divider also gets a few nails.

All nails done.

Now tear it apart!

My daughter wants a color that will fit her other furniture’s and the new easel, so I mix up a dye.

Yeps that’s the color she want’s.

Just a piece of cloth will do the job.

Ends first and wear gloves.

All done!
Lovely that the grain still stands out, was afraid it would have become more flat.

Now time to glue the fingers.
Not my own fingers…
Ohhhhh yes and no glue before the dye, otherwise the dye will not penetrate the wood.

Pressure applied and nails driven in with glue, like this the fingers get tight and the joint strong.

All in.

Trimming the ends off, a piece of paper on top helps me from scratching the surface with the trim saw.

A pair of spacers are added under the box.

A box, steady as a rock.
Think I deserve a break now.

A mix of bees wax and linseed oil are applied.
This help to bring back the life into the wood and also we get a surface that will gain beauty from use.

Again a cloth.
Please notice the life that returns to the wood.

Ohhh yes and my MaFe brand, a little reminder that her father made the box for her, once she has left the house and are walking her own path in life, hopefully full of colors.

And here it is.
A box.
No more, no less.
Yes perhaps a box made with love are more than just a box.

It will gain from age, just like the rest of us.

Do get a desire to fill it with tools, but this one is not for me. ;-)

Plenty of room, the divider low so long brushes, paper and other stuff can use the full length.

Yep I’m ok with it.

Time to wrap it up.

In brown paper.

Message for my daughter on top.

I’ll call it a day and bring it home now.

Back home it was received with joy.

Here in her art corner with the easel I gave her for Christmas.

Home sweet home.

Plenty of room for her stuff.

I will end the story here, and keep getting joyful when I come to the room and see a new painting taking form, a new fantasy getting life in her room.

Merry Christmas, yes a late one.

Hope it can be an inspiration, at least to her.


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

15 comments so far

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2224 days

#1 posted 01-31-2016 11:02 PM

Very cool Mads

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Brit's profile


6573 posts in 2263 days

#2 posted 01-31-2016 11:05 PM

What a lovely gift Mads and it is nice to see that Matilde (hope I spelt that correctly) is a chip off the old block as far as art is concerned.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Schwieb's profile


1792 posts in 2881 days

#3 posted 01-31-2016 11:13 PM

Nice work Mads. Makes perfect sense. I wish I had your dedication to recording detail and making such great posts. You humor and photography is really great. I’m sure your daughter loves it and will cherish it and perhaps even be inspired by it.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View jeth's profile


249 posts in 2258 days

#4 posted 02-01-2016 12:06 AM

Lovely Job!! I’m inspired… next time I will not have to think too hard for a gift for my daughter..I love the idea of an easel and painters box, I just hope she will take to this wonderful creative activity as well as your daughter has. Thanks for posting Mafe :)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17575 posts in 3096 days

#5 posted 02-01-2016 12:22 AM

Nice work Mads.

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

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1694 posts in 483 days

#6 posted 02-01-2016 01:25 AM

I’ts perfect, Mads. And a lovely kid, too. It’s good to be loved, innit? What I thought were pegs are wooden nails? Tell me more. Where do you get them? Do you make them?

-- Mark

View lew's profile


11263 posts in 3175 days

#7 posted 02-01-2016 01:26 AM

Your daughter will treasure this gift, made with love, and think of you each time she opens it.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View drewpy's profile


568 posts in 777 days

#8 posted 02-01-2016 06:20 AM

Nice work and thanks for the wonderful documentation of the process.

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View Dutchy's profile (online now)


1971 posts in 1589 days

#9 posted 02-01-2016 07:34 AM

Very nice pictures of a great project. You made an indestructible box.

BTW We in Holland also speak of a broken edge (gebroken kant)

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

917 posts in 1732 days

#10 posted 02-01-2016 09:21 AM

That’s a really nice gift that I am sure will be very much appreciated.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View yuridichesky's profile


622 posts in 1384 days

#11 posted 02-01-2016 10:41 AM

So very nice! Gonna steal couple of ideas for my own plywood projects.

-- Yuri (10x4 -- yeah, that's my tiny shop!)

View murch's profile


1319 posts in 2045 days

#12 posted 02-01-2016 11:38 AM

Such a cool project. And it finished up really well – straight, square, parallel – all those nice things.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2754 days

#13 posted 02-01-2016 01:03 PM

Very nicely made Mads. I see that the artistic talent runs in the family. I hope you don’t mind one little criticism. I think a box that large and heavy when filled with art supplies should have a handle so it can be moved around easily (it’s not too late?), Only if she thinks she needs one of course.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SmallTime's profile


15 posts in 599 days

#14 posted 02-03-2016 05:23 PM

Fantastisk Mads, man blir så dejlig sentimental af dine blogs :)

View CFrye's profile


8567 posts in 1260 days

#15 posted 02-07-2016 02:24 PM

Very nicely done, Mads. I really like the wooden nails in the box joints. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

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