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Project by KnickKnack posted 11-13-2014 12:35 PM 3022 views 8 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A note in my “little brown book of ideas” from 18 months ago says ”Levitation – a box that appears to float”.
Since then I’ve regularly spent a few hours every now and then, sometimes sweating, sometimes shivering, wondering how to take the idea from words into reality.
5 weeks ago I decided that I just needed to “keep at it”, and resolved to make nothing else until I’d solved the problem and made the sawdust. Many times, facing the seemingly impossible challenge, I almost gave up and went on to something else. But I persevered and eventually came up with this.
To be sure, it’s a confusing piece (which, obviously, was part of the the intent) – a few people have seen it and they all immediately look underneath to see what’s going on. How to remove the top presents another challenge – despite it being obvious that it doesn’t rotate, that’s what people try to do.
I can’t help smiling whenever that happens!

Technically I was pretty gobsmacked at how well it all went.
It’s a 100% wrap around box with floating tenons made on my most excellent 45° router jig – I didn’t want the eye to be confused with visible splines…

At the end of each day (this was 5 days in construction since I’ve found if I work too long in a single day I get careless, so it’s 4 hours a day maximum) I’d assess progress and plot for the next day. Usually this is an analysis of what went wrong. However on this project it simply wasn’t – I’d just smile and cross my fingers that I didn’t mess it up the next day.
The open mortises (I think that’s what they are) are as perfect as anything I’ve ever made – they pushed firmly together – no mallet, no wobble, no clamps required when gluing them together, which they all did at 90° without gaps. I know this is bread and butter work to most of you out there in lumberland, but this was pretty much a first for me. The BBQ stick dowels, although real, are purely for decoration.

All in all this went amazingly well.

Jatobá wrap-around box. Ash lid. Dumpster-rescued oak, aggressively fumed and sanded back just a little to reveal some highlighting. Mahogany (or sapele, this was another dumpster rescue) plate.
Finished with linseed oil.
290mm x 180mm x 160mm high.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

11 comments so far

View majuvla's profile


13633 posts in 3108 days

#1 posted 11-13-2014 01:27 PM

Indeed impressive effect! Nice jigs.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View danoaz's profile


223 posts in 2411 days

#2 posted 11-13-2014 01:31 PM

Very nice. I really tell you got into the precision by how it all fits and aligns together. I admit you had me fooled too because I had to really study the photos several times to figure out what was going on. Thank you.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3045 days

#3 posted 11-13-2014 02:07 PM

Very wildly creative. Super nice

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

View Matt in Franklin's profile

Matt in Franklin

294 posts in 1853 days

#4 posted 11-13-2014 02:51 PM

By the way, I may be mistaken, but when referring to the “open mortises” are you talking about the joints on the oak pieces?

If so, those are typically called bridal joints.

Nice work!

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks ,,

View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3807 days

#5 posted 11-13-2014 03:13 PM

If so, those are typically called bridal joints.
- Matt in Franklin

Thanks – I stand corrected.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View DocSavage45's profile


8735 posts in 3083 days

#6 posted 11-13-2014 05:47 PM

You never take the simple route! LOL! A piece of modern art! I like it!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DrDirt's profile


4526 posts in 3983 days

#7 posted 11-13-2014 06:03 PM

really like the effect for the lid and base, especially with the jatoba off center for the base, it looks like it should tip, but is floating.

Nicely done! good Levitation!

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View SPalm's profile


5326 posts in 4123 days

#8 posted 11-13-2014 06:16 PM

Nice design and very good build.
I like it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View MARCIOCRM's profile


24 posts in 1541 days

#9 posted 11-13-2014 08:30 PM

Really nice! Congratulations!
May I suggest you make a video to see better this effect?

View Knightrider's profile


74 posts in 1548 days

#10 posted 11-14-2014 06:53 AM

This is fantastic! The longer I look at it, the more impressive it is. I think to truly appreciate it, you’d need to see it in person. But… I second MARCIOCRM’s suggestion to make a video.

-- Chris Knight - West Michigan -

View mcoyfrog's profile


4562 posts in 3835 days

#11 posted 01-29-2015 07:15 PM

Your designs are so kewl, I love them all

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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