From log to 17th century carved box with hand tools - small size 11 x 7 x 3.75

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Project by Scott posted 12-03-2014 09:52 PM 2341 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This came from a red oak branch that fell from a large oak on the farm, and it was about a foot in diameter. After reading Peter Follansbee’s blog, I wanted to give it a whirl, taking a log to a box using hand tools only. I used an axe and hand saws to get some rough boards, then let them sit for a year or so. Supposedly it is easier to carve green wood, but I just didn’t get around to doing it green. Peter’s boxes are usually about 14×8 x 6, but I needed a smaller box so I didn’t use nails or dowels in the sides, but I used nails to hold the bottom on. The boards are 1/4 to 3/8 in thickness. The pattern came from some old box patterns that Peter has on his blog, although I changed it some to fit the smaller footprint. I haven’t done much carving, so I practiced a bit on a scrap which helps build your confidence. It is finished with BLO.

-- Scott in North Carolina

12 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15248 posts in 2550 days

#1 posted 12-03-2014 10:04 PM

Wow, that’s quite beautiful. And impressive as a project! Well done, you have a right to feel proud of such fine work.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Rick's profile


9212 posts in 2964 days

#2 posted 12-04-2014 01:43 AM

Lovely Box. Good for you on the “Hand Tools” fabrication also Scott!

-- Carrying Anger is like Swallowing Poison and waiting for the Other Person to Die!

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 1803 days

#3 posted 12-04-2014 06:04 AM

Wonderful box. Has that honest aesthetic of Peter’s work.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View LJackson's profile


295 posts in 1526 days

#4 posted 12-04-2014 03:00 PM

The grain of the oak makes it hard to see the fine details of your carving. It gets lost in the forest, so to speak. Ha! Nice though.

View Scott 's profile


242 posts in 2199 days

#5 posted 12-04-2014 06:28 PM

Right, maybe white oak would show it off better, instead of red oak.

-- Scott in North Carolina

View LeTurbo's profile


226 posts in 1517 days

#6 posted 12-04-2014 07:24 PM

Very cool! I have to laugh though, because we have all these fancy tools, but it’s sometimes just more interesting for the soul to do things “the hard way”. “Why did you do it that way?” “Because I can.”

View Scott 's profile


242 posts in 2199 days

#7 posted 12-04-2014 09:40 PM

So true…

-- Scott in North Carolina

View CampD's profile


1637 posts in 3418 days

#8 posted 12-04-2014 09:50 PM

Nice job!

-- Doug...

View mcoyfrog's profile


3904 posts in 3526 days

#9 posted 12-04-2014 10:38 PM

Wow thats awesome

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

View majuvla's profile


11876 posts in 2799 days

#10 posted 12-05-2014 07:29 AM

Box looks great. Carving is amaizing.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Lazy_K's profile


121 posts in 2122 days

#11 posted 12-05-2014 09:21 PM

nice , you beat me to the finish line ;)

-- Kai SaerPren

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3088 days

#12 posted 01-06-2015 04:25 AM

wow, very intricate!

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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