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 2281 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


14847 posts in 2455 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


8322 posts in 2870 days

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

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

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 1708 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 1431 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


241 posts in 2104 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 1422 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


241 posts in 2104 days

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

So true…

-- Scott in North Carolina

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1610 posts in 3323 days

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

Nice job!

-- Doug...

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3820 posts in 3431 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

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

Box looks great. Carving is amaizing.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Lazy_K's profile


119 posts in 2027 days

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

nice , you beat me to the finish line ;)

-- Kai SaerPren

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12759 posts in 2994 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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