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 2512 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 (online now)


15701 posts in 2819 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 --

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Rick S...

10913 posts in 3233 days

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

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

-- I Chose "The Road Less Travelled" Now I'm Totally Lost! (Ontario, CANADA)

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674 posts in 2071 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

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295 posts in 1795 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.

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253 posts in 2468 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

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232 posts in 1786 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.”

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253 posts in 2468 days

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

So true…

-- Scott in North Carolina

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1732 posts in 3687 days

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

Nice job!

-- Doug...

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4542 posts in 3795 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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13354 posts in 3068 days

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

Box looks great. Carving is amaizing.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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125 posts in 2391 days

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

nice , you beat me to the finish line ;)

-- Kai SaerPren

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12761 posts in 3357 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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