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Project by Andy posted 12-14-2014 04:41 PM 4774 views 37 times favorited 65 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yes, that’s a knife handle….well, sort of.

This may be boring to many of you, so scroll to bottom for the cool stuff like woods used, etc..

The entire box design was based off of the concept of featuring some sort of knife handle, just because I fell in love with the ones in the gallery where my boxes are displayed, Carefree Buffalo. The knives are made by Williams Henry which are works of art with extremely smooth action and very expensive. I was allowed to hold one that was priced at $10,000.00…I gently handed it back. It featured a Damascus blade with beautiful grain, but the handle is what caught my eye. The bolsters were a gold and silver grained metal that is called Makume-gane. The wood set in between the bolster was Snakewood. So I set about finding suppliers.

There are several makers of beautiful metals for knives that come in a variety of patterns and sizes. I ordered a 1/8” thick x 1” wide x 4” long price of the Diamond patter for $75.00 from Shining Wave Metals. Great company, fast service BTW. This 1/8” thick piece has 50 alternating layers of nickle-silver and red bronze.

I then got a piece of snakewood from Woodcraft which cost $28.00 for a 1” x 1” x 12” piece.

I ordered Nickle pins to attach the bolsters and small mosaic rods the attach the Snakewood, and larger ones to use at the corners of the box body. These I got from Jantz Supply.

I made a mock-up knife handle and played with that until it suited me and then went on to the expensive materials. It was a new and painful experience for me, blending wood and metal is tricky. If you want more on the subject don’t ask me, go to knife making sites or You Tube videos, have fun :-) I will say this : Use a quality epoxy for attaching the metal to the wood, don’t overheat the metal when sanding or it may heat the glue and your bolsters may fly off, sanding metal and wood after bonding them side x side is a pain because getting scratches out of metal is tough, finishing the wood without getting the bolsters involved is a little tedious.

( Sometimes I miss the simplicity of making wooden toys and cars for kids out of pine….sigh. )

The center of the handle is 1/8” aluminum scrap that my son gave me. On each side of that are thin layers of Maple and Wenge.

Cost: I paid about $120.00 for materials but I still have a little of the metal left over and about 2/3 of the wood. I don’t know if I will do something like this again, but I had to try this at least once.

This is the second box to feature the floating base I came up with and first used here. It is a tedious bit of work for me, but I like the results. Its made a little over-sized so it will project at each corner of the box about 1/8” inch. This is to add visual weight at the base, giving it a nice stance.

The divider features two double ring holders out of Paduak with a Maple divider and wenge side panels. The connecting bridge is made of two Maple sides pinned with brass rod, the tray is Wenge, and it all is held in place by overlapping the two Paduak rails. The entire tray can be slid front to back and easily lifts out if needed.

The lid features a nice piece of Paduak with some black grain and a swirl pattern. This is set into the Wenge top…very tightly.

The center panel is Paduak with a ripple pattern. The idea for this type of shaping came to me after viewing the wonderful work by fellow LJ, Benji Reyes. I love his style, very organic, edgy and comforting.
Instead of routing out the center I simply sliced the front panel into pieces like you would for a band saw box, removed the center section and glued it all back together…very simple, and the corners are sharp and not all chipped up.

Cool Stuff:
The body, lid and feet are Wenge
The inset panels top and front, railing are Paduak
The handle is made up of an aluminum center bordered with Maple and Wenge strips. The bolsters are Makume-gane in the diamond pattern, and the center pieces are Snakewood.
The hinges are 1/8” brass rod.
The corner splines are aluminum, and the front has 4 brass mosaics.
The lining is black velvet.
Satin lacquer finish.

I always have mixed feelings about a new design and this one has some things I would do different next time….but there wont be a next time, it is what it is and I will be on to something new. I find it important to make what I like and accept that it will not appeal to everyone, I am really doing it for myself anyway and then sharing it with anyone interested.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks for looking,

Here is the mock up handle. I used Rub-N-Buff colored waxes to mimic the Makume-gane and the aluminum.
Doing this helps me not only get the size of the handle right, but to see how my mental image plays out in 3D.
Its worth the time to me.

Also shown is the base which attaches with a screw at each corner.

Here is a simple jig made from scraps to cut the metal all to the same angle. I used the band saw with a tired blade, and went slow. It still cuts ok. The sand paper keeps the material in place. I flip it around to cut the pieces at a 90 and then back around to cut the angle.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

65 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7782 posts in 2725 days

#1 posted 12-14-2014 04:48 PM

eeeeeeee gads, boy howdy Andy, this just grabs be and im Gob smacked….this is gorgeous…im going to go back now and read about this beautiful box…wow…i just love your work Andy…thank you so much for sharing this with us…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View RogerBean's profile


1598 posts in 2375 days

#2 posted 12-14-2014 04:54 PM

To say that this box is impressive would be a great understatement. It’s uniquely “yours”, yet pushes to a completely new level. I mean that as the highest compliment. There are so many great things to see in this box that it’s almost visual overload. In a good way. Your use of the Damascus and other metal parts are integrated with skill and taste that is extremely difficult to pull off. It’s wonderful. My compliments.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Heavy's profile


118 posts in 2010 days

#3 posted 12-14-2014 04:56 PM

This reminds me so much of 30s. Way to go Andy! Great job.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

742 posts in 2853 days

#4 posted 12-14-2014 04:58 PM

Gorgeous box and design. Love it inside and out. If only the common man could understand, fathom, and appreciate the cost of materials we put into our projects/pieces.

My sisters only see a cutting board. They don’t see the price tag on those boards it took to create it with, nor understand the waste associated with milling.

Ahhh well, we get to appreciate the beauty and the reality of what it takes to make these beautiful items.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Andy's profile


1630 posts in 3330 days

#5 posted 12-14-2014 04:58 PM

Thank you everyone, Grizzman and Roger, glad you like it. It was a challenge.
You are right Heavy, I like the style of that era a lot.
Scott, too true…it adds up fast, but fishing can cost much more :-)

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View snoman's profile


88 posts in 1188 days

#6 posted 12-14-2014 05:07 PM

You are a master of design, beauty and style. Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us.


-- "just be yourself, everyone else is taken"....Oscar Wilde

View jaykaypur's profile


3996 posts in 1830 days

#7 posted 12-14-2014 05:14 PM

Unbelievably, insanely, drop-dead beautiful craftsmanship. The “ring” holders in the handle/divider of the box is just sheer genius. This is just flat out, an exquisite piece of work. Everything involved with this works. It just looks great.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View grizzman's profile


7782 posts in 2725 days

#8 posted 12-14-2014 05:19 PM

oh and one more comment here, your comment of how boring this may be is quite amusing , your ability to mix humor with your wood work is so becoming , but i will say it really shows how humble you are with your work, and i like the humor, but i really enjoy getting to know your better, im grateful for this web site, it has allowed me to get to know some fantastic people , and to see there fantastic abilities, woodwork is my love, but knowing the people is the sweetest’re a great man Andy, and i say this in all humility, your always willing to help others here and that is a real joy, helping others to rise , they have the talent but just don’t realize it, thank you Andy..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Allens's profile


38 posts in 3024 days

#9 posted 12-14-2014 06:02 PM

OoooWOWeee. Is there a word to describe this box. In the moment I can not come up with a word in English. It took a lot a work and love to create it. AWESOME!!!! box Andy. I love it. Kathy will be thunderstruck with shock in its beauty when I point it out to her. If I had a 10th this skill perhaps I could make more than just a shelf for my Wife.

-- Paul & Kathy Allen

View Sodabowski's profile


2308 posts in 2254 days

#10 posted 12-14-2014 06:05 PM

You’re a crazy genius Andy.

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View doubleDD's profile


5066 posts in 1465 days

#11 posted 12-14-2014 06:23 PM

Unbelievable. This box is very distinguished. Not too often do you see one of this caliber. Very well done.
The story only makes it better. Sharp handle. (get it)

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View DocSavage45's profile


7656 posts in 2264 days

#12 posted 12-14-2014 06:41 PM


The only blades I’ve been fascinated by are samurai. 10 k for a knife? Guess we shop at different stores? LOL!
I am totally appreciative of your sharing the journey to make this, and your creative challenges. As I use to say “A box is to put things in.” You’re journey shows us “So Much More” can happen when creativity, craftsmanship and excitement for what we do combine to challenge us.

My first love is Studio Furniture (Art Furniture). You sir have made Art Boxes my second love.

All the previous comments are rolled into what David Savage defines “WOW” to mean. We all wish we could make that!


-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile


7656 posts in 2264 days

#13 posted 12-14-2014 06:43 PM

What is a “tire blade”?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View gbear's profile


492 posts in 3521 days

#14 posted 12-14-2014 06:47 PM

Hey, what more can I say that hasn’t already been said. This is truly beautiful…a bit of Andy, a bit of art deco and I can see the Benji influence (you and Benji are my idols!!). I like where you went with this and I hope you do more along this line. But, it all begs the question, why didn’t you just use the $10,000 knife??

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View CharlieK's profile


463 posts in 3215 days

#15 posted 12-14-2014 06:47 PM

HI Andy,

I love the carving on the front, and the snakewood knife handle is perfect!


-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

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