Deco Box

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Project by Andy posted 06-08-2009 03:36 PM 8574 views 73 times favorited 46 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a new version of my Art boxes.I wanted to try a design that was a little more formal and then do some free form sculpting, a bit of a contradiction.
So I started off with a standard miter cornered box, but instead of a slab wood top and a medallion, I opted for a frame and panel top with a medallion. I also cut the arch front which gives the effect of feet. Both of these features lend a furniture feel to this piece.

The handle is Maple with a slot mortise routed in the back, which mates up with one in the edge of the lid and then I slipped in a Bloodwood spline, effectively its a red floating tenon.Then I sanded away the edges of the Maple, revealing the Bloodwood spline, like an inlay, which it is I guess, but in reverse.
It was difficult exposing the same amount of the Bloodwood on each side of the handle, but I like the effect.
I doubt I will do it again but its fun to try new ideas.

Note: The corner splines start out all the same depth/length, but when the sides are cut at an angle they end up tapered. ( just in case you didnt already know)

I did a little different divider arrangement which I think goes well with the overall feel of this design.
The lid stay is just a piece of ribbon, held in place with brass screws and grommets.
(The brass hinges appear to be antiqued, or dirty, but its just the way the polarizing filter plays with the reflection in the photos.

The box is Wenge.
The medallion, handle and splines are Eastern Maple, and Bloodwood accents.
Finish is several coats of satin lacquer. Deft of course.

Photo Notes:

The photos were taken outside on a sheet spread out on the lawn, and the sky was bright, but overcast. The light passing through the clouds is diffused, or indirect, which is great because it fills in nicely with very little shadowing.
I used a tripod and no flash or additional lighting.
I did use a polarizing filter which I strongly recommend. It allows you to dial in the reflection, depending on your angle to the sun.
I took 3-4 shots from each angle turning the polarizer and then selected the ones that accentuated the shaping the best.
I typically use an aperature of F/8 to ensure the entire box is in focus.
I adjust contrast, color saturation and sharpness in Photoshop.

Thanks for looking.

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

46 comments so far

View Matt's profile


181 posts in 2410 days

#1 posted 06-08-2009 03:40 PM

Gorgeous. Great work!

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2565 days

#2 posted 06-08-2009 03:44 PM

Man, that is fantastic! Great design, beautiful wood, super details. One of the best boxes ever. Thanks…...........

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View BTKS's profile


1983 posts in 2502 days

#3 posted 06-08-2009 04:09 PM


-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View flcopper169's profile


179 posts in 2377 days

#4 posted 06-08-2009 04:17 PM

Another great job, Andy… I do love the wood…


-- Happy and safe woodworking,

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2655 posts in 2564 days

#5 posted 06-08-2009 04:30 PM

A beautiful box with style and grace! Outstanding craftsmanship!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Allens's profile


37 posts in 2640 days

#6 posted 06-08-2009 04:31 PM

A very beautiful box you have made Andy. Yes it does have a nice formal look to it.

-- Paul & Kathy Allen

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2701 posts in 2323 days

#7 posted 06-08-2009 04:39 PM

Looks like your planer needs some work——Just kidding. I love the sculpted look. I’ve played with it , and now you have given me some great ideas.

Also, thanks for the photo tips. I’ve been having trouble with that.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View majeagle1's profile


1423 posts in 2533 days

#8 posted 06-08-2009 05:51 PM

Wow, wow, wow what else can one say!!!
Just beautiful…..... I love the wood combination and contrast, really neat idea with the front lid lift and the spline.
How is the lid done? meaning, is it a floating lid or is the reveal routed in? also, the maple inlay, is it in fact an inlay? or is that floating also?

Again, just a wonderful job, you have taken box design to an all new level and are truely an inspiration, thanks for posting and looking forward to your tutorial.

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 2627 days

#9 posted 06-08-2009 06:25 PM

That’s a beautiful box. I never thought of using ribbon for the lid support, may have to steal that idea. Very well done.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View whitedog's profile


651 posts in 2494 days

#10 posted 06-08-2009 06:49 PM

the dividers are like a signature to your piece… along with all of the other elements on this box , it all says great box.

-- Paul , Calfornia

View SteveKorz's profile


2133 posts in 2751 days

#11 posted 06-08-2009 07:06 PM

WOW! Andy, that is stunning! Remarkable work as usual!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View AllorNoThumbs's profile


64 posts in 2319 days

#12 posted 06-08-2009 07:17 PM

I love the boxes and that is SWEET! Nice work….can I have one?

-- enjoy your wood...

View CharlieM1958's profile


16097 posts in 3256 days

#13 posted 06-08-2009 07:38 PM

I’ve missed your work, Andy. You’ve taken your already-gorgeous boxes to a new level!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Andy's profile


1603 posts in 2946 days

#14 posted 06-08-2009 07:52 PM

Thanks everyone for taking time to post such nice comments!
@majeagle1- The lid is a raised panel, with a recess routed 3/8’’ deep to receive the Maple medallion.I carefull cut the medallion to exact size and shape the corners by hand,test fitting constantly.It is then glued into place.I hope I explained that well.
@kolwdwrkr-I am glad you like it.I didnt have any 95 deg stay butt hinges or brass lid stays(which I dont really care for anyway) and I didnt think it a good idea to borrow one of my wifes chains,so I got to thinking and came up with this.

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

View cajunpen's profile


14531 posts in 3103 days

#15 posted 06-08-2009 07:55 PM

Great craftsmanship.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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