Curly maple and walnut dovetailed box

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Project by Tony Strupulis posted 03-19-2016 07:13 AM 1616 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

About a year ago, my cousin asked me if she could borrow one of my boxes to use in her wedding. She was looking for something that she could set out for people to put cards in at the reception. I showed her pictures of what I had and gave her dimensions. She said she liked this box best. It was one I made in a class with Frank Strazza of Homestead Heritage. I highly recommend taking a class from him if you ever get the chance.

My plan was to make her a box as a wedding gift instead of letting her borrow it. I had a few months to work on it. I had some nice figured maple in my stash. I wasn’t thrilled with the walnut I had on hand, so I went to my local supplier in search of the right wood. I wasn’t thrilled with their selection at the time. One of the guys pointed me to the Peruvian walnut. He said it is the exact same species, but because it is so wet where it grows, it comes out dark and even. I can’t remember exactly why, maybe longer air drying. Anyway, I thought that was perfect. She recently went to Machu Picchu, so that was a good tie in.

So I started milling up the wood. Life got in the way like usual. I spent more time at work than I had anticipated. Then when I was off work, there was a steady stream of family events and appointments all at about 3 hour spacings, which made it really hard to find my way into the shop. I pushed to get it done before the wedding, but no joy. I found myself half-assing things for the sake of time. I decided to just take my original box to the wedding and finish this box properly.

I finally got the box completed! The hinges are from Brusso. The finish is several coats of lacquer, with each layer being rubbed out in between. If I had it to do over, I think I would have given the maple a coat or three of BLO before the lacquer. The walnut and maple is a strong contrast. I put a velvet lining on the bottom inside of the box. It complements the box nicely.

-- Tony -

5 comments so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2295 posts in 1267 days

#1 posted 03-19-2016 07:34 AM

That’s a lovely box, Tony.

-- Mark

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3871 days

#2 posted 03-19-2016 01:36 PM


-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View AJ1104's profile


607 posts in 1863 days

#3 posted 03-20-2016 12:27 AM

Great craftsmanship! Top notch dovetails.

-- AJ

View Boxguy's profile


2765 posts in 2471 days

#4 posted 03-20-2016 04:50 AM

Tony, I like this project. You have displayed great craftsmanship, and chosen really beautiful woods to work with. What a grand present.

I know what you mean about working on a deadline. It does take all the fun out of doing a project that needs careful attention to details. I am glad you found a solution and could enjoy making this. Keep boxing and keep posting. Congratulations on your Top Three Award. It is well deserved.

-- Big Al in IN

View Bernard58's profile


87 posts in 1048 days

#5 posted 03-20-2016 12:10 PM

Very nice box, beautiful combination of woods and great craftsmanship. I like it. Good you decided to finish it properly as it should, making compromises for the sake of time would have left you with an uncomfortable feeling forever.

-- Bernard Delaey, Belgium -

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