Art Boxes For Christmas

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Project by WoodshopJoe posted 12-31-2009 08:17 AM 3324 views 28 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So after finishing the Princess Kaylee headboard project that I posted a couple weeks ago I was trying to come up with some gift ideas when I came across that great tutorial by Andy about his art boxes. So I thought that would be a great gift for my wife, mom and mother in-law. I actually made 4 of them but I forgot to take photos of it before I gave it away at Christmas. These were a lot of fun to make and I learned a new technique on how to shape wood, I am getting really good at not sanding things flat; although I am not sure that is a skill that you really need to practice much.

Anyway these are made with hickory and walnut and two of them are finished with Cabots tung oil finish and the other has a stain; they are all coated with shellac, two of them clear shellac and the other an amber colored shellac. I hand rubbed the shellac to get a high sheen and absolutely smooth finish which I won’t do again, I’ll just spray lacquer on them and save me the trouble since it takes quite a few hours to get it right. The walnut came from a tree in my yard that I had cut down a couple years ago.

I added a walnut serpentine inlay in the front of two of them. I had to make a jig and pattern to guide the router along the face of the box since it was assembled when the thought came to me. So I ran a dado about 3/8” of an inch deep and a 1/4” wide and then had to bend the walnut to fit. I did this using a hot pipe method that I have wanted to try out and it works great as long you use air dried wood. I tried it on some kiln dried walnut I had but the pieces kept breaking.

I did find a great disk to speed up the grinding process that I found at Home Depot. It is a Norton 5” 40 grit wheel for the angle grinder. It has a number of small overlapping sanding pads that makes the first pass really quick and easy. Of course I didn’t discover it until I was shaping the last box.

Norton Sanding Wheel

Norton Sanding Wheel

So thanks for the tutorial Andy, I was able to whip these out in just a few days thanks to it and I made some new jigs to boot.

-- Joe Truehart - The Craftsmans Woodshop

21 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113823 posts in 2665 days

#1 posted 12-31-2009 08:23 AM

Very cool boxes Joe they look great.

-- Custom furniture

View sras's profile


4268 posts in 2218 days

#2 posted 12-31-2009 08:26 AM

Very nice! Even though you used Andy’s tutorial they still have a unique look to them!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1585 posts in 2340 days

#3 posted 12-31-2009 08:33 AM

Awesome job , they look beautiful.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View Don's profile


514 posts in 2161 days

#4 posted 12-31-2009 08:48 AM

These are absolutely stunning. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at something like this and I’ll be using this as a reference when I do.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3249 days

#5 posted 12-31-2009 12:10 PM

nicely done!!! Beautiful boxes.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View ellen35's profile


2669 posts in 2521 days

#6 posted 12-31-2009 01:29 PM

Great boxes… the really “move” with the curves.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Andy's profile


1621 posts in 2997 days

#7 posted 12-31-2009 02:26 PM

Sweet! The grain layering is beautiful. Your handles are shaped nicely and the inlay adds a special touch. Well done.

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

View huff's profile


2826 posts in 2373 days

#8 posted 12-31-2009 03:47 PM

Joe. Your boxes are stunning! The second picture looks like rough water (you really captured the flow of the grain in the wood and your shaping of the curves). They have to be the prettiest boxes since Andy’s. You definitely have the artistic talent to go with the woodworking talent, which is that perfect blend that Andy has.

-- John @

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12275 posts in 2245 days

#9 posted 12-31-2009 05:54 PM

If this is your first time doing these boxes, you have done great… very nice capture of the grain in the wood and I like the use of the serpentine spline on the front of the boxes in the pics… very cool work…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View BlankMan's profile


1488 posts in 2441 days

#10 posted 12-31-2009 08:30 PM

Really nice! I like the color in the woods and the soft curving lines.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View cwdance1's profile


1147 posts in 2347 days

#11 posted 12-31-2009 08:46 PM

Nice work, beautiful job

View Hacksaw007's profile


602 posts in 2278 days

#12 posted 12-31-2009 10:19 PM

Very, very nice! You did a great job, many thanks again to Andy for sharing. This is starting to be a popular project as some of you are getting brave enough to try them….

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View shopmania's profile


698 posts in 2271 days

#13 posted 12-31-2009 11:08 PM

Obviously you were paying close attention as you read the tutorial! This is on my list, I only hope mine comes out nearly as well as yours did! Beautiful boxes!!

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

View bigike's profile


4047 posts in 2377 days

#14 posted 12-31-2009 11:58 PM

good job!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3335 days

#15 posted 01-01-2010 01:34 AM

Nice boxes.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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