Stickwork Box

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Project by stefang posted 01-23-2010 08:03 PM 2733 views 7 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A little jewelry box for my wife as a small thank you for getting me an Excalibur scroll saw for Christmas. I still have to glue some green felt into the bottom and the removable tray. The box is made out of Mahogany and the stickwork design on top is Birch and some kind of wood that closely resembles Mahogony, but is a little more brown in color and the grain is a little more open. I have used this wood for the tray and the handle just to give a subtle color variation.

You might have noticed the wooden hinge. As far as I know, these were originally used on Scottish tea boxes, but they were made differently than mine. I have what I think is an original way to make these hinges. I am helping my grandson to build a box and we will be making a similar hinge for him. I plan to take photos of the hinge making process and post a blog about it.

The “stickwork” refers to the way the design on the top was made. Many might think this is what is popularly known as a “wood mosaic”, but even though the final design inlaid into the top of the box is the same result as a mosaic, it was not made in the same way. I don’t know where the stickwork technique originated, but I do know it was fairly widely practiced in England in the past and of course still is to this day. I won’t say more about it in this post because I plan to do a blog in the near future to show others how to do it. For now I will only say that it is well worth learning because you get a lot back for the time you put into it and it doesn’t require any jigs, just sawing, a little sanding and gluing.

I hope you like the little box and I hope I have wet your curiosity about the hinges and the stickwork. Of course I realize with the web it’s pretty hard to keep secrets nowadays. Thanks for looking!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

31 comments so far

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 2080 days

#1 posted 01-23-2010 08:07 PM

Very nice work. I really like the hinge detail. I’d be interested in learning how you made it.


-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View LeChuck's profile


419 posts in 2097 days

#2 posted 01-23-2010 08:25 PM

Very nice, clean and I like the inlay. I’d also love to see some details about the hinge.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

View toyguy's profile


1453 posts in 2872 days

#3 posted 01-23-2010 08:29 PM

very nice Mike…..... and you have one special lady in your life too…...

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View webwood's profile


622 posts in 2285 days

#4 posted 01-23-2010 08:42 PM

very nicely done mike

-- -erik & christy-

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 3200 days

#5 posted 01-23-2010 08:44 PM

What a beautiful box! I’m sure your wife is happy with it. She is already reaping the rewards of her most excellent gift to you. I’m jealous and am going to forward this project to my wifes computer???? Think she’ll get the hint? I can’t wait too see your two upcoming blogs on the hinge and apparent inlay process. Congratulations on a most excellent design and gift. Keep on keeping on!

Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View woodworm's profile


14144 posts in 2625 days

#6 posted 01-23-2010 08:47 PM

That’s beautiful.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View BoxBuilder's profile


110 posts in 2165 days

#7 posted 01-23-2010 09:09 PM

Nice job! I really look forward to your blog on the hinge making process. I have done some wooden hinges but need to learn more.

-- Richard, Pennsylvania

View sras's profile


4236 posts in 2164 days

#8 posted 01-23-2010 09:40 PM

Looks great Mike! Lots of nice feature, but I am really interested in that hinge. Looking forward to the blog.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16392 posts in 2710 days

#9 posted 01-23-2010 10:52 PM

Fantastic box Mike. I’m sure your wife is happy she got the scroll saw ;-) The hinge is fantastic. I should have thought of that ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View littlecope's profile


3015 posts in 2537 days

#10 posted 01-23-2010 10:54 PM

Beautiful Job, Michael!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View bigike's profile


4040 posts in 2323 days

#11 posted 01-23-2010 10:55 PM

great cant wait to see the blog

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3749 posts in 2199 days

#12 posted 01-23-2010 11:05 PM

Looks great Mike. Interested in seeing the blog items.

I am doing some quick and dirty jig work to cut circles on the band saw, then I am going to make a gizmo to move around heavy sheets of plywood and mdf, because I am finally getting to my sled. Didn’t get much sleep the night before last, so thought it best to stay out of the shop yesterday.



-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


14699 posts in 2369 days

#13 posted 01-23-2010 11:34 PM

Thanks for the nice comments everyone. I’m very glad that several of you are interested in the hinges and the stickwork. I promise you won’t have to wait long. The problem, is my grandson is down with flu right now, so our box project got a bit delayed. As soon as he is well enough I will do that blog and afterwards the stickwork blog. It will probably be the end of next week before we resume. And Jim while I greatly admire and appreciate the work you physicians do, I’m really glad I am not one. I don’t believe I could handle being called out at all hours, especially when someones life might depend on my being anywhere near awake and actually capable of thinking rationally.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile


7617 posts in 2338 days

#14 posted 01-24-2010 12:40 AM

mike this is a very neat project..Ive just done a few boxes so far but want to do more..this has some very neat detail’s and the hinge im really interested in, so im looking forward to the intrigued with you living in Norway, and what it is looks like your in a agriculture area and close to the coast..are you winters pretty cold there..and i assume you get lots of least that is what i picture living in Norway…if you ever feel like writing some on whats its like id be very interested..glad to see your working on projects ..grizzman

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

View grizzman's profile


7617 posts in 2338 days

#15 posted 01-24-2010 01:07 AM

p.s i hope we don’t have to wait to long on the details here…lol….you’ve peaked my interest with the hinge..but im not rushing…lol…..thanks

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

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