Custom 'M' box

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Project by weshighfill posted 10-19-2016 10:42 AM 1530 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A custom box for use as an urn for a beloved dog. The box is covered in 1/16” thick shop sawn Macassar ebony veneer with bird’s eye maple and imbuya inlay. The edging is walnut and holly, and the handles are solid ebony salvaged from an 1895 piano destined for the dump. There is a half mortise lock installed, too. The client wanted some sort of seal, so I used my typical 1/4” thick spanish cedar like I would do in a humidor. The box itself is constructed with full blind dovetails, and all the glue used is hide glue. The finish on the box is shellac and wax. The box should never have any issues, but if it does it’s completely repairable (assuming people in the future still know how to use hide glue and shellac!)

13 comments so far

View majuvla's profile


13354 posts in 3067 days

#1 posted 10-19-2016 11:42 AM

Beautiful veneer work.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2773 posts in 3791 days

#2 posted 10-19-2016 12:04 PM

Very Beautiful Box!

-- Dennis Zongker

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1052 posts in 1265 days

#3 posted 10-19-2016 02:23 PM

Beautiful box and very well thought out details.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View shipwright's profile


8166 posts in 2997 days

#4 posted 10-19-2016 03:46 PM

Nice work Wes.
I’m sure the client will be pleased.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3153 days

#5 posted 10-19-2016 05:28 PM

Nicely done.

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

View SteveMI's profile


1124 posts in 3494 days

#6 posted 10-19-2016 09:01 PM

Great box, I really like the combination of opening lid and a drawer.

It seems you simply glued the thick veneer on one side of the solid wood substrate. I have seen with the normal thickness commercial veneer that some warping can occur on occasion. Any thoughts or information you can share?


View weshighfill's profile


8 posts in 1993 days

#7 posted 10-19-2016 09:12 PM

The box is assembled with full blind dovetails. I’m not concerned about any warping (which is why I used the full blind dovetails). The top is actually shop made lumber core plywood that the veneer is glued to, with the lumber core arranged so it is in the quarter sawn direction (hopefully that makes sense). I’m also not concerned about any warping there.


View Mean_Dean's profile


6900 posts in 3347 days

#8 posted 10-19-2016 10:24 PM

That’s a beautiful box and urn—I’m sure the owner will really treasure it! Also nice to see that piano ebony salvaged, and not be lost for good.

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Longcase's profile


98 posts in 1646 days

#9 posted 10-20-2016 12:14 AM

Nice looking box

View ElroyD's profile


131 posts in 788 days

#10 posted 10-20-2016 01:51 AM

Gorgeous work. That’s a beautiful piece.

-- Elroy

View tomd's profile


2175 posts in 3970 days

#11 posted 10-20-2016 02:38 AM

Very well done, looks great.

-- Tom D

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2813 days

#12 posted 10-20-2016 11:06 AM


-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View SteveGaskins's profile


755 posts in 2787 days

#13 posted 10-20-2016 09:35 PM

Very nice work.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

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