Krenov -ish Box with Buffard Freres Banding

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Project by WhattheChuck posted 02-20-2018 03:54 AM 1631 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After finishing my Ming -ish Chinese wine cabinet, I felt the need to make a small box as a present for my Taiwanese wife for Chinese New Year.

There are about a bazillion mistakes on this—all kinda fixed, and enough that I really should write a blog post for people making small boxes and fretting over small mistakes. I have a policy of basically never throwing out any piece of wood as a mistake unless it’s just wildly messed up (and the board stretcher won’t fix it!) and I followed it with this box.

There are a couple of things for people to know, though, that I think might help others.

1. Always, always, always, when making something with banding, make the thing (especially if it’s small) so that the key detail fits the banding. In this case, I’d recommend making the box top first, and making the frame dimension so that the banding met at the corners exactly the way I wanted it to.

2. Really study the hardware you’re planning on using, and make sure you really understand the installation. With this one, I did a fine job of insetting the lock. I just forgot that the little keyhole cover plate had to be nailed on. The end result was fine (thank you, cyanoacrylate manufacturers!) but the nails were too short to hold anything, and in the end, were glued to be decorative.

3. Never forget that sawdust makes great putty!

And finally, of course, no one looks at things like you do. My wife brags about her lack of visual memory. But you can bet she’d remember not getting a present for Chinese New Year. So instead of hucking the relatively small amount of wood and starting over, which would take another week, I figured delivery was more important than perfection!

The wood is African mahogany (Khaya) for the body, with a mitered mortise-and-tenon frame. The top panel is sycamore.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

8 comments so far

View Andre's profile


1723 posts in 1739 days

#1 posted 02-20-2018 04:34 AM

Really trying hard to see the Krenov in this Box?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Jerry's profile


2573 posts in 1581 days

#2 posted 02-20-2018 04:37 AM

Now that is a real beauty!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View WhattheChuck's profile


288 posts in 3493 days

#3 posted 02-20-2018 05:53 AM

Andre—look at the box in The Cabinetmaker’s Notebook. Tensioned dovetails, partially inset lid.

It’s a classic box design, and one that I use regularly, because it gets away from the more boxy-box look. I didn’t put the little dog ears on the side, though.

I want to make sure I give credit where credit is due. I’m sure ‘inspired by James Krenov’ might be a little over the top!

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1725 posts in 515 days

#4 posted 02-20-2018 10:37 AM

Good tip on the banding. You may have just saved me from needing to resort to plan C in the box swap with that tip!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Rev. Jim Paulson's profile

Rev. Jim Paulson

120 posts in 3209 days

#5 posted 02-20-2018 01:25 PM

Looking very nice Chuck. I love Krenov designs. I’ve been working on some boxes also. Mine are are either candle boxes (18th century) or Follansbee style carved oak (17th century). Thanks for posting. I haven’t tried adding inlay/banding yet so your comments were helpful. Take care!


View helluvawreck's profile


30502 posts in 2800 days

#6 posted 02-20-2018 02:31 PM

This box is a real beauty and so nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View EarlS's profile


811 posts in 2281 days

#7 posted 02-20-2018 06:06 PM

Every now and then you have to step outside your comfort zone and try something different. There might be some problems but it looks good.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View majuvla's profile


11880 posts in 2800 days

#8 posted 02-21-2018 06:15 AM

Incredible inlays on top!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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