Christmas Boxes

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Project by Sgt_Lobo posted 12-12-2007 05:17 AM 2889 views 2 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, I originally posted these as a blog series but things have been hectic around here, so I wasn’t able to finish bloging the creation of these boxes. Luckily I have had the time to finish the boxes though…

Two boxes, first time I’ve done boxes like these, and the first time I was able to find and utilize wood that didn’t come from Lowes or Home Depot. I must say, these were a pleasure to build. I really like doing the keyed corners and will probably create many more boxes this way.

Anyhow, the first box for my step-father is made from walnut and zebrawood. I finished it with 8 coats of Formby’s low gloss tung oil.

The second box for my mom is made from padauk and bubinga. I finished it with several coats of Watco danish oil and then 3 coats of minwax paste finish wax.

I have never used any of the oil finishes before these projects. I learned that I really like the tung oil and that I’m not too fond of the danish oil. I think the danish oil is hard to predict the kind of results you are going to get. It takes forever to dry and then still you might get some spots that are too dry and others that are too oily. Maybe it’s just my lack of experience. The tung oil on the other hand was about as easy as any finish I’ve ever used. It really made the grain on the walnut pop out and the varnish mixed in made for a good protective finish.

Anyhow, here are a couple more pictures. Thanks for taking the time to look!

Padauk open

Walnut open

Padauk and Bubinga

Walnut and Zebrawood

None of these pictures really do the Padauk and Bubinga box any justice. The purple of the Bubinga really compliments the reddish tones in the Padauk.

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

24 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4099 days

#1 posted 12-12-2007 05:26 AM

Man these are looking nice!

I can see your woodworking skills are coming right along. I am glad to see you got away from the box store wood.

Boxes like these are harder than most people realize. There are a lot of parts, they are small, and the lid has to line up with the bottom. You did very well on all accounts. I am sure that they will be well received.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3880 days

#2 posted 12-12-2007 05:27 AM

very nice work lobo . i was gonna pick my favorite but i gave up they are both too sweet to choose . well done

View Krisztian's profile


89 posts in 3899 days

#3 posted 12-12-2007 05:29 AM

I like these boxes. Nice work.

-- Krisztian VA My website:

View Sgt_Lobo's profile


87 posts in 3858 days

#4 posted 12-12-2007 05:32 AM

Hey Todd, thanks for always being here to critique my work. My skills are improving dramatically thanks to this site and people like yourself!

Thanks for the kind words mtrim. I actually have a favorite and it is the walnut and zebrawood. I think I might make another for myself sometime ‘cept maybe I’ll try walnut and cocobolo…

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3996 days

#5 posted 12-12-2007 06:26 AM

good looking boxes – you done well!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Cathy Krumrei's profile

Cathy Krumrei

364 posts in 4186 days

#6 posted 12-12-2007 07:45 AM

Boy..they are beautiful! I like the style you did on them.

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4065 days

#7 posted 12-12-2007 10:34 AM

Outstanding looking boxes Lobo. Your folks should be very happy with them.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3901 days

#8 posted 12-12-2007 11:00 AM

There’s immense pleasure for both the giver and recipient when a gift is handmade, and especially when it’s a box! I think. These are beautifully done Lobo. Those lid joints are unbeatable. Thanks for showing.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3874 days

#9 posted 12-12-2007 11:19 AM

The keys really work nice. Those are two fine boxes.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4005 days

#10 posted 12-12-2007 01:21 PM

Those look great lobo. Nice reading how much you enjoyed making them. Thats what woodworking is all about.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3962 days

#11 posted 12-12-2007 01:34 PM

Nice work,Sarge. glad you had fun on them. I can see your skills improving with each post . Congratulations.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Sgt_Lobo's profile


87 posts in 3858 days

#12 posted 12-12-2007 03:12 PM

Thanks again everyone for the nice comments. I have learned a lot about various woodworking techniques making these small boxes. Hopefully I’ll be able to take the skills I have picked up and use them on bigger and better projects in the future.

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4218 days

#13 posted 12-12-2007 03:46 PM

Sarge, you are a quick study at box-making. These are great!

Your comments about about the Watco Danish oil surprise me, because I find the stuff about as easy to use as falling off a log. It does take several days to dry thoroughly, and you made need extra coats, but I find the end result great, especially on walnut. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong on this, but I know the Danish oil contains some varnish, so it wil eventually dry completely to a protective coating. It is my understanding that pure oils, like tung, never fully dry, and thus leave the surface more susceptible to dirt and stains.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Sgt_Lobo's profile


87 posts in 3858 days

#14 posted 12-12-2007 04:09 PM

Charlie – The tung oil I use is definitally not a “pure” oil. It contains a substansial amount of varnish and dries very quickly making for a very nice protective finish.

The Danish oil on the other hand, well, it didn’t go as well. I applied 3 coats of it per the directions on the container. I then let it set for 4 days. It felt dry to the touch, but did not leave any kind of protective finish. When I applied the wax, parts of the box took it fine, while other parts leached out more danish oil on my wax rag, indicating to me that after 4 days it still wasn’t completely dry.

I will try danish oil again on another project someday, but I think it will need to be a project that I have a long time to finish so I can apply many coats and give them all ample time to dry.

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4063 days

#15 posted 12-12-2007 04:18 PM

Thumbs up, Sarge. They look great!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

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