My First Ever Box

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Project by TelescopeMaker posted 01-09-2011 04:09 AM 1682 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

At the beginning of December everything stopped… I had to make a present for my wife. “Ahah! A nice box”, I thought. So I got some black walnut and made a mess of it and decided that there was a lot more to making a box than slapping some wood together.

This is my first box. It is mahogany and rosewood with no stain. I am particularly proud of the placement of the grain detail on the top, and on the right side. Also the hand made wooden hinges. The finish is several coats of semi-gloss lacquer over a single sealing coat of shellac. The feet, the knob, and the pins that attach the wooden hinges to the box are made of rosewood. The hinges are made of the same mahogany. The pins are 1/16” brass rods from the local Ace Hardware where I also got the felt pads.

I turned the feet and knobs on my little lathe.
The corner miters and the slots into which the bottom and top reside were made with my router.
I used my bandsaw to cut the top from the body after it was all glued.
I used my father’s #5 Stanley Bailey jack plane and my newly acquired #7 plane to smooth the edges at the top and bottom.

All fall I’ve been looking for second hand tools on Craigslist and came across a nice Makita planer, so I got it. But wait!I didn’t have a fence for my bandsaw so resawing was proving to be a pain. So the box project stopped dead while I made a brand new auxiliary table and fence for my bandsaw.

With time running out before Christmas I spent every available hour out there, complete with Santa hat resawing the mahogany, running it through the thickness planer and building the box. Finally got done a few days before Christmas.

It was an immediate hit. score one for Bill!

-- Telescope Maker, Woodworker, Brewer, Gizmologist, Gardner, Lawn Mower

15 comments so far

View Lenny's profile


1596 posts in 3553 days

#1 posted 01-09-2011 04:37 AM

Very nicely done. I am not surprised it is a hit. Glad you got it done in time too. I love the wooden hinges.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View DrAllred's profile


137 posts in 2849 days

#2 posted 01-09-2011 04:40 AM

Great job, I like the wooden hinges that you used, great grain on the box and the contrast with the rosewood really makes it look great.

-- David, Mesa Arizona

View TelescopeMaker's profile


77 posts in 3046 days

#3 posted 01-09-2011 04:40 AM

Funny thing about the hinges. I was going to use brass ones from Rockler but I was running out of time. I knew that if I went up there I’d be stuck browsing for half the day – never fails – so instead I started fiddiling with a piece of scrap and my band saw. Gods I love my bandsaw – done in 30 minutes.

-- Telescope Maker, Woodworker, Brewer, Gizmologist, Gardner, Lawn Mower

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1593 posts in 3278 days

#4 posted 01-09-2011 05:24 AM

Wow you did a great job on you box it looks real nice. Superb craftsmanship.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3314 days

#5 posted 01-09-2011 06:11 AM

very smoooth little box. I like the hinges.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4118 days

#6 posted 01-09-2011 07:25 AM

Subtle, clean, elegant. What’s not to like. Wonderful job on the hinges, feet and knob as well. Great piece Gardner.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3528 days

#7 posted 01-09-2011 11:15 AM

Great Job Gardner, and within severe time constraints too!! Well Done!!

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

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3908 days

#8 posted 01-09-2011 03:17 PM

Very Nice. I can see why it was a hit.
Wooden hinges are great, cheap, readily available and easy to mount. Yours look fantabulous.

Good Job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3102 days

#9 posted 01-09-2011 04:24 PM

Cant go wrong with a clean well thought out box. Looks to me like you definitely done good. Well done!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Walt M.'s profile

Walt M.

245 posts in 3036 days

#10 posted 01-09-2011 05:10 PM

Good job. I like making boxes. They’re lots of fun and don’t take so much wood. Got Doug Stowes box making and he’s got lots of ideas you should check out.

View TelescopeMaker's profile


77 posts in 3046 days

#11 posted 01-09-2011 10:55 PM

Yeah, I was surprised at how little material it took to make it. I have lots leftover.

Thanks everyone! My lesson in all this is “simple the first time”. I tend to get really complicated on most everything I do. I wish I had picked up this hobby years ago and learned that little life lesson better ;)

-- Telescope Maker, Woodworker, Brewer, Gizmologist, Gardner, Lawn Mower

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4272 days

#12 posted 01-10-2011 12:23 AM


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

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 2939 days

#13 posted 01-10-2011 01:06 AM

Very nice work! It is a real eye pleaser, Great Job on the hinges also!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3144 days

#14 posted 01-11-2011 06:39 PM

Very Nice box, and very impressive for a first, You have incorporated many skill sets in this project with a high level of expertise, looking forward to seeing what you come up with next, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View TelescopeMaker's profile


77 posts in 3046 days

#15 posted 01-12-2011 05:21 AM

Thanks Mic, much appreciated.
I’ve got a whole laundry list I’ll be working on:
Next is my telescope (we had snow today so I worked on that. When it snows in Atlanta, we don’t go out)
Then a new workbench.
Then some more boxes.
Then a coffee table or a bed, haven’t decided.

-- Telescope Maker, Woodworker, Brewer, Gizmologist, Gardner, Lawn Mower

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