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Twisted Dovetail - Mystery Box

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Project by Druid posted 01-21-2011 06:23 PM 9271 views 29 times favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My “Mystery Box” is a result of too much pondering on a unique twisted dovetail joint that I had seen many years ago. I finally decided to try to duplicate the joint with a couple of variations on the test pieces as shown. When I showed the tests to some fellow carvers, the typical comment was “it’s not possible to assemble”, and of course I would smile and agree. The next step was to work on creating a 6 sided box with all of the sides interlocked using the same joint for a total of 12 “impossible” (according to my friends) sets of dovetails. I used mahogany and basswood for higher visual contrast to show the dovetails more clearly. Just to add a bit more interest, the 6 sides of the box were not cut and reglued, there are no hidden kerfs, and there was no warping or bending involved in the assembly. There are only 6 pieces and they are all solid . . . honest!!!
It’s really a lot of fun to watch people’s faces whenever they have the box in their hands and they try to figure out how it was done.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada





44 comments so far

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

617 posts in 2022 days


#1 posted 01-21-2011 06:41 PM

well i have a pretty good understanding of how twisted dovetails are made but i cant figure out how you did them on all sides.

my guess is there was some some cutting and reglueing done

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1869 days


#2 posted 01-21-2011 06:57 PM

I have seen this earlyer last year :-)
and you are pretty good to set up the maschinery accurat
well done

now we only need the reveal of making/asamble a cube :-)

thank´s for sharing it
Dennis

View JHawkFan's profile

JHawkFan

23 posts in 1446 days


#3 posted 01-21-2011 07:03 PM

That is really great idea and good teaching aid. I’m very impressed with it. Good job.

-- Matt Speer , ‎"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

View Wilton's profile

Wilton

96 posts in 1446 days


#4 posted 01-21-2011 07:30 PM

Awesome. Really cool thought and execution.

-- Wilton, Phoenixville PA http://kimbertonwoodworks.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15822 posts in 2973 days


#5 posted 01-21-2011 08:04 PM

Very cool!

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

View Druid's profile

Druid

698 posts in 1550 days


#6 posted 01-21-2011 08:05 PM

Hi Mike, and thanks for the comments. I have updated the description regarding cutting and reglueing the parts. If I was seeing this box for the first time, I would have made the same comment. Keep smilin’ and don’t lose any sleep over it.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

617 posts in 2022 days


#7 posted 01-21-2011 09:22 PM

ha well you got me. id love to know how you did it. maybe a future blog how to?

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 2041 days


#8 posted 01-21-2011 09:54 PM

I vote for a blog

Interesting!

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4448 posts in 1791 days


#9 posted 01-21-2011 09:59 PM

I like ‘Impossible’. Well done, John. I feel quite challenged. Its very invigourating.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View bibb's profile

bibb

291 posts in 2285 days


#10 posted 01-21-2011 10:28 PM

Please enlighten us with a detailed blog. This is too cool

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need katanadesign.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2915 days


#11 posted 01-21-2011 11:04 PM

and I hope this is going into our Joinery Awards event!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2378 posts in 1637 days


#12 posted 01-21-2011 11:11 PM

awesome, my brain is bleeding trying to figure this out!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Druid's profile

Druid

698 posts in 1550 days


#13 posted 01-21-2011 11:20 PM

Hi Debbie, Yes it is already entered in the Joinery Awards. All votes will be appreciated. I’m surprised at the responses that I’m receiving!

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1635 days


#14 posted 01-22-2011 01:02 AM

That is definitely unique…but what does it do? ;-)

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View bigike's profile

bigike

4035 posts in 2043 days


#15 posted 01-22-2011 01:16 AM

very nice work indeed, Blog Blog Blog.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

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