|Project by RobH||posted 01-05-2008 06:01 AM||3554 views||9 times favorited||24 comments|
In trying to figure out what to enter for the “Not Just Any Box” category, I was trying to figure out something to do that was out of the ordinary or unique in some way. Then, my father reminded me of the box that I made him a few years ago for Christmas. So, I figured I would enter it.
The box looks unassuming from the outside. The sides are made out of air dried black walnut and the top, bottom, and knob are made out of red oak. When opened up it reveals a lever used to crack nuts. The lever mechanism is made of black walnut. In the areas of the lever that require strength, it is sandwiched between two pieces of brass. The box not only contains the nut cracker in it, but is also holds the nuts in store for their ultimate demise.
What makes this box “Not Just Any Box” to me is twofold. The first not just any box to me is the reason for which I made it. When I see it I remember Christmas time as a little boy when dad and I used to get out a kettle full of nuts and sit and crack them with a hammer and eat them. That is a really special memory to me. I made it for dad for us to sit around and crack nuts with and remember the days of my youth.
The other thing that makes this box special is the wood from which it is made. All of the wood came from my grandfather’s farm. I loved that farm as a kid, and I still do. When he passed away, the farm got divided up. Dad ended up with everything except what the old house was on. The Tennessee Valley Authority wanted to run an electrical line across the farm. As part of the deal, an old walnut tree that was down by the creek I played in as a kid was dragged up into the edge of the field to be cut into boards. The oak used in the box was from an old barn that was on the farm. My grandfather used to hang tobacco in that barn every year to dry. The top and bottom were actually made from a piece of siding from that barn. I incorporated a nail hole into the top to add character and I wood-burned the oak lead and acorn on the outside of the top. This and few pieces of lumber that I and my uncle have are all that is left of that old barn. Dad had to tear it down because it was unsafe. We are quite sure that barn lumber is at least 100 years old. The most interesting thing about it is that it was always used to hang tobacco. When I plane the lumber from the tiers in that barn it smells like a fine cigar.
The box is finished with a simple few coats of amber shellac.
To this day, this box sits proudly on my parents hearth and holds nuts ready to be cracked at a moments notice.
I hope you enjoy the entry as well as the story. It was a fun project to make. It is a fun project to use because of the memories it brings back. Just looking at it makes me smile and remember so many things.
Thanks for looking.
-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA