|Project by RogerBean||posted 02-21-2011 09:07 PM||5038 views||32 times favorited||54 comments|
This box is for a friend in London who has been gracious in hosting my wife and I, so I decided to make him a box. The idea is to make a box for a man, instead of a jewelry box for a woman. The compartments are sized more for a man. While not a period piece per se, it is intended to speak to work of the various Federal Period furniture makers. It is 7 1/2” x 9” x 4” high.
A number of things here are a bit different. Most obvious, is the shaped front. The design is influenced by the colonial knife boxes of the 18th century. These had lovely curvaceous fronts that I’ve admired for a long time. But, I’ve not seen it elsewhere. So why not do something similar in a regular box? I think I finally found something Andrew Crawford (www.fine-boxes.com) has not done before! :-))
The substrate is Baltic birch ply. The front is shaped from MDF. It is veneered in walnut burl. The lid is a four-way book match. The sides are cut from four sequential sheets, to be nearly identical. The edging is boxwood. I also wanted to try an applied carving on a box. This one is a carved (chisel) scallop shell in figured claro walnut; a cutoff from a very nice gun stock blank.
The cocobolo trays have larger divisions sized for things men typically keep. They get progressively larger as one proceeds downward.
The interior is lined with a dark green leather. Some of the old English boxes of the 18th and 19th centuries included a “document compartment” in the lid. I included one in this box. The embroidered monogram was done by a local embroidery firm. As I probably mentioned in earlier posts, I like the interior to be at least as important as the outside of a box. To open a box and find… nothing… is disappointing. So, I try to surprise, not disappoint.
The hinges are the gold plated machined brass units from BCSpecialities.com. The full-mortise lock and brass escutcheon are from WhiteChapel.com.
The finish is French polish. It takes a couple weeks to complete properly, but it’s worth the effort to get the perfectly clear, glass smooth finish. The color is natural.
Folks often ask how many hours it takes to make a box like this. I don’t really keep close count, but it’s probably well over a hundred hours in the shop, plus quite a few in the “thinking” stages. It’s not a project to knock out over a weekend.
I make a few solid wood boxes, but it’s the veneered boxes that really interest me. The combinations, the matching, the decoration, all provide limitless possibilities and challenges. On this box, fitting the face lines and edges to the tight curves were the most difficult, and it took a while to figure out the document compartment. I was curious how many separate “parts” were in this box. I counted to 196, but probably missed a few.
Thanks for looking in.
-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)