Walnut/QSWO/Cherry DT Box ... for Ronnie

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Project by NBeener posted 04-13-2011 07:07 PM 2635 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“Ronnie” is my wife’s (female) cousin.

Ronnie … is coming up on Month Six of Sobriety.

I’d imagine that some of you know that …. this is a huge accomplishment—not only coming to that place where you recognize that alcohol is NOT doing you any favors, but … actually quitting the bottle, and … actually staying quit—to me—is huge.

And is a thing worthy of commemoration and celebration.

So this one’s for Ronnie.

It’s yet ANOTHER project that … I’ll probably do again—another identical box.

I made mistakes, and left the box pretty imperfect, despite trying to clean up a few messes, here and there. I know the second one of these … I could pretty much get right.

Trust me: the camera, and the flash make the mistakes look MUCH worse than they truly look, when you’re just looking at the box in person.

So … the story:

DTs cut with my P-C 4212 jig.

Walnut bought, as cutoffs, cheaply, from a local custom door fabricator. Box sides, and frames for lid and base

QSWO left over from my wine tower project—top panel, hinges

Some sort of Cherry, resawn, for the veneer on the top of the base.

Note the keyed miters, on the lid. I know, I know … many of you would have used a contrasting wood for the keys, but … in part because it’s end grain, and darkened readily with the stain … I decided to go with the rather more understated walnut keys, too.

My usual finish—about five coats of Watco, in Natural. The first three were flood coats, allowed to sit for about 30 minutes, and then wiped off.

The last two were wet/dry polished-in coats—the 3rd, using 400 grit; the 4th, using 800 grit. In both cases, the box was flooded with the Watco, and then polished in.

The final is a coat of paste wax, applied with 0000 steel wool, and then buffed off with a baby-soft cloth diaper.

Thanks for stopping by. All comments and criticisms are welcome. If you figure out that my woodworking isn’t perfect … well … you won’t be telling ME anything new :-)

-- -- Neil

15 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4457 days

#1 posted 04-13-2011 07:23 PM

Terrific looking box, Neil.

I think the color selections for the wood are great, and I especially love the top. I know what you mean about the photographs… sometimes the flash has a tendency to highlight things that aren’t really visible to the naked eye. As far as wooden hinges, I think they are a really cool woodworking skill. Personally, I just don’t care for the way they look on small boxes. (Just one man’s opinion.)

Tell Ronnie congrats from a guy with 14 years, and tell her it just keeps getting better. :-)

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

View patron's profile


13641 posts in 3580 days

#2 posted 04-13-2011 08:29 PM

i like the imperfections
it’s like sobriety
we still have life to deal with
just have a better way to do it now
17 next month for me

great gift
with a good prayer

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jack1's profile


2117 posts in 4266 days

#3 posted 04-13-2011 09:03 PM

Nice box and a great thing to celebrate.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3398 days

#4 posted 04-13-2011 09:11 PM


It’s just fine. My work has tons of flaws…I call it “character.”

Wood hinges, dovetails, mitered top, splines, pedestal base… three different kinds of woods and end grain absorption with variants of shading…perhaps a little too much going on?

That’s being picky, but it’s the first thing I thought of when I saw it.

Now, I think I’ll go build one just like it! :)

-- jay,

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4486 days

#5 posted 04-13-2011 09:18 PM

Beautiful box Neil, really gorgeous, warts and all. You know we’re our own worse critics! This box is a wonderful sobriety gift box.
In my 12 years working in a rehab facility, although these days, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year are all great causes for celebration, and coins are given, in a follow up study that I was doing for the organization, these dates were also days of relapse, a meeting and hanging with sponsors are highly recommended. God Bless and God Bless Ronnie!.

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

View ellen35's profile


2739 posts in 3671 days

#6 posted 04-13-2011 10:26 PM

As Ronnie can tell you… nothing is perfect!
What makes it a work of art is the care put into making it for someone for such a great occasion.
You are a fine man, Neil.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View dean2336's profile


238 posts in 3148 days

#7 posted 04-13-2011 10:35 PM

love the box—-anything walnut is my favorirte—-good work—-i have been seeing things alot more clearer since i have been soober for alittle over 14 years——way to go Ronnie you be glad you did it.

-- dean2336,nebr.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3542 days

#8 posted 04-13-2011 10:46 PM

you are right neil, what she has accomplished is huge and you making this beautiful box for her is a wonderful gift, i love the wooden hinges and the wood choices over all are terrific, i love walnut so you have gotten me won just on that…i know she will love it…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 3183 days

#9 posted 04-13-2011 11:32 PM

a very nice box for a huge accomplishment.
BTW, box looks really good to me. Walnut splines, also look good. They do not distract DT.

Now,as soon as possible you should finish the second box to be given to Ronnie´s female cousin. (That´s your wife)
Otherwise the only way she´ll find out to get a nice box would be stopping sobriety. :-)

-- Back home. Fernando

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4256 posts in 3404 days

#10 posted 04-14-2011 02:14 AM

I like the cause.
I like the walnut.
I like the concept.
I like the woodworking.

But the photos….........shucks… gotta figure out how to make it look like it is in normal light!!

Didn’t you do a light box or something like that a while ago? Huh?

..........need I lecture you about marketing?

What brightness deemphasizes the surface, can I change the contrast, what about gamma, check the color balance….......

Forget veracity….....come on, this is the digital world…....giggle…...(-:

OK… are selling LJ’s…......think about it as….....

“Gee’s, see what wonderful stuff I make, don’t you want to buy my products?”

I thought about this in a PM, but you are big enuf to take it in public…....

Where is the duplicitous side of your soul? Marketing, marketing, marketing….....the downfall of our economy, and….......the route to your infamy…..........(-:

......come on, lets get on with the show!!!

Your friendly gadfly.


PS….....Neil won’t take this seriously, and don’t any of you out there either…...............(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15820 posts in 2857 days

#11 posted 04-14-2011 02:29 AM

Neil – I’d only suggest you man up and start doing dovetails without killing poor, defenseless electrons… But tuat’s just a suggestion. I love the photographs… And the box ain’t bad either! ;-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2929 days

#12 posted 04-14-2011 03:40 AM

Neil-Arent you glad you did the wood hinges?I think they turned out very well.I KNOW HOW MUCH TIME,EFFORT, AND SKILL went into this project.You should be proud of it and the recipient will love it. Keep up the wood hinge making.They are habit forming.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3912 days

#13 posted 04-15-2011 08:26 PM

Neil, thats a nice looking box.

View bigike's profile


4055 posts in 3528 days

#14 posted 04-15-2011 11:30 PM

great box I love the hinges and the grain on the top.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 2918 days

#15 posted 04-23-2011 04:05 PM

Nice box. The cause is perfect for what we do.

I really like the box. The contrasting woods are great. It’s the hindges that really make the box.

I’m not the biggest fan of the look, but sometimes they are well contructed and look natural on the box.

This is definitly one of those times. Good work.

Woodworking for most of us is probably a hobby or a great way to pour out our creativity and mechanical aptitude on to wood. Sometimes it’s nice to give the fruits of our labours away, and on the rare occasion the gift is warranted.

I’m learning that the stories behind many of the builds on are the bedrock of the site. honestly how many of us would build what we build if not for the people we give our labours of love to.

Hey Neil Thanks for sharing the story and the box.

-- Anthony

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