Not Just Any Box ~ Ant Farm

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Project by TonyWard posted 01-26-2008 03:20 AM 3112 views 3 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ant Farm

A three drawer bandsawn box with five storage compartments.

~ W.I.P. report

(1) The Block.

The Block


Australian Red Cedar ~ part of a stump containing burl and with a variable moisture content.


The above image depicts the pencil drawing on block to define outline, drawer shapes and bandsawing direction. The drill holes are used to overcome expected difficulties with the green timber and clean saw dust build up.

Bandsawing Time:

100 minutes (approx.) to create the outline shape.

On completion of the bandsawing the shape of the box altered as the timber acclimatised to the environment.

(2) On completion of the bandsaw work.

On completing the shaping and initial sanding (80 grit) the box was immersed in a bath of Tung Oil in an endeavour to stabilise the timber.

The image shows the oiled box and the yet to be oiled carved drawers.

(3) Upper drawer:

This drawer contains a lift out box in the lower section of the drawer. The hinged box is retained in place by the use of a magnet.

(4) The centre drawer

This drawer contains two storage compartments, including a secret and hidden drawer.

The first image depicts the middle drawer opened to reveal the drawer’s partitions.

(5) The secret and hidden drawer

Access to the hidden drawer is achieved by detaching the drawer front. The drawer front is retained in place by the use of magnets and a concealed locking mechanism.

Images of the centre drawer showing the secret and hidden drawer, with the drawer front detached.

(6) The Lower drawer.

Note the presence of some the “checks” which became apparent only after the block was bandsawn.

A check is a separation that extends along the grain and results from stresses developed as the surface layers of wood loss moisture and shrink while the main body of the material underneath is fully distended.

Wood in Australia, Bootle, K.R. (Keith R.). 2nd ed.

The checks were filled with shellac.

For further information – ” Pocket Guide to Bandsawn Box Making”:

Good Health

Tony Ward

25 comments so far

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 4152 days

#1 posted 01-26-2008 03:25 AM


-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4188 days

#2 posted 01-26-2008 03:38 AM

That’s pretty cool! Great blog.

Thanks for the link.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 4004 days

#3 posted 01-26-2008 03:43 AM

Very nice. The hidden drawer is quite the trick.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View toyguy's profile


1665 posts in 4037 days

#4 posted 01-26-2008 03:49 AM

Well that is just awsome. You are the master at this bandsaw box stuff…..

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View Karson's profile


35147 posts in 4600 days

#5 posted 01-26-2008 04:46 AM

Great Job Tony. A fantastic Box and construction photos.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 4527 days

#6 posted 01-26-2008 05:00 AM


Thank you for your kind words of encouragement,

Good Health
Tony Ward

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4285 days

#7 posted 01-26-2008 05:42 AM

I love your wood selection, beautiful finished project. I like the way you floated the top and bottom drawers. The flow of the over all peice is outstanding.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4021 days

#8 posted 01-26-2008 05:57 AM

That is an outstanding project. I could never have envisioned that project inside the block of wood. To produce something like this takes a combination of both woodworking and artistic talent.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4074 days

#9 posted 01-26-2008 11:14 AM

That is just outstanding! Hidden drawers… wow!

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4139 days

#10 posted 01-26-2008 01:24 PM

Now that is impressive. The box alone is great, but then to add little surprises is over the top.

-- Working at Woodworking

View tpastore's profile


105 posts in 4015 days

#11 posted 01-26-2008 02:54 PM

Excellent job Tony. Sounds like you had a similar issue with the wood having a mind of its own after you cut it. I am still curious about whether it is caused by the expansion/contraction of wood in moisture or if it is simply the internal stresses in wood being relieved when you cut it.

To make the bridges between the pods and the edge did you carve those out or did you resaw/cut/glue the part to make those?


View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 4527 days

#12 posted 01-26-2008 09:35 PM


An interesting question regarding the timber movement, we may need an expert’s input to answer that one?

The bridges holding the upper and lower drawers remain part of the cabinet. The difficulty of bandsawing and then replacement would add a number of hours to the project, therefore easier to leave them in place.

Good Health
Tony Ward

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4376 days

#13 posted 01-27-2008 03:20 AM

Tony, Mate! All I can say is that your art continues to soar!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4088 days

#14 posted 01-27-2008 02:17 PM


Great box and fantastic design. I am making now a bandsaw box for the 2×4 competition and I get dizzy just looking at your box knowing what bandsaw skill it requires. I knew you are going to come up with a great bandsaw box for the box competition so I stayed clear of a “pure” bandsaw box with my entry (to stand a chance).

Good luck with the contest,

-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4236 days

#15 posted 01-27-2008 06:31 PM

An amazing box with a fantastic description of the process. Thank so much for posting this!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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