LumberJocks

My First Box, made in 1997

  • Advertise with us
Project by stefang posted 1178 days ago 1722 views 4 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My son is getting his apartment ready to sell as he will be moving to Sweden soon. My wife and I were helping him out when I ran across this box I made for him about 14 years ago. He asked me if I could refresh the finish for him, so I took it home.

I thought it might be fun to show you this old work. It was my very first box and my very first wood carving. I really worked hard at that carving and I know it’s not good, but I was proud of it at the time (or maybe just proud that I actually finished it). The box is made from Birch.

The one thing I still like is the clasp on the front. As you can see from the pics above, the clasp locks onto a very short, small dowel that sticks out a little less than 1/16”. The clasp is doweled into the box at the bottom leaving it just flexible enough so it can be pulled out at the top enough to slip onto the dowel and keep enough pressure to keep the box firmly locked. The clasp is hollowed out a little on the inside top part to accept the dowel. This was my own idea/design, but I’m quite sure the concept has been used a lot since the stone age.

I also want to take the opportunity to tell all my LJ buddies that right now my participation is pretty hit and miss, but I’ve got so much to do outside the shop right now that I’ve been too tired at night to sit much on the computer. I do have your posts in my mail notifier (about 150 of them at present) and I will be looking at and commenting on your posts, but in catch-up mode. So don’t think I’ve forgotten you!!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.





25 comments so far

View Hoakie's profile

Hoakie

306 posts in 2635 days


#1 posted 1178 days ago

Not sure who you are trying to be humble for….but that box is very cool, and I really like the clasp and the carving. As you know I’ve been going through some “firsts” and hope to someday in the future go back and look at things I did when I started. Currently everything I’ve made (except for 1 box, 1 bowl and my shop related stuff) has been given away as a gift so I don’t get to look back and appreciate/critique my earlier stuff.

I understand how busy you can get…and you can thank me for not contributing to the pile up in your inbox…. I’ve been pretty busy myself.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

View SSMDad's profile

SSMDad

395 posts in 1196 days


#2 posted 1178 days ago

Very nice one Mike. I appreciate the carving and its even more special since you made it for your son. I’m in the process of planning out a hobby horse project for my 2 year old now. I hope he still has/wants it 14 years from now. :)

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View patron's profile

patron

12958 posts in 1940 days


#3 posted 1178 days ago

now there is one nice piece of work mike
the clasp is so cool

and to have a buddy that started woodworking
in the stone age
is something i will treasure always

that’s right up there
with al gore
giving us the internet

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

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1714 days


#4 posted 1178 days ago

maybee it isn´t the best carving you have made Mike I´m not the judge for that
but you can count at least one that like both the box and the picture on the lid
a very nice way of making the dragon fill the frame out :-)

take care and don´t forget to enjoy the spring while you work in the sun :-)

Dennis

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

1373 posts in 2513 days


#5 posted 1178 days ago

Looks beautiful to me and the clasp is very clever. Your son is very lucky to own an original ‘Mike creation’.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2883 posts in 2101 days


#6 posted 1178 days ago

Great Job on the Box Mike!!
You downplay your abilities, but you’ve got a trick or two up your sleeves my Friend… :)
Love the clasp and carving!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View oldsmoothy's profile

oldsmoothy

23 posts in 1255 days


#7 posted 1178 days ago

Great Job, love the carving and the clasp is really nice.

-- OS, Burleson, TX

View Dave's profile

Dave

11142 posts in 1439 days


#8 posted 1178 days ago

Very nice carving. I do love the knight and dragon. Was the birch kiln dried? And the latch is very impressive. Great first mike.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View MyChipCarving's profile

MyChipCarving

463 posts in 1724 days


#9 posted 1178 days ago

Well done for a firstie, Mike! I like the carving to add character.

-- Marty, https://www.MyChipCarving.com, 866-444-6996

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4089 posts in 1455 days


#10 posted 1178 days ago

Nice box Mike even better is that it is still treasured by your son

I think it is nice piece of carving as well.

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View stefang's profile (online now)

stefang

12581 posts in 1933 days


#11 posted 1178 days ago

Yes John, it was kiln dried Birch. It has yellowed quite a bit over the years. It’s finished with Danish oil.

Thanks for the kind remarks one and all. I don’t have any illusions about my carving abilities. All carvers know that you have to carve with the grain to get a smooth and controlled result. Easy said, but I don’t possess the gift of being able to visualize the correct grain orientation for any given cut.I still keep a diagram at hand to remind me of correct cut directions.

I’ve been practicing my chip carving on the terrace during rest breaks from the garden of Eden. I’ve been at it for a couple of weeks now, first with some pine (not quarter cut) which got me started, and now with some juniper which really cuts nice with very sharp details and really smooth surfaces.

The quality of my carving has risen dramatically since I started practicing, so it is worth the time to keep at it. I will never come anywhere near the kind of work Marty (Chip) does, but it’s still enjoyable and I’m satisfied with the progress. The only problem is that I have arthritis and my hand hurts a lot from the work. It’s worth the pain, except for some birch I carved a couple of practice ornaments on, and even though they came out fairly well, I’m going to stick to softer wood in the future. Here is a photo of what I’ve been up to. They are far from good, but remember, it’s the journey that’s the fun part!

The largest piece is the birch I was talking about. Birch takes a cut very well and gives a smooth surface, but it is not easy to chip carve due to it’s density and elasticity. Sculpted carvings (Acanthus style for example) cut somewhat easier as only thin shavings are being removed at a time, but of course they are much more challenging otherwise.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9456 posts in 1688 days


#12 posted 1178 days ago

Wauuu Mike,
I love it – your first box… You are!
Since I have a soft spot for dragons this is a natural born favorite for me.
I love the detail on the lock.
The garden now! Flowers, tullips, the apple tree all pink, my early clematis and the beech ar slowly opening it’s leafs. You have to be there!
Do not worry enjoy that time in the garden, you are in my heart so to see you on LJ is just luxury.
Best of my thoughts to you and yours,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1763 days


#13 posted 1177 days ago

Fine first effort, and no reason to be humble about it. I hope to do some carving, but I think I will have to use mainly motorized tools due to the wrist and hand issues, kinda like you alluded to. Hopefully I will run a couple of circuits here in the garage today in La Conner, then I will be ready for bigger power tools if they ever happen….......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile (online now)

stefang

12581 posts in 1933 days


#14 posted 1177 days ago

I enjoy looking at the garden and sitting in it Mads, it’s working in it that I’m no longer so fond of! Anyway, it sounds like you are enjoying yours and I’m glad for you. It’s good to be outdoors to enjoy our short Scandinavian summer.

Hi Jim. They’ve got some nice motorized tools now that also suck up the dust for you at the same time, so not a bad idea. It’s just that power tools are too fast for me. I can ruin so much so fast with a power tool, so I’m sticking to hand tools so I can correct my small mistakes or change the design to accommodate larger ones. Actually though I really love the serenity of working quietly and slow. That said, I don’t get much done!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9456 posts in 1688 days


#15 posted 1177 days ago

I smile.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase