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An Oak Burl Man-Box

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Project by RogerBean posted 1184 days ago 4507 views 37 times favorited 56 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally finished the second shaped-front man box. It’s 10 ¼” x 8” x 4 ¼” high, and veneered in an oak burl, with a four way book-match on the lid and edged with boxwood. The finish is French polish over Liberon spirit sanding sealer. The side rail hinges are from BCSpecialties.com, and the full mortise lock and escutcheon is from WhiteChapel.com.

The substrate is baltic birch ply, MDF, and edged with solid walnut to provide a finished bottom edge. The inset panel in the bottom is covered with the same blue leather as the lining. Small white/;black/white lines border the inside of the lid/base opening to provide a crisp delineation between the veneer edge and the blue leather lining.

I embarked on the shaped front idea with the walnut box I posted a couple months ago, and have been experimenting with different, and increasingly complex front shapes. For example, there are fourteen separate pieces of veneer on the front of this box. (plus the edging and inlays) The various converging curves present some unique problems for the veneer matching, joining the edging, and placing the line inlays. The shaped front is unquestionably the most difficult part of this box.

I considered a carved shell or an inlay on the lid, but it seemed to look better without. I chose the simple brass lock escutcheon to complement the period nature of the design. I like to avoid unfinished surfaces anywhere on a box, so the bottom of this one is upholstered with the same blue leather as the lining instead of my usual veneer treatment.

I think it’s fun to provide pleasant surprises on the interior of a box. To me, an unlined box is, well, unfinished. (That’s just my opinion, and not intended to be a shot at anyone who prefers to leave the inside unlined.) So I continue to look for new and interesting ways to finish off the interior of a box (though this particular interior is pretty simple). It has only a single tray of Asian satinwood, divided to hold a man’s watches and/or pens. The dividers are secured with decorative brass pins, and the bottom of the tray is veneered in the same oak burl.

I’ve lately been experimenting with embroidered monograms or patterns on the leather lining, and in this case added a Celtic knot to the inside of the lid. Ideally, to my thinking, such decoration should have some significance or meaning, and not just randomly selected. The “endless knot or eternal knot” patterns (there are many) have a very long history extending at least as far back as the Romans, as well as the middle-east and far east. It usually indicates the connectedness of all things. The idea, at least, is to continue enriching the viewing experience on into the interior of the box. We’re always eager to touch and open a box, so why should we be disappointed when we get inside? Anyway, I wanted something more than a single tray, hence the symbolic knot pattern.

In any event, it’s been a fun and challenging project. I really do enjoy making these things. There are a couple more variations on the shaped-front theme in the project pipeline which will probably show up in a few weeks.

Thanks for looking in.

Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)





56 comments so far

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 1921 days


#1 posted 1184 days ago

Absolutely incredible

Thank you for showing it to us!

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2419 posts in 2226 days


#2 posted 1184 days ago

WOW!! Beautiful, you did a excellent job on this box.

-- Dennis Zongker

View fernandoindia's profile

fernandoindia

1073 posts in 1578 days


#3 posted 1184 days ago

Beautiful work Roger. Love it, as all of your boxes.

Thanks for posting.

-- Back home. Fernando

View smitty22's profile

smitty22

592 posts in 1581 days


#4 posted 1184 days ago

Fit for a king! Thanks for the background and construction details, enjoyed your post a bunch!

-- Smitty

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2382 posts in 1675 days


#5 posted 1184 days ago

Sweet !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2898 posts in 2136 days


#6 posted 1184 days ago

Nothing short of Masterful Roger…
It’s a treat to view your beautiful work Sir!!

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

View peteg's profile

peteg

2865 posts in 1457 days


#7 posted 1184 days ago

Fantastic piece Roger :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View TonyWard's profile

TonyWard

748 posts in 2962 days


#8 posted 1184 days ago

Roger

Amazing work, well done. A treasure for many generations to come.

-- Bandsawn Box Plans available at ~ http://www.tonyward.org

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 1960 days


#9 posted 1184 days ago

Astounding.

View jbschutz's profile

jbschutz

386 posts in 1326 days


#10 posted 1183 days ago

Gulp. This is jaw-dropping beautiful, elegant. The shape and flow of the front scallops is rhythmic and yet, solid. The leather interior and bottom is regal. It has a truly old-world craftsmanship look to it, as do all of your boxes. I think it is my favorite…..until your next one.

-- jbschutz www.johnschutz.com

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1521 posts in 1830 days


#11 posted 1183 days ago

Wow Roger. Incredible looking box. That veneering job is remarkable as is the quality of the box itself. Beautiful craftsmanship.

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

View Douger's profile

Douger

71 posts in 1321 days


#12 posted 1183 days ago

Wow…beautiful. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with a project like this one. Great work!

—Doug

-- Doug, Kansas, http://newwoodshop.wordpress.com

View cwdance1's profile

cwdance1

1143 posts in 1893 days


#13 posted 1183 days ago

Beautiful wood and fine craftsmanship. Wonderful

View kosta's profile

kosta

946 posts in 1989 days


#14 posted 1183 days ago

nice box man

-- kosta Virginia Beach, VA http://www.kostasworkshop.blogspot.com/

View Roger's profile

Roger

14410 posts in 1438 days


#15 posted 1183 days ago

WOW! that is just Celtic Cool.. too very awesome.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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