|Project by oldwolf||posted 07-01-2011 06:21 AM||2186 views||7 times favorited||10 comments|
It was a wonderful day in the shop. No electric motors spinning high speed steel at who knows how many revolutions per minute, and that meant no ear plugs, no dust collector running, and no dust mask. It was me, some hand tools, a sizable cut off of mahogany, a stocked MP3 player, and an idle day between larger projects.
I needed a box to hold my auger bits, I know mahogany is a bit high brow for such a project but the lumber wasn’t doing any good to anyone sitting there in the off cut pile. So I sized the stock, cut some dovetails and grooves for the bottom. The whole thing was going together quite well right into the glue up.
A hour later, as I was cleaning up the joints and squeeze out I got to thinking about how I had heard somewhere that Mahogany carves like butter. Lately I’ve been practicing some 17th century carving techniques that i learned from Peter Follansbee’s DVD. I know that traditionally 17th century boxes that are carved in this fashion are not dovetailed, but I won’t tell Mr. Follansbee if you don’t.
As it turns out mahogany is a real pleasure to carve, and the work goes very fast. following a couple pictures I was able finish all the carving on this box in a day. When I was finished I had this really neat little carved box that would be destined to hold a bunch of auger bits. It may seem like over kill for a simple shop storage solution, some may say the overkill started with the dovetail joints, but I disagree.
Every piece you build gains a life of its own as it rises from the simple board, it the piece will lead to what it wants to be. Sometimes you listen and a piece turns out as good or sometimes better than your expectations, sometimes things get in the way of your hearing, and a piece becomes a chunk of firewood. In the end I have no issue letting this box carry out it’s humble destiny. To surround yourself, in your shop, with inspiring things, will only benefit you in your creativity as you toil away on other projects.
There are many more pictures of the build process and the carving stages on my blog, you can see them by going to http://insidetheworkshop.blogspot.com/2011/06/small-carved-box.html
Thanks for looking.
Ratione et Passionis
-- Oldwolf - http://insidetheworkshop.blogspot.com/