Two tea boxes - zebrawood top and horseshoe crab knot top

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Project by ellen35 posted 07-10-2011 08:58 PM 1885 views 5 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This past week, I decided to make a couple of tea boxes for a fair next week. I particularly like making tea boxes because they allow me to be creative and, being a boxaholic, they fulfill one of my primal needs! The first tea box is made of aspen with a bookmatched zebrawood top. It has walnut egg crate inserts and a single simple walnut key in each corner. I usually round off the corners of my boxes but decided to leave these pretty sharp. The second box is made using maple box with a wonderful knot I found several years ago on a thin piece of maple – I used this in a walnut frame to enhance the contrast between the frame and the knot. The knot looks very much like a horseshoe crab (use your imagination I used lap joints to make the frame for the insert. The egg crates are walnut again and they single key is also walnut. I didn’t put any handles on the covers as I didn’t want to take away from the beauty of the wood (I got several opinions on whether to put a small handle on the top and the consensus was a resounding “no”. The top does extend over the front and sides by 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch respectively making it easy to open from the front. Everything is finished in water based poly – this was a recommendation from moonls and I have grown to like the finish very much. Clean, cool and very easy to apply.
Thanks for looking!

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

23 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7357 posts in 2151 days

#1 posted 07-10-2011 09:26 PM

looks like time well spent in the shop and on vacation…love these…just when im trying to break free from box making…you try to loop me back in…lol….....i actually have one close to being done…great job ellen…love the wood…

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

View Eric in Central Florida.'s profile

Eric in Central Florida.

3696 posts in 2423 days

#2 posted 07-10-2011 09:27 PM

I don’t know how you keep managing to out-do yourself Ellen, but you do!
The top on that first box is out of this world beautiful, and that knot on the second looks so naturally perfect for it, that it couldn’t have looked better had you been able to place it there afterwards.
You are definitely the best kind of “boxaholic”!
Very nice work indeed !
ps: good luck at the fair !

-- Retirement suits me fine !

View fernandoindia's profile


1079 posts in 1791 days

#3 posted 07-10-2011 09:30 PM

Nice boxes Ellen. For sure they will be appreciated.

Nice top as well. Agree with the no handle. Too beautiful wood top

-- Back home. Fernando

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5721 posts in 2433 days

#4 posted 07-10-2011 09:30 PM

Absolutely beautiful Ellen and so is your work LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5493 posts in 2156 days

#5 posted 07-10-2011 09:37 PM

Your tea boxes came out reallllly nice Ellen. When I first saw the photo of the one with the knot I thought of a stingray as well.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpieceā€¦ because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View littlecope's profile


2984 posts in 2350 days

#6 posted 07-10-2011 09:41 PM

Nice Wood, Great looking boxes, Ellen!!
They should be quick sellers… you’d better be ready to make some more!!

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

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5721 posts in 2433 days

#7 posted 07-10-2011 09:48 PM

to be serious You can’t buy wood like that here in the uk I have never even seen it. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View BoxBuilder's profile


91 posts in 1978 days

#8 posted 07-10-2011 09:53 PM

As another box builder I really like & appreciate both the work that went into the project & the beautiful results. They are really extremely nice looking!

-- Richard, Pennsylvania

View turtlepan's profile


44 posts in 1364 days

#9 posted 07-10-2011 10:16 PM

Very well done, nice and clean, I love the “horseshoe crab” very unique!

-- John in GP

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

321 posts in 1483 days

#10 posted 07-10-2011 10:16 PM

I am new to woodworking and have not found my niche yet. Seeing you post has shown me that box building is a great form of woodworking with a lot of creativity. I might just be come a boxaholic. Thanks for posting.

View CharlieM1958's profile


15913 posts in 3066 days

#11 posted 07-10-2011 10:42 PM

Excellent work on both boxes, Ellen.

I thought of a horseshoe crab looking at that knot, even before I read your description.

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

View Lenny's profile


1315 posts in 2375 days

#12 posted 07-10-2011 11:21 PM

Creativity indeed! Wonderful design elements, fine joinery and spot on selection of woods Ellen. Superb effort on your part. These boxes are true eye candy.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8131 posts in 1768 days

#13 posted 07-11-2011 12:31 AM

Beautiful work, Ellen! I can’t decide which one I like best! They are both so lovely!

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View moonls's profile


411 posts in 1834 days

#14 posted 07-11-2011 01:47 AM

Great job Ellen! I can’t wait to see the finished boxes in person. I’m sorry I missed that woodworking session with you and watch your creativity shine!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View sedcokid's profile


2694 posts in 2446 days

#15 posted 07-11-2011 02:45 AM

These are gorgeous, just gorgeous! They are both equally pretty, your workmanship is great!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

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